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Elephant Back Mountain Trail

MODERATE 144 reviews
#26 of 229 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



horseback riding

nature trips


bird watching




wild flowers


no dogs

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

14 days ago

ok trail. Some very shifty ground at some points. Good views at the very top areas. Worth it but I won't do it again.

27 days ago

Great scenery


1 month ago

Beautiful trail. It was a great first day trail as it isnt to strenuous . We were warned there were bears spotted on the trail. Always bring bear spray.

1 month ago

Great view of the park for really not that much work. Trail is really well marked. Almost entirely covered, so no need to worry about the sun.

2 months ago

3 months ago

Mostly uphill but the view is beautiful

An pretty and easy short walk, but lots of mosquitos

4 months ago

The trail was in great shape! There had been very recent trail work done. The view from the top is great! We did not do the full loop but returned via the left fork the way we hiked up.

4 months ago

The trail was beautiful to begin with trees and the first flowers of summer. Then it got steeper and we went left at the loop and that is the way to go! You are walking along this beautiful trail then it opens up to a gorgeous view of the lake! Then you hike across the top of the mountain then down the right hand side of the loop which is steep and rocky and uneven yet amazing. Then back the way you came

4 months ago

5 months ago

Snow cover average of 12 inches over 80% of trail.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

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

Saturday, September 08, 2018

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!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

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

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

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

Monday, May 21, 2018

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.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

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!

Monday, February 26, 2018

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

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.

Friday, June 09, 2017

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

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!

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