Explore the most popular river 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.

This isn't really a hiking trail, you drive right up to the basalt columns. I am a geologist so I rate it high because you can get right up to the columns.

nature trips
9 hours ago

How can you not love this place? It ranges from a beach area with shallow water for kids, to deeper water and rapids to can jump into up above.

I actually love the crater spring just below this one. Prismatic is beautiful by plane and photo but you really can't see it from the boardwalk well because it's so flat.

This trail is more moderate than difficult. However, the distance is tiring. I would say it is harder to hike back out than it is to hike into the falls. It took my fiancé and I about 3 hours to get to the falls and 4 hours to get out. This trail is absolutely stunning. It is well worth the distance.

Getting to the trail is kind of tricky. It will feel like you’ve been driving forever, but just keep going. As soon as you get to Grassy Lake Reservoir Dam, the road to the trail head is at the bottom by the spillway. The trailhead is not posted at the beginning. It’s on the right hand side after you crossover the spillway(walking). If you do not have four wheel drive I would recommend parking at the dam and walking down the road. It’s not that far.

Don’t forget some water shoes or sandals! You will be crossing a river. Also bring LOTS of water. YOU WILL NEED BUG SPRAY. We used an entire can of spray on this hike. The bugs are thick. We ate lunch at the falls and it was definitely a memorable time. ✌️

I did trail in July 2017. Interesting views and unique perspective of the falls. Stairs, stairs and more stairs.

2 days ago

Worth the hike to see the falls.

This hike is lonnnnng but well worth it. Our group decided to do it all in one day and besides the last couple of miles it wasn't too bad. The hike is mostly flat except maybe the last mile or so. I had never hiked more than 8 miles before and I survived :). Bring some exceptional bug spray though, we were eaten alive. The scenery is beautiful and the view of the falls is stunning.

This is an easy hike for children with a stunning waterfall at the end. You might encounter animals along the path, keep your distance and leave them be. Very flat so no worries about terrain.

Beautiful hike! Longer than what it says here. Can't get far without a Bug spray though, the mosquitoes will suck you dry!

This is a challenging trail due to the descent to the Yellowstone River 1500 feet! You have to go up it too! The surface on those switchbacks is loose and adds to the fun. The plateau and views of the Yellowstone are very cool as is the remote nature of this trail. We saw bison, pronghorn, plenty of bear sign, and otters!

Stunningly beautiful!

hiking
5 days ago

Won’t call it a hike, but great views from the overview locations 600’ and 1200’ down a sidewalk from the parking lot.

Easy hike to a great view from the brand new viewing platform. Didn’t have time to explore Fairy Falls with our 5 and 10 yo’s and their 70+ grandmother, but will in the future.

hiking
5 days ago

Did this with our 5 and 10 yo, along with their 70+ grandmother. Great trail from a former road. If you miss the eruption, there is plenty to do and explore until the next.

We got there about 5 minutes after it finished and spent the intervening 2:30 exploring the river, unmarked hot springs, and having lunch. The greatest benefit was the opportunity to watch the geyser’s entire eruption sequence.

Afterwards we visited Old Faithful, and the kids were less than impressed after watching Lone Star.

hiking
5 days ago

Did this with our 5 and 10 yo, along with their 70+ grandmother. Great trail from a former road. If you miss the eruption, there is plenty to do and explore until the next.

We got there about 5 minutes after it finished and spent the intervening 2:30 exploring the river, unmarked hot springs, and having lunch. The greatest benefit was the opportunity to watch the geyser’s entire eruption sequence.

Afterwards we visited Old Faithful, and the kids were less than impressed after watching Lone Star.

Open for swimming! Great place, plenty of safe areas for kids and fun areas for adults. Recommend bringing a life vest as the currents are strong in the deep areas. A fun activity for strong swimmers is to head up stream and float down through the canyons twists and turns.

Great short, all around hike that includes so much of Yellowstone scenery. Only down side was construction on the trail so had to change course a bit and hike on road to pick up the trail again. Otherwise super hike for all abilities.

Great all around hike but definitely plan for a longer hike. Lots of wild life and bring bear spray. Beautiful views of the Yellowstone River.

Almost gave the trail 4 stars due to all the closures that interrupted our hike because there were no signs warning us of them til we got to the closure— but the views were so breathtaking it’s still worth 5 stars to me. This trail was the highlight of my entire Yellowstone trip, 10/10 would do again.

nice drive and not busy.. the cone geyser was a first!

started before 9 so had trail to ourselves most of the time (so nice given how busy it can get at midway!).. easy walk to falls and 2 geysers.. go up the hill for great view of imperial geyser..

we did the loop and walked through meadow back to the fountain trail - saw 3 bison and just kept following the orange square guides - felt very isolated in wide open meadows and geysers so was great although started getting pretty hot.. walk back on fountain flats path to midway parking lot was uneventful.. stopped for lunch at firehole river...

7 days ago

Not much to see on the way but the view at the end of the trail is worth it.

get there before 9 as parking lot turns into a tourist mess.. easy walk to the point but come back via clear lake - turns into a 10km walk near mud pots, beautiful lake view and views into Hayden Valley with the bison...

I merged this trail with point sublime, and view into Hayden Valley and doubled back instead of doing the loop to get full experience - nice walk and suprisingly quiet given the number of people at artist point.

Great workout in and out of the canyon!

Did this hike as a kid 26 years ago. And just completed it again yesterday. It is still the hardest hike I have ever done in one day, 17 miles up and down. Went at a good clip, 3 miles per hour up and down average, total hike time was right at 6 hours, not counting the break at the top to enjoy the scenery. Saw grizzly bear mom and cubs as we pulled into Indian Creek Campground, but no wildlife except ground squirrels and chipmunks on the actual trail all day.

The hike is strenuous, has two stream crossings on the Indian Creek side, and it is mostly exposed the whole way. I do not think any people have been up this season except us. Trail was overgrown, hard to keep up and spot many times, and we pretty much just followed elk and moose prints most of the way. Coyote paws were imprinted at one point, too.

At the top, we had to scale a snow pack, now practically an ice sheet, for about 50 yards to reach the pass marker. It made for an absolutely fun time sliding back down it on the return.

Views are gorgeous, lots of wildflowers along the way, and you cool off in the streams on the way back. It made for a wonderful day, but yes, you'll be sore. The terrain is rough nearly the entire way. And soooooo many bugs, Deet kept away the mosquitoes, but the flies are tenaciously persistent.

hiking
10 days ago

Easy descent down to the falls or down the short trail off to the right to get down near the river. Beautiful views of both the falls and the river. Tends to be a little crowded throughout the day but overall incredible up close sights to see

We used this hike as an easy first day to acclimate (coming from flat all around Minnesota), the hike starts in a hurry to get up to the top but the quick scramble pays off right away. You walk along the cliff side with views of the Yellowstone River and even a small glimpse of Tower Falls. We saw a few bison along the way which made it even better. Overall an easy, but rewarding hike.

Only did a partial hike (about 12 miles to the west side of Shoshone Lake). It was absolutely beautiful and I would definitely do it again. The only downsides would be a few water crossings and the mosquitoes were voracious.

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