Dunraven Pass to Mt. Washburn Trail

HARD 29 reviews
#14 of 177 trails in

Dunraven Pass to Mt. Washburn Trail is a 7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until September.

DISTANCE
7.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1499 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

A wonderful climb in Yellowstone with views of neighboring mountains and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. This is a fairly easy hike up a beautiful mountain in Yellowstone with terrific views all the way to the Tetons from the historic firetower on top. Keep an eye out for mountain goats and other animals.

hiking
1 month ago

3 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

This was a memorable hike for several reasons.

First, the hike to the fire lookout at the top of Mount Washburn is long and tiring, but the views from the summit are truly spectacular! We were able to see wildfires burning both to the north and to the south. And the view of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone from the summit provides a unique perspective of just how vast that canyon is. You’ll enjoy watching the lookout tower grow from a tiny speck on the mountaintop as you work your way up the trail. (From what we could tell, the Chittenden Road route wouldn’t be nearly as scenic.) But the views from the summit are by no means the only great ones – there are outstanding views all along the way, especially at the several switchbacks. The trail is plenty wide (it’s an old road), but it’s pretty rocky in a number of spots.

Second, my wife and I encountered a black bear on our way up the trail! He came out onto the trail from the woods, gave a casual look in our direction, then headed on up the trail the other way, stopping near the next-to-last switchback. Two other groups of hikers soon joined us (13 of us in all), and we all stood there watching and taking pictures while the bear rooted around the base of several trees and some rocks looking for his breakfast – he didn’t seem to have the slightest interest in us. (Guess that means we were maintaining a respectable distance.) Since he was right on the trail and didn’t seem inclined to move along, we all opted to scramble up the steep hillside and pick up the trail on the other side of the switchback. Interestingly, at no time during this encounter did my wife or I ever feel like we might need to use the bear spray strapped to our waists. (The next morning we briefly saw a considerably larger black bear being shooed away by a park ranger at the Dunraven Pass parking lot as gawking tourists watched and took pictures.)

Finally, my wife had suffered a broken ankle hiking down the back side of Bunsen Peak last year, so her successful descent of Mount Washburn on this year’s trip was a moral victory.

Take plenty of water and energy snacks (we saw some folks enjoying a beer at the summit!), and wear sunscreen since much of the trail is in direct sunlight. Make sure your timetable includes ample time to rest at the summit and enjoy the amazing views – you wouldn’t want to make it to the top only to turn right around and head back down. And definitely be sure you’re carrying bear spray!

hiking
8 months ago

Nice day for a hike. Well graded path up. Really a rather easy hike. Very windy at top but nice that you can go in the fire tower at top. There are bathrooms at top too!? Didn't see any animals other than chipmunks and Clarks Nutcracker birds. Good day.

hiking
8 months ago

8 months ago

Great views and good workout. No wildlife though

hiking
9 months ago

9 months ago

9 months ago

This is more of a moderate/medium hike. Wide, manicured trails. Beautiful views!

hiking
9 months ago

Not sure how this is labeled as a 4-5 hour difficult trail...maybe with little kids? It took me just over an hour up and just under an hour down with 30 minutes at the top, making car to car time almost exactly 2.5 hours. The grade is so mild that I never really had to stop to catch my breath. The views over the entire park are great, and you can see all the way to the Tetons 75 miles away. Wildflowers during the first mile are really gorgeous! Crazy winds at the top, though. Parking gets really full midday and I ended up parking at the Dunraven pass pullout 1/4 mile away.

9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

Great trip for any one that want to claim they climbed a mountain. Great views at top and very manageable.

10 months ago

Awesome view after doing the Lamar valley.

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

Beautiful, windy at the top. Nice grade of hiking with a wide path. Saw a mountain goat and three marmots near the top, which was super cool.

11 months ago

simply amazing trail, challenged me, bring dry cloths to change into, I really worked a sweat.

Monday, May 16, 2016

I enjoyed the hike and the view at the top is great, but not sure the effort to reward ratio was worth it. Am going back to Yellowstone but will skip this hike whereas others we liked better we will repeat (eg, Clear Lake trail)

hiking
Saturday, October 17, 2015

The views from this trail were amazing at every turn. (Dunraven Pass) The entire trail is uphill to the weather station but the nice thing is that it's downhill the whole way back. Very wide and plenty of room. It took us about 3 1/2 hours to do and we stopped for many photos. The top is so windy, that you really don't want to go near the edge without hanging onto something. We went when it seemed it wasn't windy until we reached the peak.