Explore the most popular lake 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.

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.

Nice walk. Beautiful views.

This is a great hike. It’s not super strenuous and is full of beautiful scenery and lots of wildlife ( we saw deer, elk, and lots of chipmunks). It takes you right out of the crowds at the north entrance.

hiking
4 days ago

Tough hike. But worth the pain.

fishing
4 days 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

beautiful. I wouldn't necessarily call it "easy", but nice nonetheless.

It is worth the pain.

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

a short boardwalk stroll to very beautiful thermal pools
get there before it warms up to see the steam wafting through the air

hiking
9 days ago

You share part of the trail with horses so there can be a lot of poop on the trail. We started at the petrified tree and went around lake where we encountered a heavy steam of hikers headed to the tree. The climb down to the lodge was very nice switch backs, shaded with lots of pines. More hikers coming up exhausted from climb up from lodge. We really did not like coming out of the trail into a resort with people everywhere eating their breakfast and shopping the general store. That was very odd and not our idea of hiking. The loop pretty much disappears here and we forged our own way back into the woods and found the trail again. It was grown over poorly marked and we navigated thru high weeds before the trail went straight up the mountain. We thought we were on the wrong trail until we saw one other group doing the loop in the opposite direction. Very poorly maintained trail.
The views are amazing but this is a hard vertical climb with a lot of direct sun exposure, make sure your hydrated and fit for a hard climb.
Overall the views of the valley and surrounding mountains were very nice.

hiking
9 days ago

after a summer of hiking and exploring yellowstone and the grand tetons electric peak was my favorite most physically exerting journey of mine. Very sketchy adrenaline inducing scramble during the last mile or so lots of loose rock be aware of triggering a small avalanche behind you if your hiking in a group.

When I went there it's raining and too much fog. I think it will be better in a sunny day. Besides, I didn't see the fish cone. I think it is related to the water level in the lake.

Our favorite Yellowstone hike. Meadow, lake, beach, and forest. Kids traversed down to the beach and enjoyed time by the lake. Saw a yellow belly marmot and a coyote on the hike. The bridge is still out but you can go 20 feet down the creek and early cross to complete the loop.

A great hike. Nice off the beaten path Yellowstone activity. Climbed/hiked with my three daughters, ages 13, 17 and 17. It’s definitely steep in places going up (tougher grade while you’re still in the trees) but consistent walking should get you up in 2-2.5ish hours. Once you’re up, the views are amazing. Good stereotypical Rockies peak hike of woods, basin, talus/scree and summit zones. We live in NC and did this as an acclimatizing hike prior to 4 days of backpacking on the Teton Crest Trail. Worked perfectly for what we needed and my kids enjoyed it a ton. Hiked in mid-July and only crossed one easily-traversed snow field.

hiking
15 days ago

Awesome hike. Not too difficult or steep, even at the height of the mountain. It is a long hike for sure, but the 360° view at the top makes it completely worth it. Would do it again and highly recommend.

hiking
18 days ago

Great hike, with hardly anyone there. Took a trail that shoots off the back en of the lake that lead to another smaller lake. Saw fresh signs fo bear activity and heard very loud and distinct warning growls as we neared the smaller pond.

We did this hike with 30 high schoolers at the end of July. It was definitely a trying hike, and the incline was tough, but the views at the top can't be beat. The wildflowers were incredible as well.

A pleasant, easy hike along a lakeshore, through a wooded area, and a meadow. Lovely wildflowers along the way, and excellent views of the lake.

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.

19 days ago

Sneaky hike - given the distance and elevation gain I was a little skeptical about the “hard” rating, but it lived up to it. One of those hikes which is relentless. Very nice one though, only issue early August 2018 was the smoke coming in from out of State wildfires which made for hazy visibility at distance.

La montée peut être quelque peu demandante, mais wow pour le spectacle visuel!!!!

hiking
21 days 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
21 days ago

If you do one trail in Yellowstone, this should be it. It's easy enough for children and rewarding enough for adults. The bridge was out at the end, but there was a clear way to get around it and up the hill to the part of the trail that looped back to the rest.

hiking
22 days ago

Beautiful drive through Lamar Valley. Limited Parking. Trails begins on a steep climb. Wildflowers were abundant and views amazing. Once cresting the hill, the lake appears with the reflections of the mountains. We walked clockwise around the lake. We admired the easily visible trout as they swam. At about 3:00 on a circle is the inlet that flows into the lake. A wooden bridge and water flowing was great. Many animal trails that has the potential to be seen. a great hike for all ages

Nice little walk close to the lake and around the geyers. Very crowded, though (I was there when it rained heavily, and there were still so many people).

I was reading post and reminiscing. I did this hike about 15 years ago with my some who was 15 at the time. I didn't think is was too difficult of a hike, although pretty steep in some areas. I remember it being very windy on top and the views were amazing. If you are in Yellowstone make the time to do this hike. You will remember it forever.

hiking
24 days ago

The trailhead is immediately behind Roosevelt Lodge. If you go that way, it will be a steep climb near the lake. We parked at the other (higher) end of the trail and hiked downhill one-way to the Lodge. This is only possible with a second vehicle, but it made the trail pretty easy! Carry bear spray, as we saw 8 black bears in the area in just a couple of days! 3.5/5

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.

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