Elephant Back Mountain Trail

MODERATE 73 reviews
#24 of 208 trails in

Elephant Back Mountain Trail is a 3.6 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. Horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
3.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
793 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

kid friendly

birding

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Very good hike easy to mild moderate climb. Excellent quick hike with easy access.

hiking
1 day ago

Gorgeous view but a steep grade. Definitely worth it but gets a bit narrow in some spots. Wouldn’t recommend as a solo hike.

hiking
12 days ago

To clarify, I'm a chunky chick. This hike took me a lot longer than it would for others due to my chunk lol. I hiked on 08/30, weather was dry and warm. I was hiking by myself, so had bear spray and was playing music through the hike. I recommend walking sticks for balance in some areas (or to grip tightly when scared of heights).

As mentioned, I'm a chunky chick. I wanted to challenge myself a bit on some of my hikes, so I took this one. In my opinion, it starts by climbing. And climbing. And cl... you get the idea lol

I took many "scenic breaks" on the way up (aka catching my breath). Some folks returning recommended taking the left fork onto the loop, saying it was easier. I fully agree. (more on that later).

I'm not a fan of heights (aka deathly fear), so as the trail begins to switchback, I did feel a bit uncomfortable on the trail. It was worth it at the top though. Incredible view out over the lake to the mountains beyond. There are a couple of rough benches to rest on. There was only one other person at the top when I arrived and we took photos of each other. I spent a bit of time there before heading back on to the loop.

The trail einds a bit through some woods before starting the descent. And it just keeps going down. There was a few spots where it was very rocky, and had roots shooting out. If ascending this way, parts would have been a bit of a scramble at times, so if you want to do the full loop, definitely do this side as the descent. Your knees will thank you.

My entire round trip took just over 2 hours, including stopping for lunch at the top. And if a chunky chick can do it, so can you!

29 days ago

Nice trail! View of Yellowstone Lake is really magnificent from top of this trail.

1 month ago

The view of the Lake and Tetons in the background are fenominal!

4 months ago

We went on May 20 and would not recommend hiking this trail for another month. The trail is near impossible to find at the top and falling through the snow 3-5’ deep and getting stuck and stabbed by logs is not safe. Has a beautiful view of Yellowstone lake and hotel though.

hiking
6 months ago

Very nice hike with a great view over the lake from the top. We went in mid-June and the snow was waist-deep near the top. Lots of melt made it very, very muddy so plan accordingly depending time of year. Carry bear pepper spray!

6 months ago

Great hike and took 9&11 year old. They did fine but it did get steep at times. Great view at top. Bear Spray is recommended. We did not have any encounters but they are common in this trail from what we heard.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

This was a decent challenge with beautiful views. It was worth the the trip up. It took us 2 hrs with stops.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Great hike up the mountain

hiking
Monday, July 03, 2017

Great trail to do early in the morning. It has some good elevation and spectacular views. The later in the day the more crowded the trail gets.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

LARGE bear encounter 200 yards into this hike on June 29th. One pleasant overlook of the lake.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Beautiful views on top. The incline gets to be pretty steep. Also, don't get fooled when you get to the top, around the loop on the left hand side when walking up you'll get a great view. BUT I would not consider this an "easy" hike.

hiking
Friday, June 09, 2017

Was still a bit wet when I went but absolutely amazing overlooks of lake and the mountains.

hiking
Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A 3.7 mile lollipop loop trail off the Grand Loop Road. Approx. 3/4 mile from the turn off for the Yellowstone Hotel. Parking is tight. 2 pulloffs on either side of the road. The trail is on the North side of the road (away from the lake).
The trail goes for about 1 mile, gradual incline. At the turnoffs, it doesn't matter if you go right or left. Both are equally strenuous. We went right. You start getting a view of the lake & Fishing Bridge. At the top, there's disappointment. A walk through the woods. As you walk back to the other side, the view of Yellowstone Lake opens up to you. Fabulous!
A good trail for older kids. We are middleaged, overweight flatlanders & the incline was a struggle. We took our time & took breaks. No problems.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Great views of the lake from up on the ridge. Good exercise trail but bears often present in early summer. CARRY BEAR SPRAY!

hiking
Saturday, August 20, 2016

Lovely walk through the forest. Very peaceful. Part of the walk is quite steep, but not challenging. Great views of the lake through the trees. There's a lookout point on the loop which is very pleasant. 11 and 9 year old did it no problem.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

I was a pleasant walk! Great view

hiking
Monday, July 18, 2016

Nice view at the top, but little to see on the way up. Nice flowers along the route.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Great trail for a warm up in Yellowstone to get acclimated to the altitude.

hiking
Monday, June 13, 2016

It was relatively a small incline & was easy on the knees.

hiking
Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The views from this trail are amazing. Even had the privilege of a red fox stopping to pose for us!

hiking
Wednesday, May 27, 2015

We hit this trail because Mount Washburn was closed (05/19) and were looking for something moderately strenuous. The bottom of the trail winds thru the forest floor, occasionally blocked by downed trees. Once the trail splits into the loop, the elevation gain begins. There are a few switchbacks that were sketchy due to snow still on the trail (8-10 inches in some places), but that keeps you on your toes right? Didn't see much wildlife along the trail, but had the bear spray at the ready anyways. At the top, beautiful panoramic views of Yellowstone Lake, the range to the east and the Lake Yellowstone Hotel.

hiking
Saturday, January 17, 2015

Easy, fun, nice view on top. Thick forest at places, did not see any bears but they are there for sure... Stop at the hotel by the lake for a great breakfast buffet!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Quick and easy w a beautiful view

hiking
Saturday, July 20, 2013

This is a great hike of moderate difficulty that rises about 850 feet and is about 3.6 miles in length. Bring your bear spray and make noise!

hiking
Monday, June 17, 2013

Excellent quick and easy hike with fantastic views..

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5 days ago

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