Bunsen Peak

HARD 70 reviews
#19 of 204 trails in

Bunsen Peak is a 4.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October.

4.4 miles
1,282 feet
Out & Back



nature trips

trail running




hot springs




no dogs

Directions from Mammoth Hot springs: Travel 4.7 miles south. Immediately past the Golden Gate Bridge park on the left in the Glen Creek Trailhead parking lot.

8 days ago

We hiked Bunsen Peak Pass then descended down the back of the mountain, took the Osprey Falls trail down to the falls and then there ok the Osprey Trail back to the trailhead. Saw mule deer, marmots, and had a brief mouse encounter. It was 10.5 miles total. Very fun and made for a fantastic leg and cardio day. Osprey Falls trail alone would be pretty challenging the last 1.4 miles. Don’t pull up short though. The falls are well worth the effort. Would definitely do it again.


9 days ago

Great views from top and enjoyed going down via the back way to add distance and away from people.. saw marmot, elk...

23 days ago

Definitely some work to get to the top, but beautiful views! If you’re considering going down the east side of the mountain (towards the old road and Osprey Falls), be ready to add 6 miles to your trip from the peak (not including the falls). We read that it would be 6 miles total and were a little sad to spend an extra 3 miles on a hot road in the sun.

23 days ago

Hiked with husband, 9 yr old and 7 yr old last week, it was great. We started early and had the top to ourself. Last third of the trail was tough, but the kids pushed through and were rewarded by the view. Nice to escape the crowds.

24 days ago

Easy hike with a great view. I've been to the peak 7 times and am still awestruck from the great view.

1 month ago

Great overall hike. We went right before Memorial day. Took us ~2 hours, from 9a-11a. Because we set out earlyish, we were the first folks up the mountain that day and could really enjoy the solitude. On the way down we passed ~20 people.

Ascending you can see the Golden Gate, and the terraces at Mammoth.

Most difficult part of the hike was the scree at the top. That said, boots (which we wore) or even tennis shoes should be fine.

1 month ago

Not much trees, but views were awesome.

1 month ago

The view from the top of the valley was one of my favorites. It’s absolutely beautiful at the top.

1 month ago

Did this hike May 21 (a week ago). We left early afternoon, and luckily had a great day weather-wise, with a clear view for miles. We ran into a few patches of snow and mud, but nothing not easily navigable with poles and regular boots.

Hike begins in woods, then you begin climbing the mountain via a series of switchbacks. You navigate a fairly steep expanse of scree before reaching the summit. Round trip took about 4 hours. Trail is easily visible and was pretty highly trafficked. Some careful foot placement was required given trail conditions, but this hike seems more on the “medium” end of the spectrum.

3 stars for crowds, and because the views from the summit aren’t particularly outstanding given what’s on offer at the park, and accessible via less painful means. It’s a good workout for sure, and definitely a nice way to spend a half-day.

2 months ago

Great hike. Nice work out and great views at the top!

8 months ago

Windy and wonderful

10 months ago

Enjoyed the beautiful views all the way to the top.

11 months ago

As relatively new hikers from sea level, this hike winded us but was very rewarding to complete. Great views and not very technical. Say hello to the chipmunks at the top.

11 months ago

The hike itself wasn't too bad, though the switchbacks were a little rough. The views on top were breathtaking and worth the climb. In the distance you can see Mammoth and Gardiner, Swan Lake, and other small lakes. I went in the beginning of August so it was a little hazy from fires. The wild flowers were in full bloom and many wild raspberry bushes lined the trail. My group saw a male and female sage grouse on the way down.
The only downside is the noise of cars down below so it isn't as quiet as I would have liked.

11 months ago

On recommendation of a friend we went on this trail and it was one of my favorite. It was a lovely climb that went through a small forest and field on the way up, a great chance to see lots of little creatures. After getting through the forest and field a steady climb up leads to spectacular views in more than one spot. I could have stayed there all day taking in the 360 views and breathing the fresh air. A must do if you are in Yellowstone.

Friday, July 21, 2017

A beautiful hike. It was difficult, especially at the top where it was very rocky, but well worth the work-out. A photo journal of our hike can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8o5ZycUp4L0

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

This trial was moderate (easier than hard) and moderately trafficked (rather than lightly trafficked). The trail passed through grassland, forest and scree. About halfway up is a large rock, shaded by a lone tree, that makes a perfect lunch stop. At the summit, there is a unmanned ranger post, weather station, comms tower.

