• An aerial view of Old Faithful erupting taken from Observation Point with the Old Faithful Inn to the side.


    National Park ID,MT,WY

Day Hikes Near Mammoth

Begin your hike by stopping at a ranger station or visitor center for information. Trail conditions may change suddenly and unexpectedly. Bear activity, rain or snow storms, high water, and fires may temporarily close trails.

Beaver Ponds Loop Trail

The trail follows the creek up Clematis Gulch, climbing 350 feet through Douglas-fir trees. The beaver ponds are reached after hiking 2.5 miles through open meadows of sagebrush and stands of aspen. Elk, mule deer, pronghorn, moose, beaver dams and lodges, and the occasional beaver and black bear may be sighted in the area. There are spectacular views as you wind your way back to Mammoth.

Trailhead: Clematis Gulch between Liberty Cap and the stone house (Judge's house)

Distance: 5 mile (8 km) loop

Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Bunsen Peak Trail

This gradual 1,300 foot climb to the summit of Bunsen Peak provides a panoramic view of the Blacktail Plateau, Swan Lake Flats, Gallatin Mountain Range, and the Yellowstone River Valley. Return by the same route or take the trail down the back side to Osprey Falls trailhead (about 2 miles) and return via the Old Bunsen Peak Road Trail. Or visit Osprey Falls (an additional 2.8 miles, see below). Please plan for the additional mileage.

Trailhead: Entrance of the Old Bunsen Peak Road, five miles south of Mammoth toward Norris

Distance: 10 miles (16.1 km) roundtrip depending on side trips, 2 miles to the summit.

Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Osprey Falls Trail

The trail follows the old roadbed for 2.5 miles through grassland and burnt forest. The Osprey Falls trail veers off the old road and follows the rim of Sheepeater Canyon before descending in a series of switchbacks to the bottom of Sheepeater Canyon. The Gardner River plunges over a 150-foot drop, forming Osprey Falls. Vertical cliffs rise 500 feet above you, making it one of the deepest canyons in Yellowstone.

Trailhead: 5 miles south of Mammoth on the Old Bunsen Peak Road Trail

Distance: 8 miles (12.9 km) roundtrip

Level of Difficulty: Difficult

Lava Creek Trail

This trail follows Lava Creek downstream past Undine Falls (50 feet), descending gradually. Lava Creek meets the Gardner River farther downstream. The trail crosses a foot bridge on the Gardner River, and there is one final ascent to a pullout on the North Entrance Road just north of the Mammoth Campground.

Trailhead: The bridge at Lava Creek picnic area on the Mammoth-Tower Road

Distance: 3.5 miles (5.6 km) one way; 7 miles (11.3 km) roundtrip

Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Rescue Creek Trail

This trail follows the Blacktail Deer Creek trail for the first 3/4 mile until meeting Rescue Creek trail. The trail climbs gradually through aspens and open meadows before beginning a 1,400 foot descent to the Gardner River. The trail crosses a foot bridge over the river and ends one mile south of the North Entrance Station.

Trailhead: Blacktail Trailhead on the Mammoth-Tower Road, seven miles east of Mammoth

Distance: 8 miles (12.9 km) on way; 16 miles (25.7 km) roundtrip

Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Sepulcher Mountain Trail

This trail follows the Beaver Ponds Trail to the Sepulcher Mountain Trail junction. This trail rises 3,400 feet through pine trees and open meadows until the 9,652 foot summit of Sepulcher is reached. To complete the loop, continue along the opposite side of the mountain through a broad open slope to the junction of the Snow Pass Trail. Continue down until you reach the junction with the Howard Eaton Trail. This will lead you west of the Mammoth Terraces and back to your original trailhead.

Trailhead: Clematis Gulch between Liberty Cap and the stone house

Distance: 11 mile (17.7 km) loop trail

Level of Difficulty: Strenuous

Wraith Falls

This short, easy hike through open sagebrush and Douglas-fir forest to the foot of Wraith Falls cascade on Lupine Creek.

Trailhead: Pullout ¼ mile east of Lava Creek Picnic area on the Mammoth-Tower Road

Distance: 1 mile (1 km) round trip

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Blacktail Deer Creek-Yellowstone River Trail

Follow Blacktail Deer Creek as it descends 1,100 feet (33.5 m) through rolling, grassy hills and Douglas-fir forest to the Yellowstone River. Return the same way. Caution: Check at a backcountry office for advice if you want to travel the Yellowstone River Trail. A portion near Gardiner is closed.

Trailhead: 7 miles (11.3 km) east of Mammoth on the Grand Loop Road

Distance, one way: 4 miles (6.4 km)

Level of Difficulty: Return is strenuous


Click here for a pdf version of the hikes. (385 KB pdf)

Did You Know?

Fishing Bridge.

You cannot fish from Fishing Bridge. Until 1973 this was a very popular fishing location since the bridge crossed the Yellowstone River above a cutthroat trout spawning area. It is now a popular place to observe fish.