Explore the most popular backpacking trails near Yellowstone National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

One of my all time favorite hikes! Make sure to plan accordingly for river crossings, you’ll want to be able to take of long layers/have shorts for wading. Water shoes are a must! Scout hole provides a perfect resting place before venturing back out.

hiking
20 days ago

Have done this like multiple times including hiking through from the trail head on the E. Entrance Rd. to the pelican Valley Trail head, out and back from the trail head on the E. Entrance Rd. and like today out and back from Pelican Valley Trail head. This is the best shape the trail has been in many years except for some rough spots likely as result of bison using the trail when it is muddy. Normally you cannot do this hike without seeing a lot of bison at least. Today we saw elk including two large bowl elk with large racks and also a black wolf across turbid lake.

Trail closed for bear activity. 9/26/18

Great trail with great views the whole way! Was surprised by a grizzly on the trail about 15 yrds from us as we turned a corner about halfway from the inspiration point trailhead. Ended up driving to inspirational point.

fantastic wild country, while we did not see too many large mammals we did have 2 bison encounters and see some very large, very fresh grizzly bear and wolf tracks. I will go again.

hiking
29 days ago

Starts with a pleasant walk through a forest by the canyon, with a couple of nice lookout points. The trail really starts to shine 2-3 miles in once you start your descent into the canyon. Great views, lots of waterfalls and hot springs. You eventually make your way down to the river itself, before a tough hike back up to where you came from. We had a close encounter with a black bear on the way back quite close to the trailhead, so be prepared!

backpacking
1 month ago

I did this route in reverse as a 3 night, 4 day backpack. Parked at Mist Creek trailhead and then hitchhiked to the Lamar Valley. This was an easy enough backpack to do in reverse, even though it is an elevation gain the whole way. Due to late start, first day was 5.6 miles, relatively flat. Campsite 3L4 was lovely. The second day out was the most difficult day, with a lot of steep up and downs that neither the map or Schneider book shows. The view along the Lamar River is beautiful. Stayed in campsite 3U3, which was not that nice. No view and hidden in the trees. Day 3 looked like a lot of climbing, but frankly, it wasn’t that bad. Slope was gentle most of the way, and the last couple of miles to the most wonderful campsite 3T3 were flat. The map shows mileage from 3T3 to be only 9.7 miles, but my GPS read 11.4 miles. That is what it felt like too. The hike up the pass was not too bad, about 1 1/2 miles up. I saw a bear, and it saw me too, so ran off. Mist Creek Valley is long and hot, but very beautiful. I think doing this hike in reverse was good, the uphill not so bad. Plus that 11.4 miles to campsite 3T3 with a heavy pack would be long. As a previous poster mentioned, there are some muddy spots along the trail created by horse traffic, but were for the most part easy to navigate. All in all, this was an extremely beautiful,lovely hike. The burned areas add to the beauty, rather than detract from it. Colors are very vivid.

Is quite crowded for most of it but the views are excellent.

Trail is not maintained in places. Started from the Canyon side. The first few miles the trail is wet and marshy. Several springs to jump over. The trail is not always well defined for first 5 miles. During the first 3 do the best you can and look for orange trail markers. The bison trails merge and go off from the trail making it difficult to figure out which is which. Once you hit trees markers are on the trees. There isn't always an actual trail between markers so be on the lookout for them. The trail is better defined and marked once you really get into trees. I went to the lake and back and mileage was just over 21. Lots of bison on and near trail. Bears frequent this area

The walk had some varying terrain. You start along the canyon then undulate through forest. The descent begins with a geyser then others as the descent drops more dramatically. Nice views along the trek. Walking sticks are handy down and up. Have lunch along the river upwind from the sulphur smelling geysers. The trek back I did huff and puff, still trying to get acclimated. Wildlife spotted was limited to chipmunks and squirrels. Only saw a dozen other hikers.
Highly recommend.

Not a hard walk. Elevation incline is not huge. We walked counter clockwise which is best I think. Only wildlife spotted was 1 x Llama and chipmunks and squirrels with occasional birds. But beautiful scenery up to Shoshone Lake. Highly recommend.

Great hike. The views were amazing. Started at Lower Falls, hiked to Inspiration Point and then back to Grand View and Overlook.

Can’t wait to go back! When I was there, my husband and I hiked a portion of it with our 6th month old which was interesting. It was steep and chilly so we ended up turning around but the views were INSANE! Super pretty place, I don’t think Americans realize how lucky they are to have a country so beautiful as ours! The GC at YST is amazing and everyone should see it! Next time I intend to take my older kids there to hike the entire park!

hiking
1 month ago

This hike seemed like it was forever. We were expecting to see some bison, elk, and maybe a moose, but we didn't see much, but poop. You cross 4 streams, but the first two are dry right now. The third, you can jump over pretty easily, but the 4th you are going to have to take off your shoes. It goes about ankle deep and calf deep in some areas, but its an easy crossing. There's no trail to get you right up to the lake, but you can get to it fairly easily if you walk through the trees. There was a couple camping at the lake when we went and they saw a moose swim the whole lake earlier in the day. We started at 3pm and got back around 7:30. We went pretty slow, but its fairy easy and flat. Disappointed that we didn't see anything, but there is definitely tons of elk and deer around.

