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Clear Lake Artist's Point Loop Trail

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(118)
Yellowstone National Park

Clear Lake Artist's Point Loop Trail is a 3.4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October.

Length 3.4 mi Elevation gain 383 ft Route type Loop

Kid friendly

Camping

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Forest

Lake

Hot springs

River

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Bugs

Muddy

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)

The trail begins near Upper Falls and heads east along the canyon. The first quarter of the trail is strenuous, with multiple steep inclines and declines. Near Artist's Point it starts to level out a bit, and once you turn away from the canyon heading south, it is a fairly level and easy hike from there. The southern half of the loop passes through two lakes and many thermal areas. Please do not leave the trail and also keep an eye out for any thermal features that may have developed inside the trail. Clear Lake contains hidden thermal features, please do not enter the water. Be sure to carry bear spray, as this is an area frequented by grizzly bears.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (118)
Photos (473)
Recordings (60)
Completed (359)
Alison Palumbo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 9, 2020
Hiking

Absolutely amazing trail. So many picturesque spots. Do be careful about signage. I started from Clear Lake and accidentally turned right at the Ribbon Lake trailhead. Took me a bit to realize the error. There is no 4G in Yellowstone so I think I’ll invest in AllTrails Pro just to get the offline trail maps. Anywho, happy hiking!

Bela Szabadi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2020
Hiking
View Bela's Recording
Angelina Pius
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 5, 2020
Hiking

Hiked 8/4 around 6:30p. Realllyyy beautiful with the late afternoon sun. Definitely the best sub 4mile hike in the park in my opinion! A couple switchbacks at the beginning and a gentle incline at some points through out but overall a moderately easy hike with superb views! Saw two elk a couple yards off the trail near Clear Lake. Definitely a well traveled trail, but bring bear spray and be bear aware.

View Angelina's Recording
erika linenfelser
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 29, 2020
Hiking

We really loved this trail. The views of the canyon are stunning as you hike north from the parking lot towards Artist Point. The landscape then varies from forests, meadows, ponds and open areas. We saw a buffalo grazing in a meadow towards the end of the trail. Bring bear spray as we heard some loud rumblings in the forest though!

Courtney Ploeger
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 25, 2020
Hiking

Amazing This was our last hike for our trip to Yellowstone and it pretty much sums it all up- it was kind of a compilation of every kind of landscape that Yellowstone has to offer...Such a beautiful hike. We didn’t see any animals on this hike, but the scenery was enough! Be sure and check this out if you’re looking for a fun hike to do while you’re here. (FYI- mileage for south rim trail to artist’s point to clear lake is more like 4 miles, not 3.4)

Adam Hardie
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 22, 2020
HikingBugs
View Adam's Recording
Stacy Corbin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 22, 2020
HikingBugs

This was one of the first hikes we did and it was a nice overview of the park. There are a lot of bugs so come prepared. We did this late morning and did not see any animals. Someone recommended clockwise, it's easier to find the trial that way, but I would suggest the other way if you want to be walking towards the waterfall at then end of the hike (kind of a climax to the whole thing). There are beautiful wildflowers that I enjoyed as well as geothermic features.

KRIS D
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 18, 2020
Hiking

Fantastic. Best little hike in the park! Do this one clockwise. Make sure to check out "upper falls view" before or after. Add uncle toms trail if it's open (it is currently closed for restoration). You will need bug spray on the lake/meadow side of this one.

Andrew Schlichting
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 16, 2020
Hiking

My second favorite hike in Yellowstone (behind Union Falls). Stunning views of the canyon and Clear Lake is really beautiful. It was 4.03 miles roundtrip for us and I believe we were on the correct trail the entire time so I think the distance is a bit off above. But it was well worth it. The trail is in good condition with good footing most everywhere. There are some steep parts, particularly around the South Rim. One of the best parts about it was once we turned away from the rim towards Lilly Pad Lake and Clear Lake, we ran into only a couple of people. It was a great escape from the crowds. The landscape back there is a nice variety too. Some forests, thermal pools and vents, and prairies. I recommend doing this one in the afternoon as the sun really shows the canyon's colors well.

