Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Yellowstone National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Just hiked in past the suspension bridge down to the river's edge (where one would need to cross to continue the trail) and returned. I think it turned out to be 5 or 6 miles total. Lovely hike, saw many birds, wildflowers, and views of the river from different vantage points. The suspension bridge is obviously very cool as well.

Trail ended up being 18.5 miles but worth it. Amazing views and I didn’t see anyone else while hiking!

We do this one each time we come nearby and each time it is different. Today it was still very snowy and you had to traverse some fairly deep snow packs on the trail (8-10 ft). But the view from the top was amazing as usual. Be prepared for strong winds as you get higher. The last 100 yards are the worst.

Beautiful trail. Make sure your shoes are waterproof because it gets a little ‘swampy’. We saw deer, bisons and foxes.

This trail is full of great views!! We didn’t quite make it to the top. It’s currently about 40% full snow cover which becomes difficult when it got slushy later in the afternoon. A couple people we were hiking with were wearing tennis shoes otherwise we would have braved the top of the snow ridge. That with the high winds was enough for us to call it at the end of the last switchback where there is a fantastic view.

Not very scenic, but a good hike

Trail was closed 1 mile in. Looks like it would have been a great hike.

backpacking
12 days ago

Quite possibly one of the best destinations in the park. Takes a bit of effort to get to the trailhead, but definitely worth it. I think it's best done as an over night hike so you have more time to enjoy the falls and relaxing in the nearby Ouzel/Scout Pool. The river crossings are typically much too high in the spring, usually the hike isn't really accessable until mid July at the earliest. And just as everyone else has said, you need bug spray!

did 6/3 open and snow free but muddy so make sure to wear hiking boots. tons of wildlife such as bison and elk frequent the area. Hiked from fountain flats parking lot at the next Perez picnic area to fairy falls and imperial geyser out to the Grand prismatic overlook parking lot and hitched a ride back to the car. totaled 9.2 miles hiking. BRING BUG SPRAY. I think this is a much more senic version on fairy falls as you see the falls as you walk to it. there was noone on the trail. took 3 hrs 15 mins

Very beautiful view with very little traffic. While we were hiking up we crossed a black bear across a scream, we brought bear bells and spray as the chance of crossing a bear was fairly high. Trail can be difficult at times to navigate as it is not frequently sought out, bring lots of water and food!

on Slough Creek Trail

camping
18 days ago

Really enjoyed this out and back trail. Hiked to 2S6 for first night. About 9 miles, crossing into Montana. There’s a sign, pretty cool. Hiked back to 2S1 the second night. About 5 miles. Exiting the third day. The trail head and Slough Creek Rd are busy with wildlife watchers, but once on the trail, we didn’t see a single person for three days. Lots of wildlife, especially bison. In my opinion these are the best campsites in the trail. 2S6 is slightly elevated with a great view of the entire valley. 2S1 is right on the Slough Creek. Both sites have direct access to water. Bring your filter or purification tabs. Both have food storage lockers and hanging poles, and fire rings. We did not have any bear encounters, although we did see black bear and grizzly around the park. This is also prime wolf territory. Buffalo are everywhere and not shy. Our trip in late May was risky, but we were extremely lucky with the weather. Raining only at night. No bugs at all. In all, I highly recommend this trail.

Went up 5/24 - steady incline that leads to beautiful views at the end. Dense trees and like others said, not much in the terms of wildlife!

Waste of precious time. Way too many other awesome hikes and places to see than this. Hiking uphill in a forest with minimal
Views and zero wildlife. Have no idea why this hike is suggested other than it’s close to the campground.

slight elevation all the way to the top. went out on 5/18 and there was a ranger doing trail maintenance. you can make it all the way to the top. last 200m has snow but there are several tracks. keep hiking past all the snow and there are dry spots with beautiful views to have your snack/lunch.

Great hike.. awesome views .. suspension bridge.. remember the bear spray!!!

Hiked in July 2016. Incredible, inspiring views from multiple lookouts along the trail. A bit strenuous in hot weather due to elevation gain, but exhilarating and not to be missed.

Excellent trail we only walked in 5 miles. The roaring creek and suspension bridge is amazing.

Great sight and if right on time gets you to peak in a fair amount of time

Great views of the Yellowstone Canyon on this. While there is the trail that can be walked in its entirety, there are also parking spots at various places so you can make this work however you please in terms of whether you want to hike it or just stop at the designated viewpoints. I went as the sun was setting and it was incredibly beautiful.

on Union Falls Trail

camping
3 months ago

Well worth the hike will do again

Really long and tough. We were in good shape with two collegiate track athletes and it took us 10 hours. The rim is actually a bunch of up and downs with the final push going up 700’ at 30• and there is still 8 or 9 miles to go after that. Bring lots of water. There is none at the top. Views are beautiful. No wildlife.

backpacking
5 months ago

Did a few trips on this trail, super easy and brings you back to beautiful Grebe lake. Definitely worth a look.

I didn’t hike the trail —we only went to the touristy section where you can see Inspiration point and the canyon. It was amazing. So beautiful. Probably one of the prettiest places in Yellowstone.

Grateful our Hiking group took the time to see this even though was w little crowded. Go early for fewer crowds.

I spent three days in this area with my two sons, 9 and 15. The scenery is incredible! They loved every minute of it, and so did I. There were many signs of bears this area but we never saw one.

This trail offers great views of wildlife and the Northern part of the Yellowstone River's 20 mile long Grand Canyon. Along the way we saw plenty of bison, marmots and a small herd of bighorn sheep. The parking area (Yellowstone River Picnic Area) is the perfect place to have a picnic after a good hike.

Really tough start. Totally worth the varied climates and terrains.

Easy hike. Great, wide trail. Nice views. Budget time for at the top; you will want to put the lookout center at the top to good use.

Beautiful trail with amazing views. Hiked parts of it in July 2017. You can get right next to the head of Yellowstone falls and/or take some great photos at a distance as well. Not for small children.

backpacking
8 months ago

great trail.... away from all of the people in YNP... bring deet if hiking in summer.. tons of mosquitoes and flies.. a little difficult when hitchhiking to the trailhead... I hitched from old faithful to the start of the dirt road... then off and on until I got to the trailhead... I think I spent more time hitchhiking to the trailhead than on the trail! haha .. fun trail.. wide river ford at the beginning..

on Mallard Lake Trail

8 months ago

Beautiful hike with a beautiful lunch spot at the end. A moderate trail with a steady climb essentially all the way up, which just made for a great decent back down. We saw lots of signs of wildlife, but didn’t see any while we were there. We had the entire trail to ourselves and that was perfect.

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