I’ve done the hike 7 times and it’s been worth it every time. Swimming in ouza pools is a party too!

It’s actually 24 miles even from the heart lake trail head! Awesome hike, YNP got its first snow and I would say there’s probably only a couple days left to do this hike! Otherwise it’s icy and limited footing the last mile to the fire Lookout!

Amazing!! Would do it again in a heartbeat. Did it in the morning in July, still pretty chilly with some snow near the top. The views along the way and at the top are incredible, but extremely windy at the top. Still a great hike

Lightly traveled. Be sure to wear sandals that can go into water as there are two creek crossings to make as you go in. you cut through wood that open up to gorgeous meadows. The further in, the smaller, greener and more charming the meadows. We stopped for water break. My wife first heard it...then I heard the low and very deep growling coming from a short distance away. We did not wait to see what it was but kept trekking in. CARRY BEAR SPRAY. We kicked up a lot of noise and startled elk in the woods at the furthest point.

Highly recommend this trail because it was the trail less traveled and impressed us greatly.

This beautiful trail is approximately 29.5 miles long. I backpacked this trail over 6 days in a group that included several kids between the ages of 12-14. The difficulty was perfect as it challenged them but did not kill them. We stayed two nights at one of the campsites.

The trail offers dense pine forests, rocky beaches, massive meadows, wildflowers, vistas, geothermal features, swamps, and many rivers and streams. The trail has many ups and downs as far as altitude goes, it was much less flat than I expected. There are about a dozen different campsites (reservations required) along the trail. Each site offers an uncovered pit toilet with a spectacular view so you can enjoy the scenery and take care of business at the same time.

We were informed that there are bears in the area. We did see a lot of bear sign, but never did see any bears or any large game of any kind. I was surprised at how many wild berries we found growing near the trail including wild blueberries, wild raspberries, and whortleberries. There is one section of trail, approximately a quarter of a mile long to the east of the geyser basin, where the trail passes through a knee-deep muddy swamp. We attempted to pass through in flip-flops, but the mud sucked them off and caused the straps to tear. We found it easier to pass through barefoot.

We did the hike in mid-August and went counter-clockwise. The mosquitoes were terrible in some areas and almost non-existent in others. Mosquito repellent is highly recommended.

Apart from the thunder, lightening, rain and hail, this is one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve been on in a long time! The last part of the hike was rainy so the trail was flooded but the views made it worth it! Got eaten alive by mosquitos so definitely would suggest bug spray! We clocked it at 11.2 miles.

fishing
2 months ago

Nice hike very open bring sunscreen lake was gorgeous tan into maybe 3 hikers very peaceful and nice trail. Small rainbow trout were biting like crazy favourite part of our trip

My friends and I did this hike last Sunday (8/12) and were somewhat disappointed with the closures on the trail. Also, the entirety of this hike runs alongside North Rim Drive, which really takes away from the majesty of hiking in the wilderness.

We started this trek around 3 pm and arrived back at our car around 5 pm. Instead of starting at the Upper Falls, like the trail map suggests, we actually began at the Brink of the Lower Falls Trail. This ended up being the highlight of our day, as the views looking back into The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone were absolutely breathtaking!

After making the trek back up to the road, we continued onward to Lookout Point and Grand View. We would have liked to reach Inspiration Point but were met with a closure sign upon arriving at the trailhead, which really put a damper on the day.

We did end up driving along the South Rim Drive to Artist Point, which was a pleasant consolation, even though Inspiration Point provided a higher vantage point and an entire view of the canyon, which we missed out on.

If you’re looking to escape the masses on the road, this is not the trail for you.

Great trail. Challenging for the best and can be done by the beginner. Best views that cant be seen by day hikers.

We read that there was an above average chance seeing wildlife on this trail. We didn’t see much of note. There probably is a good chance of seeing buffalo, but it wasn’t or day. We only did the first 4.5 miles from the trailhead to camp site WA1. Campanula Creek was pretty as was the final Gneiss Creek, but the second half of the trail is pretty mediocre. Probably won’t do it again.

hiking
2 months ago

Épuisante par son retour en ascension, mais vaut vraiment la peine pour le magnifique lac et sa vue sur les montagnes! Idéal pour une petite baignade dans le lac en été!!!!

hiking
2 months ago

Nothing terribly remarkable about this hike. The geyser at the top is really neat (goes off about every three hours), but overall we found it a bit underwhelming.

Relatively easy summer hike with some gorgeous river/lake views. Not busy at all, we only ran into two other hikers. A big thank you to Nikhil's review, without which we wouldn't have brought the bug spray. Mosquitos were brutal.

partially shaded trail through tall pines as you make your way up the mountain. not much visibility til you get towards the top, but the peak is pretty. the long switchback made the grade more manageable. not sure I would put this on my list again. There's several other hikes in yellowstone with more to see.

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