Explore the most popular paddle sports 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.

Short steep climb at the start then levels off to trout lake. Good amount of traffic in the afternoon. We saw a moose near the start of the trail.

Tons of buffalo, gets busy towards the afternoon. Nice views of the valley.

hiking
19 days ago

One of the trails we do EVERY year we come! Late July/ Early August we usually see lots of Otters swimming around and lots of fish to look at in Trout Lake. You'll come across the occasional fisherman, but don't let that deter you from walking around the whole lake. Bring a picnic lunch to eat in the shade or on a log. Enjoy the sound of the water going under the footbridge. Very easy. Uphill coming in and downhill going out, make sure you have shoes with great traction.

Definitely one of the best trails to take if you want a quick hike that puts you out in what feels like the middle of no where. Also the fishing was great!

Beautiful trail, rugged but pretty straight forward and connects to multiple others for an easy choice of length.

birding
5 months ago

backpacking
6 months ago

Backpacked with favorite outfitter week of July 4 starting at Soda Butte Creek trail head then transitioned to Mist Creek into Pelican Valley finishing near Indian Pond. Terrain was easy to moderate until climbing pass between Lamar Valley and Mist Creek:about a 1,000 ft. gain over approximately a mile. Unbelievable scenery, especially Pelican Valley, and saw wolves, coyotes and 5 grizzlies, including one that foraged all afternoon in the meadow next to our campsite. Weather was fantastic and only drawback were the mosquitoes--tons of them around the clock. Thank god there was plenty of heavy duty bug juice to go around because we would not have survived the trip without it. Got plenty of arm exercise swatting them continuously and annoying as hell.

We decided just to hike to the lake and then back. .4 miles there which was pretty much all up hill but worth it! We spent an hour at the lake. So peaceful & quiet. A little bit of snow on the ground but doable with just hiking boots.

horseback riding
8 months ago

Nice trail for a 2 hours tour go and return with break at the riverside.

Nice trail, great views.

backpacking
8 months ago

Hiked in to a backcountry site passed the Yellowstone River suspension bridge. The hike in as most enjoyable with amazing views of landscape and the surrounding mountains. After crossing the suspension bridge we saw what I believe to be an osprey and a bison carcass. The hike out was a bit tonight due to the overnight rain and snow making the trail slick and wet. Overall an amazing hike with many views!!!

Wonderful easy and relaxing trail. This was our first trail in Yellowstone. The short beginning part is a little steep and coming from sea level we felt a bit out of breath pretty quickly. However, the remainder of the trail is flat and circles around trout lake. The views are beautiful and you can see the reflection of the mountains in the lake easily. You can also see cut throat trout if you just look in the lake. We did this trail at the end of August 2017.

Simply gorgeous. crystal water, mountain views, bubbling mountain stream and a bridge. Endless photo ops. all in a child-size hike.

We went on this Ranger led trail in July 2016. It was quite interesting and led to Shoshone lake that can only be seen by hiking to it. The trail was one of the original trails from the 1800's.

fishing
9 months ago

The hike and the drive are worth it to cast to hungry trout and grayling that don't get much pressure. Catch and release! Fly only

Most of the trail has a monotonous view. The falls and lake are very pretty. If you want a shorter hike, head to the right at the trailhead, then back the way you came.

hiking
9 months ago

The trail is a nice, easy walk to a lake. Most of the trail is through open meadows. We hiked it late in the day and it was windy so walking through meadows was not too hot. You'll see many beautiful wild flowers if hiking this trail in August. The lake is just okay. Don't hike this if you're goal is to see a fantastic lake.

backpacking
9 months ago

Hike into great camping along the Yellowstone River.

Hands down the best adventure I have ever been on was to Shoshone Lake. Begin rowing around Lewis Lake early (7/8). The way that Shoshone Lake is situated causes it to create its own microclimate which means you have to time your arrival to Shoshone Lake perfectly in order to avoid the ocean like swells that arise every day around 1. If you hit the lake at this time expect some difficult rowing- especially if you have one of the camping sites that are further in. Make sure to get a permit!