Kathy & Jon Boegl
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 7, 2020
Hiking

• Arrived 10:00am • Sunny 60* • Parking Lot Nearly Full • Crowded first stretch of trail from Upper Falls to Artist Point • Some treacherous exposed edges open to shear cliffs (nervous for families w children) • Astounding views of the falls and the long yellow canyon • Past Artist Point the hike becomes much more secluded - equally attractive • Some steep climbs and switchbacks out of Artist Point • Thermal pools, open meadows w wild-flowers, Lilly Pad Lake and Clear Lake are too beautiful to miss • Spotted just one bison • The trail was enchanting on so many levels - very well worth hiking the whole circle. • There are many trail options in this area. Although there are numerous posted maps, you might want to have your own route downloaded on your phone, or printed out.

Sierra M.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 24, 2020
Hiking

Really pretty hike with lots of varying scenery - meadows, forests, lakes, hot springs. We didn't see any wildlife but definitely saw evidence of bison/moose/bears. The part right next to the canyon had some steep switchbacks. I might have preferred going out and back on the smaller trail rather than on the busy one right next to the canyon.

Jason Davis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 11, 2020
Hiking

Loop from Artist Point down to Lily Pad Lake and Clear Lake was open today. Great hike full of surprises. Lots of bear, elk, and coyote signs.

View Jason's Recording
Michael H.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 18, 2019
Hiking

Beautiful views of the canyon then turns inland thru some thermal areas, Lakes and meadows. Has it all!

B R
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 11, 2019
Hiking

Great hike and a great way to get away from the crowds between Upper Falls and Artist's Point. We did this hike with our almost 5 year old and it wasn't a problem for her (granted, she loves hiking). We did not see any bears, but the prairie area at the end of the loop is an area frequented by grizzlies. Please carry bear spray - most people we passed on this hike did not have any spray on them.

Kyle Narveson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 8, 2019
Hiking

South Rim-Clear Lake Loop

View Kyle's Recording
Breck Tuttle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 1, 2019
Hiking

I really enjoyed this hike in the quite of the early morning. Nice views of the canyon. Several pretty lakes. Some unexpected thermal activity and empty trails.

Dan A. User
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 24, 2019
Hiking

Beautiful views of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone along the South Rim Trail. Continued on to Ribbon Lake after reaching Artist’s Point. Real nice trail through thick forest. Ribbon Lake backcountry campsites 4R1 and 4R2 are nice.

View Dan A.'s Recording
Rachel Hurley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 7, 2019
Hiking

Beautiful. Diverse topography. Best views of river, falls and canyon, into dry wooded areas, then drier areas with thermal activity. Beautiful blue lake with some thermal activity and fields of wildflowers. Great hike!

View Rachel's Recording
Tom R.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 3, 2019
Hiking

Mostly flat. I liked the diversity of the trail. Open meadows, moonlike thermals and the canyon. Stunning views of the Yellowstone River and the falls.

Brad Grimm
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 15, 2019
Hiking

This hike was fantastic. On one half was the southern rim of Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. The second half was broken up by lakes, meadows and geologic features.

View Brad's Recording
Elijah Rubio
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 1, 2019
Hiking

Beautiful Trail, good for all skill levels View of the Canyon and the waterfall is breathtaking, bring a mosquito spray gonna be useful once you hit the forest After the hike I recommend driving on the other side of the canyon and hiking down to the waterfall to get the full experience and see the canyon from all around

Steve Burch
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 26, 2019
HikingMuddy

This loop made a nice escape from the crazy crowds at Artist Point and Uncle Toms parking lots and viewpoints. I’d recommend parking at Uncle Toms and starting the hike there as it was impossible to get in the Artist Point lot at 4pm on a Monday. The trail away from the canyon to Clear Lake is muddy in places, but you can walk around. We actually extended the hike a bit along to Sublime Point when we reached the canyon. The views at every turn above the canyon were amazing. We really didn’t see many other people until we got back to the Artist Point area. Highly recommend.

