Yellowstone National Park features many natural wonders, including the Old Faithful Geyser, Tower Autumn, and the Grand Prismatic Spring, making it one of the best places for a hiking trip. The park is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers, thanks to its varied landscape and an endless array of outdoor activities.

    Many of the trails in the park provide excellent vantage points of the park’s best features, not to mention the abundance of wildlife. Take a look at these best hiking trails in Yellowstone National Park to plan your itinerary for a walk through some of most beautiful landscapes in Wyoming.

    1

    Trout Lake Trail

    Find serene water and wildlife on this short trail

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    The Trout Lake trail is a relatively short trail that begins and ends at the same trailhead. Located in the northeast portion of Yellowstone National Park, the trail is available to hike in all seasons.

    The trail travels from the trailhead south of Pebble Creek Campground at the Northeast Entrance Road and up through a Douglas fir forest to Trout Lake before looping back. Along with enjoying time on the water at Trout Lake, on the hike you can also enjoy spotting wildlife along the route.

    Location: US 212, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190, USA

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    2

    Mystic Falls

    Find stunning waterfalls along this hike

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    Mystic Falls is a beautiful trail along a creek that travels through a mixed coniferous forest that leads you to the majestic waterfalls of the same name. The trail is 2.4 miles long and begins and ends at the same trailhead in Upper Geyser Basin.

    The entrance is near the Biscuit Basin boardwalk, or you could enter by walking to the trailhead along the Upper Geyser Basin-Biscuit Basin Trail. Though the trail is appropriate for different skill levels, it’s important to stay on the maintained trails and boardwalks to avoid hydrothermal areas.

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    3

    Tower Autumn Overlook

    Find stunning views after a half-hour hike

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    Tower Autumn is a magnificent 132-foot waterfall that empties into Tower Creek near the convergence with the Yellowstone River. The beautiful falls are a popular destination for hikers and can be seen from a roadside overlook that’s found at the end of a 1-mile return hike.

    The hike only takes about a half-hour and leads you to the viewing platform for spectacular views of the falls and the towering volcanic spires that surround the creek. After stopping at the overlook, you can continue on the trail to admire the scenic views of the Yellowstone River.

    Location: Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190, USA

    Phone: +1 307-344-7381

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    4

    Uncle Tom's Trail

    See the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

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    Uncle Tom’s Trail is one of the best hiking trails in Yellowstone National Park especially if you want to see the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The trail travels from the top of the canyon to the base of the Lower Falls, a 308-ft waterfall.

    To get down to the falls, you need to descend 328 steel and granite steps, but there are benches and platforms to rest along the way. Remember that you must go back up the stairs as well, so this trail may be challenging for some people.

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    5

    Beaver Ponds Loop

    A trail that offers moderate difficulty and charming wildlife

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    The Beaver Ponds Loop Trail is a busy trail that spans 6 miles in Yellowstone National Park. Rated as moderately difficult, the trailheads are found at Hymen Spring and the Justice Centre and loop around the side of the mountain.

    The trail has gentle hills, but nothing especially steep, so it’s appropriate for all levels of adventure. One of the best parts of travelling on the Beaver Ponds Loop Trail is seeing all the wildlife, such as the beavers that create dams at the Beaver Ponds that it’s named after.

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    photo by Yellowstone National Park (CC0 1.0) modified

    6

    Lone Star Geyser

    Plan your hike to see a geyser erupt

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    The Lone Star Geyser is amongst the top attractions in Yellowstone National Park, and the Lone Star Geyser Trail is the best way to see the natural wonder up close. The partially paved trail spans 4.8 miles, and it begins and ends at the same trailhead south of Old Faithful Overpass.

    The trail takes 2 to 3 hours to hike, and the geyser erupts approximately every 3 hours, so you can plan your hike to get the best chance of seeing an eruption.

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    7

    South Rim of the Canyon

    Find vantage points for the canyon along this trail

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    Take on the South Rim Trail for the best views of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. The South Rim Trail begins at Chittenden Bridge and travels along the river, passing both the Upper Falls and Lower Falls, to Artist Point.

    Along the trail, you’ll find viewing platforms to see different falls or excellent vantage points of the canyon. The hike is 1.8 miles, moderate, and free from the hazardous drop-offs of the North Rim Trail of the canyon.

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    8

    Bunsen Peak Trail

    Enjoy the sights and wildlife along this trail

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    The Bunsen Peak Trail is a beautiful 4.6-mile trail that begins and ends at the same trailhead, travelling through forests and meadows to the summit of Bunsen Peak. The trailhead is found south of Mammoth on the Grand Loop Road.

    From the summit, you can see panoramic views of Swan Lake Flat, Gallatin Mountain Range, Blacktail Deer Plateau, and the Yellowstone River Valley. A lot of wildlife can be spotted on the trail as well, especially grizzly bears, so it’s important to stay aware.

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    9

    Storm Point Loop Trail

    Hike this trail to find beaches by the lake

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    The Storm Point Loop Trail is a short trail in the woods that offers spectacular views of Yellowstone Lake and access to the lake beaches, and it's also popular for spotting wildlife such as bison, marmots, bald eagles, and river otters.

    The trail is only 2.3 miles long and has few hills or obstacles, so it’s ideal for hikers of all skill levels. The hike takes at least a half-hour, but it could last longer if you spend a lot of time watching the wildlife in the area.

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    10

    Elephant Back Mountain Trail

    Enjoy a scenic loop on this convenient trail

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    The Elephant Back Mountain Trail is a 3.5-mile lollipop loop that travels through lodgepole pine forest. At the 0.8-mile mark, the trail enters a loop and re-joins at the overlook. When you reach the overlook, you can stop to take in the views of Yellowstone Lake from a high vantage point.

    The trail begins and ends at the same spot and takes 2 or 3 hours to complete. Plenty of wildlife can be seen on trails, especially bears, so it’s important to be alert during the hike.

    Location: US 20, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190, USA

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