The majority of Yellowstone’s amazing scenery can be best experienced via the extensive hiking trails that criss-cross the park. Some of our favorites are listed below!
Old Faithful Boardwalk- If possible, arrive here early in the morning for the best experience as it tends to be crowded in the middle of the day. Grab a coffee and check the next Old Faithful eruption time at The Old Faithful Inn. This will help guide your timing so you don’t miss the eruption. Use any time you have on either side to visit the very worthwhile 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.
The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone– 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. Those who are feeling extra cardiovascular can opt to 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!
Fairy Falls 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!
Indian Creek– We often refer to this hike as a ‘coffee-in-hand’ hike. It’s a leisurely 2.3 mile stroll which brings you out to the shoreline of the Yellowstone Lake and returns through old growth lodgepole pine trees. Often closed in early summer due to bear activity, it’s worth stopping at the Fishing Bridge Visitor center to check on trail conditions. Those looking for more elevation gain might prefer the Elephants Back hike: Info HERE
Mammoth Terraces 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.