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 RankHike NameDistance GroupArea
1Mount Washburn5-10CA
2South Rim Trail5-10CA
3North Rim Trail5-10CA
4Clear Lake – Ribbon Lake Loop5-10CA
5Avalanche Peak0-5YL
6Fairy Falls5-10OF
7Storm Point Nature Trail0-5YL
8Trout Lake0-5LP
9Pebble Creek (Upper Valley)0-5LP
10Yellowstone River Picnic Area0-5TO
11Osprey Falls5-10MA
12Beaver Ponds Loop5-10MA
13Pelican Creek Nature Trail0-5YL
14Specimen Ridge0-5TO
15Mystic Falls0-5OF
16Lone Star Geyser0-5OF
17Observation Peak5-10CA
18Artists Paintpots0-5CA
19Bunsen Peak0-5MA
20Sepulcher Mountain10-15MA
21Slough Creek0-5TO
22Terraced Falls0-5BE
23Lost Lake Loop0-5TO
24Garnet Hill Loop5-10TO
25Elephant Back Mountain0-5YL
26Natural Bridge0-5YL
27Hellroaring Creek0-5TO
28Bechler Falls0-5BE
29Union Falls15+BE
30Sky Rim Trail via Dailey Creek15+GM
31Colonnade Falls15+BE
32Dunanda Falls15+BE
33Sentinel Meadows5-10OF
34Observation Point0-5OF
35Cascade Lake0-5CA
36Grebe Lake5-10CA
37Seven Mile Hole5-10CA
38Tower Fall0-5TO
39Mount Holmes15+MA
40Black Butte Trail10-15GM
41Specimen Creek15+GM
42Shoshone Lake via DeLacy Creek5-10YL
43Harlequin Lake0-5GM
44Lava Creek0-5MA
45Rescue Creek5-10MA
46Pelican Valley Loop15+YL
47Blacktail Deer Creek10-15MA
48Purple Mountain5-10GM
49Lewis River/Dogshead Loop10-15SR
50Wolf Lake5-10CA
51Yellowstone Lake Overlook0-5YL
52Cache Lake10-15MA
53Duck Lake0-5YL
54The Hoodoos – Snow Pass Loop5-10MA
55Ice Lake0-5CA
56Trilobite Lake15+MA
57Mallard Lake5-10OF
58Wraith Falls0-5MA
59Grizzly Lake0-5MA
60Monument Geyser Basin0-5CA
61Riddle Lake0-5YL
62Beula Lake5-10SR
63Cygnet Lakes5-10CA
64Mallard Creek5-10OF