Gambrill Yellow Trail

MODERATE 89 reviews
#1 of 6 trails in

Gambrill Yellow Trail is a 6.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Frederick, Maryland that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.8 miles
958 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly



horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running




wild flowers



Hike or Bike the Catoctin Mt Ridgeline There are 14+ miles of loop trails on Catoctin Mountain beginning and ending at the Gambrill State Park parking lot. The trails are named after colorful trees and are blazed accordingly. The trails vary from easy to strenuous and from 1 to 7 miles in length. They are quire popular with hikers, bikers, and the occasional equestrian. The lot is frequently nearly full, so get there early. The Yellow Poplar trail is the longest. Bikers consider it one of the most "technical" trails in Maryland. There are some steep sections and the trail is very rocky in places. Since this trail runs parallel with the ridgeline on both sides, you can catch some nice views of the Monocacy Valley toward Frederick and the Cactoctin Valley toward South Mountain. If you catch it a the right time, Cactoctin Mountain is covered with beautiful laurel.

4 months ago

Easy/moderate trail with upper and lower loops. Follows close to the road for some of the trail, but otherwise good seclusion. Loved the frequent change in plant life as we looped around to different faces of the mountain. Very peaceful all around and worth making the trip for.

5 months ago

got a bit lost. the park labels both an upper and lower yellow trail

6 months ago

The trail was nice but it is way too close to the road for a good portion of it. The upper part of the trail was the best part.

6 months ago

Great hike.

7 months ago

Hundreds of Mountain Laurel are blooming. The ferns are so beautiful. Go now, before the blooms are gone!

7 months ago

Lots of road noise for 50-60% of the hike. It's right by the road. Cars won't bug you but there's no escaping the motorcycles dragging out the low gears. It would be better when it's not riding season. Trail feels isolated the rest of the time and is quite rocky. I would rate it easy if not for the rockiness.

9 months ago

This trail is the right amount of easy and challenging. It is marked well. Can't wait to do all the trails at Gambrill.

9 months ago

Not clearly marked at all! I wound up getting turned around and backtracking, almost doubling the length of my hike. Also, ground very rocky, so wear good shoes. And bring a bear bell unless you plan on talking out loud to yourself the entire time.

11 months ago

Well maintained trail that has enough elevation changes to give you a good workout but nothing that can't be completed for anyone in fair shape. You can hike just the lower trail or add in the upper trail for an extra 2.5 miles. Today was extremely foggy but there are a couple of overlooks (of what I couldn't tell). Total numbers of miles: 8.0 but I added in a little bit of the Catoctin Trail (blue blazes)

Friday, December 23, 2016

I hiked both the lower and upper yellow trails. Other than North Frederick Overlook, there are no vistas on the yellow trails. In order to get a good view, one should leave the lower yellow trail and enter the High Knob Visitor Center area, rejoin the lower yellow trail afterward.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Good trail. Well marked with easy slopes. A little rocky but great over all.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Truly the hike is difficult as the path is fairly rocky through out . We are novice hikers and found trail markings a bit sparse . Thank goodness for the app and phone service or we might still be out there in the yellow loop. The elevation was not a problem. There's not much to interest you along the way.
We may have been better of not doing the upper loop but we came we conquered and will be back! Oh and saw a downy woodpecker

Friday, July 15, 2016

Really nice hiking trail, but the dog and I did it during our humid heat wave this week, so it wasn't as enjoyable as it could be during cooler weather. Wish it didn't have so many sections close to the road, but other than that I really liked this trail

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Hiked it with my two younger teenage kids. There really just isn't much of anything to see. The trail itself isn't too hard for the most part it is well marked. We only saw people in the first 1/4 mile and last 1/4 mile.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Nice hike but should be rated moderate

Friday, June 03, 2016

We hiked the yellow trail, including the upper loop this past Sunday. There are hundreds of mountain laurel just beginning to bloom. Lots of ferns, too. There is a nice overlook near the beginning of the trail.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

In the snow twice as difficult and 3X longer great day to be on the trails

Sunday, November 29, 2015

This Yellow trail is a nice hike that has 3 loops so you can hike from 3 -7 miles with varying difficultly.
There are also a Green, Red and a Black trail here that are also nice. The Black is the hardest trail here.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Very nice trails! The yellow trail had some steep spots but I like that! Some parts were very rocky not good for bad feet. Trees in fall were gorgeous! Lots of maples.

Monday, August 10, 2015

This is probably my favorite trail at Gambrill simply because it doesn't seem to get used as much as the others. The hike itself is pretty easy but still features it's fair share of ups and down and some rocky places (make sure you wear proper footwear!). Around the middle of the trail (just under 3 miles in) you can decide whether to take the upper loop and add about 2.5 miles (this is required for the 7 miles) or to continue on the lower loop and do only about 5.25 miles.
The biggest problem I have with this trail is that it basically follows along the road. At the beginning, you are in view of it and sometimes just walking along side it. Eventually, the road is out of sight but the sound of traffic is a constant reminder that you're never too far from it. At certain spots the trail seems to be a little over grown most of the times I have been on it so long pants as opposed to shorts might be recommended and you will probably spend some time trying to avoid getting hit in the face with a stray branch.
All in all, a great trail and one certainly worth doing at Gambrill if you can handle a 5.25 or 7+ mile hike.

Load More