Elephant Back Mountain – 4.1mi / 6.5km
While a majority of the hike spends its time climbing up through a lodgepole forest, it ends with nice views down onto Yellowstone Lake. The trail steps immediately into an open, older forest. After some level walking, it begins to climb and alternates between steep and level.
The trail forms a 2mi/3.2km loop at the top. Taking a right at the junction. The trail traverses, then steeply switchbacks up. Trees filter the view of the Yellowstone River as it leaves Yellowstone Lake, with occasional views of the lake itself. Eventually you reach the top where it traverses and offers nice, panoramic views of the lake. This location gives you a nice vantage of the lake and the historic, yellow-painted Lake Hotel.
The trail continues on the loop, switchbacks down through the trees to the junction, and then back out to the trailhead.
Trailhead: The signed trailhead for Elephant Back is located just south of Lake Junction on Grand Loop Road, just before Lake Village.
Elevation Gain: 800ft / 240m – Elevation Loss: 800ft / 240m