Yellowstone is one national park that draws in hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. However, it is also one park that has hundreds of miles of hiking trails to enjoy as well. The issue that arises for a lot of people is they are not sure which one of the trails they should venture onto and if these trails are meant for them or not. Now, as a side note we are going to cover the different level of trails, but at the same time you need to realize that some of these trails are overnight hikes. So be prepared for the potential to hit up a trail that could require overnight hiking.
Top 3 Easy Rated Trails In Yellowstone
Lone Star Geyser Trail
The Lone Star Geyser Trail is one that takes you along some of the most beautiful spots you can find in Yellowstone. Now, the trail is going to take you some time to hike along as it is 5.3 miles long. However, it will definitely be a trail that takes you along all of the different places you can go along without being out of touch with your trail back home as this is an out and back trail. The other thing that is important it is the number of hot springs you can find along the trail.
Upper Geyser Basin and Old Faithful Observation
The Upper Geyser Basin trail is going to take you along some great points to check out and see the beautiful geysers that you can check out. Now, the trail is fairly heavy on the traffic and it can be crowded at times when you are hiking. At the same time, the Old Faithful Observation points are one that you need to take the time to walk up to and check out. This point allows you to observe Old Faithful going off and be out of the way of most of the crowds. It does take you time to go up the hill to the observation point. If you are looking for nature, though, you are going to find that the main pieces of nature you will see is the birds.
Grand Prismatic Hot Spring
I am sure you have probably seen the iconic boardwalks that are meandering through the hot springs in Yellowstone. If that is the case, then you are going to love the fact that the trail and the boardwalks do have a name. That name is the Grand Prismatic Hot Spring trail. Now, it is very important to note that the trail is not one that you can expect to see any nature on as the hot springs tend to keep the nature away. At the same time if you are planning on using the trail with kids you need to be careful as some of the board walk areas do not have any railing in place.
Top 3 Moderate Rated Trails In Yellowstone
Yellowstone Natural Bridge Trail
The Yellowstone Natural Bridge Trail definitely takes you a long way around to see a lot of features that you normally would not be able to see while hiking. Now, one thing that you are going to find is the trail does have a lot of activity on it when it comes to nature. With that being the case the trail can be closed at times due to activity from nature, like bears. At the same time, though, the trail does have a river that you are going to have to contend with.
Fairy Falls Lollipop Trail
Fairy Falls is a great trail that you can really enjoy for a variety of reasons. The trail is one that will take you to a variety of places and provides you plenty to do and see. Now, the trail is going to allow you to do quite a bit of walking, but at the same point the trail has plenty of natural beauty for you to enjoy. This can vary from the beautiful birds that you can see, but also the majestic buffalo that are seen roaming the plains. Then when you reach the falls you are rewarded with a majestic waterfall that towers above you like you never imagined.
Heart Lake Trail
The chance to take in the lake is definitely a plus when you are hiking along this trail. However, the trail does have quite a bit of nature for you to take in as well. Now, the downside you can find with the trail is it does have nature issues that can cause the trail to be closed at times. Not to mention the trail is a little bit over 14 miles long which can be a longer walk for some people. What else is interesting is the thermal areas that you can check out. Now, it is important to make sure you are careful when you go hiking to avoid damaging the ecosystems and most importantly to avoid getting burned.
Top 3 Hard Rated Trails In Yellowstone
Hayden Valley Trail
The Hayden Valley Trail is one that is rated as a hard trail and is often seen as a point to point trail. The trail runs a total of 13.6 miles, but it also is a trail that will take you along a beautiful lake. Now, if you are able to bring your fishing pole as the lake has some great fishing that you are sure to enjoy. If you are not so much on fishing the trail is great for views of the lake, but also the chance to see other parts of nature.
Mount Sheridan Trail
If you are looking for a thrilling hike, then you may want to consider taking a hike on the Mount Sheridan trail. The trail is one that should be used only by experienced hikers and those that want to have quite a bit of adventure. I do have to say this is one trail that provides you quite a bit of adventure and plenty of hiking as you are going to go almost the distance of a marathon. The good news and a potential bright spot if you are not winded by the over 4,000 foot elevation change is you get to see the fire lookout at the end of the trail.
The Thorofare and South Boundary Trail In Yellowstone
This trail is one that is point to point as well. Now, the one thing that you do have to do is make sure you know about the fact that the trail will take you a while to go down and you may end up having to get an overnight permit. The entire trail is going to take you 68 miles almost for the total. Now, the trail is definitely worth the hike for the views, but also the great wildflowers that you can see while you are on the trail hiking.
Hiking around the Yellowstone area is definitely one of the best ways to enjoy the region and the park itself. However, for a lot of people they never get out of the car other than to check out Old Faithful. Don’t get me wrong Old Faithful is great to see, but it is also a place that has a ton of trails that provide you with so much more enrichment than what you get from just going and looking at Old Faithful. If you are looking for more trails in national parks, you may find our Grand Canyon hiking trails article interesting.