Uncle Tom's Trail

MODERATE 76 reviews
#4 of 194 trails in

Uncle Tom's Trail is a 0.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from May until October.

DISTANCE
0.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
442 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Uncle Tom's trail is a quick but strenuous hike that ends near the base of Lower Falls in Yellowstone National Park. The following information was taken from the Canyon Area Trail Guide, which is available at several trailheads in the Canyon Area. For an unparalleled canyon and waterfall experience, take a deep breath and descent this trail. A series of paved inclines and more than 300 steps lead you about 500 feet down into the canyon. Your destination is a platform from which you can see, hear, and feel the power of the Lower Falls.

6 days ago

Worth all the stairs!

7 days ago

the trail was closed today

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing views. Unique with lots of flights of stairs that border the falls. Many people took breaks along the way, but if you want a good challenge, hustle to the bottom, enjoy those beautiful falls, and hustle back up for a great workout.

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

This trail is short, but a LOT of stairs. It doesn't seem like it going down, but going up you can certainly feel it. The view is pretty, but I think there are some better shots from up top.

2 months ago

2 months ago

2 months ago

2 months ago

Beautiful view of the lower falls

hiking
2 months ago

Short but beautiful hike. The stairs are metal and spiked (great for snow melt and traction, not great if you fall on them) Not difficult to navigate but are pretty steep. If you are reasonably fit and willing to take your time, you will be okay. You end at a nice platform near the lower part of the falls. It's a unique view and fun to photograph from. Take your bear spray. We saw bear scat on the trail. Note: You can also access this trail from Artist's Point.

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

4 months ago

6 months ago

Short and Steep, but beautiful nonetheless. Great view from inside the canyon

hiking
6 months ago

The stairs weren't as big of a problem as I thought. If you're fit & take your time, you can do it.
The view of the waterfall is nice & we went early enough that we got to see the rainbow with the falls.
The viewing platform is small for the amount of people who use this trail. Go early!

9 months ago

Step is hard but not long. You can finish it in 15min round trip. Actual this trail is not worth to spend time cause no beautiful scenery. I prefer red rock trail more.

hiking
10 months ago

Uncle Tom’s Trail is a truly unique experience: Descending more than 300 stairs isn’t particularly easy on the knees, the views of the Lower Falls from the observation area at the base of the stairs are most impressive, and the climb back UP those 300+ stairs will make your calves burn.

To reach the beginning of this trail, take the South Rim Trail from the Uncle Tom’s parking lot after enjoying nice views of the Upper Falls from a couple of viewing spots just off the parking lot.

This trail begins with a series of switchbacks before you reach the well-known stairs. Although the stairs are generally stable, several individual steps along the way are rather uneven (sagging), so you’ll want to pay attention where you’re stepping.

Plan to take plenty of breaks – not only on the way back up, but also on the way down. Your leg muscles will thank you afterward.

A word of advice: When entering the parking lot, don’t go in the rightmost aisle – you’ll quickly realize you’re going the wrong way because the parking spaces are angled in the other direction. (Some sort of “DO NOT ENTER” sign in the parking lot would be helpful.)

Be sure to take the short (and LEVEL!) spur trail near the top that leads to an absolutely gorgeous view of the canyon. I commented to my wife that it was “the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”

Had we done Uncle Tom’s Trail as part of our South Rim hike, we probably wouldn’t have had the energy to continue beyond Artist Point to Point Sublime – and we’d have missed that enjoyable segment of the South Rim Trail.

11 months ago