We didn't use a guide (and didn't need on) but it is important for you to do your research before making this trip and to have some experience in the great outdoors. Also, listen to the park rangers when you go to pick up your permit.

hiking
10 months ago

Did not enjoy this hike much due to the biting flies and the snake in the grass. Saw several big fish in the shallow stream that feeds the lake but no otters.

backpacking
10 months ago

We spent three days hiking along the Slough Creek Trail, the first to campsite 2S3 about five and a half miles in and then backtracking about a mile for the second night at campsite 2S2. Both had easy-to-access water sources but campsite 2S3 had a particularly impressive view of the plateau/river and I'd definitely recommend staying there. The hike to the farther campsite took a little more than two hours.

The trail is fairly flat (save for the first 1/3 mile, but it's nothing crazy) and well maintained. We saw wildflowers, buffalo, deer and several different types of birds (and some horse and buggy travelers). I thought this was a popular trail but we hardly saw anyone during our three days on Slough Creek. Despite the extreme midday heat in early July and the mosquitoes/flies (plan accordingly and bring DEET), I would definitely recommend this trail for backpackers of all levels.

hiking
11 months ago

This was a really nice short trail, offering a relatively still mountain lake that can serve as a reflecting pool, wind permitting. The first section is kind of steep, but still easily doable with kids. The best part of the hike may be the drive to it, through the Lamar valley, which was the single most incredible thing I saw in Yellowstone. Featuring snow capped peaks in the background, there were hundreds of Bison grazing there. It's something I'll never forget. There were clearly lots of fish in the lake, but the fly fishermen there seemed to be having a terrible time of it. Looks like it gets a fair amount of pressure.

Hiked 1st week of June, 2017, entirely clear of snow

hiking
11 months ago

To be fair, I did this in 4 feet of snow, but this was probably one of the worst hikes I've ever done. A park ranger told us that it was really good so that's why we did it. I'm sure it'd be a lot better if there weren't any snow, but I didn't find the hike rewarding at all.

11 months ago

Beautiful and well maintained! A little challenging at first but definitely worth it.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

One of my favorites.

walking
Monday, May 15, 2017

Easy. Saw a coyote stalking geese in the pond near the trailhead, then saw some antelope.

scenic driving
Saturday, April 08, 2017

3 days earlier in late June, we had made it to West Thumb just ahead of a snowstorm, bagged our first bison spotting and made it out to the farthest point next to the lake in a scattered snow shower- quite surreal with the hot steamy pools and bubbling geysers. As we started to head back to the visitor bookshop, the snow started blowing horizontally with big flakes. We all rushed inside the little cabin, and the ranger fired up the woodstove. We warmed ourselves and checked out books and souvenirs as our inner temperatures re-adjusted. We then high-tailed it as a big tour bus was pulling up. We had just logged our first Yellowstone “experience.” For the return visit, after starting from Canyon Lodge, heading south, we stopped at LeHardys Rapids, just before Fishing Bridge, which is where the next caldera eruption will start, as it rests on a huge fault line. The river area was covered with newly hatched bugs - fly larva and great food for cutthroat trout. From there we stopped at Bridge Bay on Yellowstone Lake, skipped stones on the lake and saw folks fishing for cutthroats. We stopped again at West Thumb, now one of our favorite spots, for another look in the sunshine. On this second visit, we were really rewarded, as the pools were bright green, clear and sparkling and we again were the only ones on the boardwalk. Yellowstone is a great first NP trip for kids, wildlife is abundant and there is never a dull moment. Fishing Bridge to West Thumb is a must-do section of the Grand Loop.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Hiked this early in the morning with my 3 kids. Short but beautiful hike. Nice forested walk up to the lake. We heard there may be otters here, but no such luck. Definitely recommend this trail.

backpacking
Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Great views of meadows and mountains. Saw a black bear, and a Bison. Fairly easy going in, fairly strenuous coming out. Bring water and a camera.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Beautiful Lake!!!

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