Day Hiking in Yellowstone National Park


At the heart of Yellowstone National Park lies a volcano. This feature shapes every part of the landscape that radiates from its center to the surrounding 2 million acres. Over 1,000 miles of trail lace through this park. While some are unavailable to day hikers, much can be seen in one day. Below are 65 day hikes that I’ve identified and ranked for my Day Hikes of Yellowstone National Park Map Guide.

Riverside Geyser

The ranking is my recommendation based upon what I feel gives you the most “bang for your buck” starting with the panoramic Mt. Washburn that gives you a bird’s eye view of Yellowstone. Click each trail name to learn more about the hike. All of this information and more is included in the Day Hikes of Yellowstone National Park Map Guide. It’s the best map for day hiking in Yellowstone that cuts through the clutter of all of the options. It includes distances between junctions, color coded trail segments denoting slope steepness, and much more on one side and a guide on the back of the map. Pick one up to take with you on the trail!

Areas are as follows:

Click to Enlarge
  • BE – Bechler
  • CA – Canyon
  • GM – Gallatin Mountain
  • LP – Lamar River & Pebble Creek
  • MA – Mammoth
  • OF – Old Faithful
  • SR – Snake River
  • TO – Tower
  • YL – Yellowstone Lake

Click on table headers to sort by those columns!

Jake’s Rank Hike Name Distance Group Area
1 Mount Washburn 5-10 CA
2 South Rim Trail 5-10 CA
3 North Rim Trail 5-10 CA
4 Clear Lake – Ribbon Lake Loop 5-10 CA
5 Avalanche Peak 0-5 YL
6 Fairy Falls 5-10 OF
7 Storm Point Nature Trail 0-5 YL
8 Trout Lake 0-5 LP
9 Pebble Creek (Upper Valley) 0-5 LP
10 Yellowstone River Picnic Area 0-5 TO
11 Osprey Falls 5-10 MA
12 Beaver Ponds Loop 5-10 MA
13 Pelican Creek Nature Trail 0-5 YL
14 Specimen Ridge 0-5 TO
15 Mystic Falls 0-5 OF
16 Lone Star Geyser 0-5 OF
17 Observation Peak 5-10 CA
18 Artists Paintpots 0-5 CA
19 Bunsen Peak 0-5 MA
20 Sepulcher Mountain 10-15 MA
21 Slough Creek 0-5 TO
22 Terraced Falls 0-5 BE
23 Lost Lake Loop 0-5 TO
24 Garnet Hill Loop 5-10 TO
25 Elephant Back Mountain 0-5 YL
26 Natural Bridge 0-5 YL
27 Hellroaring Creek 0-5 TO
28 Bechler Falls 0-5 BE
29 Union Falls 15+ BE
30 Sky Rim Trail via Dailey Creek 15+ GM
31 Colonnade Falls 15+ BE
32 Dunanda Falls 15+ BE
33 Sentinel Meadows 5-10 OF
34 Observation Point 0-5 OF
35 Cascade Lake 0-5 CA
36 Grebe Lake 5-10 CA
37 Seven Mile Hole 5-10 CA
38 Tower Fall 0-5 TO
39 Mount Holmes 15+ MA
40 Black Butte Trail 10-15 GM
41 Specimen Creek 15+ GM
42 Shoshone Lake via DeLacy Creek 5-10 YL
43 Harlequin Lake 0-5 GM
44 Lava Creek 0-5 MA
45 Rescue Creek 5-10 MA
46 Pelican Valley Loop 15+ YL
47 Blacktail Deer Creek 10-15 MA
48 Purple Mountain 5-10 GM
49 Lewis River/Dogshead Loop 10-15 SR
50 Wolf Lake 5-10 CA
51 Yellowstone Lake Overlook 0-5 YL
52 Cache Lake 10-15 MA
53 Duck Lake 0-5 YL
54 The Hoodoos – Snow Pass Loop 5-10 MA
55 Ice Lake 0-5 CA
56 Trilobite Lake 15+ MA
57 Mallard Lake 5-10 OF
58 Wraith Falls 0-5 MA
59 Grizzly Lake 0-5 MA
60 Monument Geyser Basin 0-5 CA
61 Riddle Lake 0-5 YL
62 Beula Lake 5-10 SR
63 Cygnet Lakes 5-10 CA
64 Mallard Creek 5-10 OF
65 Divide 0-5 YL