Lilly Stevens
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 8, 2019
Hiking

There was construction when we went (summer 2018) so I'm not sure if this was the exact hike. The whole south rim was closed, so we parked on the road and hiked out and back to Artist Point instead of walking along the road. This was just a short hike we decided to do to stretch our legs, but ended up being one of my favorites. It's easy hiking through all kinds of scenery: meadows, forests, lakes, swamps, hot springs, and finally along the edge of the canyon. We saw plenty of wildlife and loved every second! Much better option than just driving and fighting for parking.

Madi Thurston
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 3, 2018
Hiking

The part of the trail that goes by Uncle Tom’s trail is closed right now. So parking is tricky and you’ll have to either turn and go back instead of looping or walk down the road instead.

Heather Park
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 14, 2018
Hiking

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.

Janine Forrest
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 12, 2018

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.

Samantha Lewis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 4, 2018
Hiking

I did a modified version of this trail because of construction. The South Rim portion of the trail and the parking lot near Uncle Tom's were still closed as of 7/1. I started at Artist's Point and continued on the Point Sublime trail to the end. On the way back, I went past Lilly Pad Lake and continued on to Clear Lake, then turned around. Overall this worked out to be about 5 miles and 600 ft of elevation climb. I'd highly recommend this option while there's still construction. You get awesome views of the canyon and get to see lots of different features and terrains on an easy and secluded hike. The parking lot is incredibly busy because of Artist's Point, but there's high turnover since most people just go to the point and then leave. If you can brave the crowds for those view minutes between the parking lot and the point, you'll be rewarded with secluded hiking from there onward. I saw a total of 10 people or so, all on the Point Sublime portion of the trail. The views of the canyon are absolutely breathtaking, probably my favorite part of the park that I saw. There are lots of rocky outcrops where you can get different views as you walk along the canyon. This part of the trail has some elevation climb and is steep in a few parts, but pretty easy. There are some lots to climb over and roots on the trail which keep it interesting. If you decide to continue to Point Sublime, note that the views at the Point itself are not great. However, the views all along are pretty spectacular and it's only 0.5 miles past the fork going to Clear Lake, so I'd still recommend it if you have the time. The trail going to Clear Lake is a hidden gem. Lilly Pad lake is fine, but if you go past it you'll see really interesting terrain. The best way I could describe it would be a "forest desert." I think it must be wildfire-damaged area, as there are lots of dead trees there but you're otherwise surrounded by forest. This part of the trail is mostly flat. You pass by some sulfur pools and bubbling mud pits, plus a few small hot springs. The whole area is eerily beautiful and an interesting change of pace from the forest along the canyon. Clear Lake itself is also beautiful, but I'd say it was the least exciting part as I hiked along many other lakes on my trip. I walked to the lake and then turned around, so I can't speak to the part of the trail past it back towards the road. I'd highly recommend this hike for an interesting, secluded hike with lots of different scenery. You'll have to brave the crowds in the parking lot, but it's well worth it. I did this hike in the afternoon and Artist's Point had emptied out by the time I finished (around 5 PM) so I got some additional photos without the crowds at the end.

AllTrails User
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 18, 2018

We started at the Wapiti TH and hiked to Clear Lake, then through the geothermal area, then up to Ribbon lake where we found a good spot to eat lunch. We hiked back the same way. Great trail through, forest, geothermal areas, meadows and beautiful lakes. It really lets you take in some of the varied terrains that YSNP has to offer without the crowds. Very quite, the bubbling of the mud pots and the calls of nearby elk were all we heard.

LeAnne Cooper
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 1, 2017
Hiking

We started the trail from Wapiti Lake Trail head since the parking lot and part of the trail near Henry’s Trail is closed for renovations. It’s was an easy hike to Clear Lake which was stunningly beautiful, definitely worth seeing. You can continue to Lilly Pad Lake and or Ribbon Lake but the scenery wasn’t as nice past Clear Lake. We ended up turning around before Lilly Pad Lake.

Tia Finnerty
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 29, 2017
Hiking

Great hike, great views all the way to the top where Artist Point is. There were even artists painting up at the top. Our original plan was to take the Canyon Rim North Trail to Inspiration Point but that trail was closed. This trail had the opposite point of view from inspiration point, you could see inspiration point on the other side! Very happy we chose to do this hike since we couldn’t do the other. Don’t miss out on this hike! Highly recommended.

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