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.