Black Canyon of the Yellowstone Trail

HARD 7 reviews
#49 of 92 trails in

Black Canyon of the Yellowstone Trail is a 40.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Gardiner, Montana that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

40.8 miles
6,420 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly





nature trips





wild flowers


5 months ago

Incredible trail... backpacked it May 2017...plenty of wildlife, spectacular views, and challenging climbs... highly recommend this Trail.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

I've did most of the trail and decided to return with a deer path just below the ridge for pretty good mountain views.

The canyon itself is not that spectacular (e.g. Black Canyon of the Gunnison, CO is much better),
but this trail features a wildlife (bison, elk, coyote, .. ) and especially carcasses (tons of antlers, a half-eaten bison).

Overall, the trail felt stretched - not that many nice places compared to its length.
The upside it's in the lower part of the canyon, so in early June, when south is covered with snow, East is occupied by bears with cubs, this is the safest option for backpacking. For day hike, I would recommend Mt. Washburn.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Nice 3 day trip. I took the Black Tail trail out. Last day started with a 2 mile grind up hill, but was worth the effort. Creeks are high late May and early June. Plan on the extra 3.8 mile hike and cross hell roaring bridge.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

This trail is fairly level, you can definitely do it in less then three days, I have done it in one day. If you come out at Gardiner the last part of the trail is in the open and can get very hot in the summer. A friend got Giardia drinking the water on the trail. It is in the trees and after the first mile or two the number of people goes way down. There are some nice campsites along the river. In the spring when we did this our legs were covered in ticks so beware. This year the trail was pretty clear of snow. I have seen bears on this trail, black bears.

Saturday, April 26, 2014