Yellowstone National Park is the oldest national park in the world and still arguably its most famous. With so many incredible and bizarre sights to behold, it can be hard to know where to start, so we’ve compiled a list of our favorite hikes in Yellowstone to help you get the most out of your Yellowstone adventure.
This one will be crowded, so arrive early in the morning for the best experience. Grab a coffee, then check the schedule for the next Old Faithful eruption. Use any time you have on either side to visit the visitor center to gain a deeper understanding of how geysers work or explore the extensive boardwalk system through one most densely clustered regions of hydrothermal features in the world.
Hikers could easily spend the better half of a day exploring this section of the park. Our favorite loop trail starts at Uncle Tom’s Point. The Clear Lake trail takes you away from the canyon rim, through lunar landscapes of boiling mud pots and along the shores of Lily Pad Lake before returning you to the rim at Artists Point. From there, hike back along the rim towards Uncle Tom’s Point. Looking for more of a challenge? Take the 328 stairs down into the Canyon for a magnificent view of the lower falls. Map and trail closure information HERE.
Pro Tip: Drive around to the North Rim and hike down to the Brink of the Lower Falls. It’s a spectacular view up the canyon from the point where 60,000 gallons of water falls 308 feet every second!
Located 20 minutes north of old faithful, this short but sweet walk is not to be missed. This newly built 1.2 mile out-and-back trail brings you 100 feet above the famous Grand Prismatic. The aerial perspective offers an unparalleled on the largest hot spring in North America!
We often refer to this hike as a ‘coffee-in-hand’ hike. This leisurely 2.3 mile stroll brings you out to the shoreline of Yellowstone Lake and returns through old growth lodgepole pine trees. Be sure to check for trail conditions and bear activity announcements at the Fishing Bridge Visitor center. Those looking for more elevation gain might prefer the Elephants Back hike: Info HERE
In the farthest northwestern corner of the park lies the otherworldly Mammoth Hot Springs- a series of rainbow colored travertine terraces. At nearly two miles of constructed boardwalk it’s fun to get lost weaving your way through the different terrace formations. If Mammoth makes it onto your itinerary, be sure to head up for a soak in the boiling river.
The most famous hikes in Yellowstone are typically short and not terribly strenuous. If you are looking for something more physically challenging or any other kind of personalized experience, contact our itineraries department to book a fully customized trip. To explore more around the west, check out our location-specific recommendations and guides on our destinations page