Duck Lake in Yellowstone National Park is a short hike near the West Thumb of Yellowstone Lake that takes you to a nice lake with broad, sandy beaches.
With a little more time left in the day, I snuck out to Duck Lake out of the West Thumb Geyser Basin parking lot. The trail crosses the busy road, then walks up a ridge through a hall of lodgepole pines. I only ran into two other folks while hiking this trail as it was in the evening. The I crossed through the swath cut for power lines that, while a reminder that I’m not out in the middle of the wilderness, it did open up a few views.
Just beyond that I got my first glimpse of the lake from the trail (the trail is visible on the other end from an overlook on the road.) It drops down through some more young trees eventually popping you out on the lake’s shore.
The shore of Duck Lake is really nice as it’s a broad, sandy shore. Various logs on the shoreline were piled up into makeshift teepees and such. During the day, the place is probably buzzing with people, but it’s a nice hike in the evening while others are grabbing dinner.