Explore the most popular camping 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.

Easy easy a fun quick hike

Great 5-6 day hike! definately cross creeks and a marsh so water shoes. I kept my keens on for miles rather than keep switching. the camp sites are great. You can also take Trail Creek to the Thorofare and to Mountain Creek if late July and you can wade across the upper-ford of the Yellowstone River or a sweet camp site before crossing. Met a healthy grizzly just before Thorofare on the trail. He exited and went around 40 yards out. Can also catch a trail down to the South Boundary Trail. I did it in early October and snow one night.

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.

Trail closed for bear activity. 9/26/18

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
2 months 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
2 months 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.

hiking
2 months ago

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.

hiking
3 months ago

I hiked this trail on 08/30. Weather was warm and dry.

This trail is mostly a rough-paved road that leads into the Natural Bridge area. Would be a good bike ride. There is no major elevatin gains, until the bridge itself. You can climb up to the base, and even up in behind. There is a little info post at the bottom of that section of trail with info about natural arches, and a little history on this natural bridge.

It was a nice walk, good stretch for my legs before my next hike. I spent some time with an incredibly fat marmot before heading back to my car.

We did this hike three days ago. Started pretty early and had it mostly to ourselves. Very easy practically flat with changing scenery throughout. Forest to open meadows and then of course the lake area. Huge bull bison hanging out right off the trail about a half mile in. The area around the lake is lovely and quiet. Lots of lily pads so seems like a good place for moose although we didn’t see any. We’d do this hike again just for the scenery.

hiking
3 months 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!

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

Take your fly rod. Lots of small Cutts and Arctic Grayling. See if you fish better than the Ospreys flying overhead.

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
3 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

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.

The part of the trail that goes by Uncle Tom’s trail is closed right now. So parking is tricky and you’ll have to either turn and go back instead of looping or walk down the road instead.

Trail is nicely maintained. There is not a lot to see- rather uneventful. Mosquito’s bad at end of lake.

hiking
4 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!!!!

Beautiful and well maintained trail. We turned around so we did not have to walk on the highway otherwise it was nice and easy trail.

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.

Just finished the Thorofare in Yellowstone! 6 days 5 nights, roughly 70 some miles. This is a tough trail and will test your limits. Bears are out and about and we did run into a Grizzly, but he really didn’t seem to care too much about us, we used an air horn to scare him off! Beautiful untouched country, but to be quite frank, we saw more animals during the drive though than on the hike!! Bug spray is a must, atleast 3 containers/ person, the higher the deet the better

hiking
4 months ago

Fording Rivers Unique

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