Excellent trail due to views, variety of vegetation and steadiness of incline.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Half of this trail is covered in beautiful flowers during late June and early July. The upper half is strenuous and very rocky with lots of scree. It is a pretty trail, but it is a true summit. You switch back all the way up and there are no additional fun surprises along the way. For us, the first half with the flowers were pretty and warranted the 4 star rating, otherwise, the second half would probably be 3 stars. We enjoyed the workout but we also enjoyed other views in Yellowstone more.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Phenomenal hike. The incline was somewhat steep, but the views are well worth it. Also make sure to walk past the tower to get a breathtaking view. Remember to sign your name in the log book on the cabin!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Great short hike! Gets pretty steep but there were several groups of families with children the day we went. There IS still snow in a couple spots.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Short and moderate trail whit a good view from the top. In the last meters there are a lot of stone and walk is not so easy but not so hard.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Steep trail up the mountain. We hiked a few days ago at the beginning of June, and there was some snow on certain parts of the path but nothing you can't get past. Near the peak, there's a slope that's more like a rock scramble. The view is beautiful and well worth the effort though!

We had lunch at the peak and continued our way to Osprey Falls. It was a long descent down to the falls. As several others have commented, some of the switchbacks are steep, be careful not to slip. The hike back up was quicker and easier. Amazing experience standing at the bottom of the waterfall! We took the flat trail back to the parking lot.

Several others were hiking Bunsen Peak, much less people hiking to Osprey Falls. Saw several little critters along the way but no bears.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Difficult trail, especially at the top due to loose rock. The sights are amazing for the entire trip. And don't forget to sign the notebook on the station at the top!!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Good hike with nice views of the mountains and lakes at the top. Didn't spot any wildlife. Hiked at the end of May and there were still some snow patches we had scamper across - if you have walking poles I'd recommend you bring them as the snow was pretty icy and slippery. We got lost a bit as the trail wasn't evident. For the last 0.4 miles it's all rocks and the dirt trail disappeared. We followed lighter red rocks up to the top, though we weren't sure if it was a proper trail. There's a small hut at the top so you'll know when you reach it. Took us about 3 hours round trip - the rocks took a while to climb over.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

This was an incredible, yet difficult hike. I hiked this yesterday (early May) with the goal of continuing over to Osprey Falls, as was recommended by locals. The hike has breathtaking views, with moderate inclines for the first mile or so. The second mile up was a lot steeper, and we had to climb through some snow and get off the trail to make it all the way to the top. It was doable, but the trail gets progressively steeper and the terrain gets more rugged, filled with little rocks. I would absolutely do this hike again, it has so much to offer. We did stumble across a large black bear as well who looked at us then continued on his way. I don't recommend going through the otherside to reach Osprey Falls until the snow has melted and the trail is more used. It currently was covered in snow, fallen trees and little unstable rocks. All in all a truly incredible hike with breathtaking views!

Monday, May 08, 2017

This hike was incredible. Due to the snow, we couldn't make it to the top but we made it .4 mile from the top & the view was fantastic. Bring bear spray, as we saw fresh tracks. It was tough in spots but reasonable, the incline is quick but not impossible. I would recommend to anyone looking for a short hike was a challenging hike.

Friday, April 21, 2017

My favorite hike we went on in Yellowstone! Definitely hard but so worth it! Beautiful views all around you.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Went with my mom in first week of September of 2014. Awesome views the whole way up, nice panorama at the top. Went early, about 7 AM, and didn't see anyone else until we were about halfway down.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Not too difficult at all. If you follow the trail, a few spots to rest along the way will get you there with ease. Make it more difficult by traversing up past the narrow outlined paths and through the trees and loose rocks. That will give you a good workout. I was surprised to see the communications cabin at the top, but the view was great.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Gorgeous views. Steep going up, but short. There was still a good bit of snow and ice at the top when we went, which was tricky to navigate around because the top is mostly rock. There are some power lines at the top that aren't very pretty, but overall fun hike with great scenery. Also fun to do with kids.

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