Thing to Do

Cascade Lake Ski Trail

Hills suitable for backcountry skiing circle frozen and snow-covered Cascade Lake.

The Cascade Lake Ski Trail is a skier-tracked 3-mile round-trip, easy, 1-2 hour ski trail that gently travels through lodgepole pine forests, open meadows, and provides views of frozen Cascade Lake and snowy mountains with hills suitable for taking backcountry turns. Close to Canyon, this is a great trail for beginners to backcountry skiers alike.

Begin on the left (west) side of the Washburn Hot Springs Overlook road, approximately 0.3 miles (0.5 km) north of Canyon Junction. The trail follows a service road for the first 200 yards (183 m) then takes a 90 degree right turn down a wide trail. The turn will be marked with a directional ski sign. The trail winds through a lodgepole pine forest opening into Cascade Meadows. Caution should be taken to avoid bison in the meadow. Be alert as you continue north along the meadow to Cascade Creek—it can be difficult to navigate through drifts to a narrow crossing. Cross the creek one at a time, and use your poles to test each step. Continue north for one mile (1.6 km). The trail turns gradually to the left (northwest) and enters a lodgepole pine forest. The trail is clearly marked at this point and continues northwest across an open meadow to ice-covered Cascade Lake. The trail provides a good view of the hills above Cascade Lake and are ideal for downhill skiing.

Notes: Bison frequent this trail in the meadow sections. Federal regulations require you to stay at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears and wolves, and at least 25 yards (23 m) away from bison and all other wild animals. This trail includes a narrow bridge crossing. Cross the creek one at a time, and use your poles to test each step. Avalanches can occur near Cascade Lake. Please inquire at the Canyon Visitor Education Center for ski conditions and avalanche danger.

Check out the ski details and accessibility information at the bottom of this page.

The duration will vary depending on fitness level, snow conditions, and length of time spent at Cascade Lake.
Qualified service animals are welcome throughout the park and in all park facilities. However, they must be leashed and under your control at all times. This trail enters Yellowstone's backcountry and a permit is required for a service animal to enter the backcountry due to potential wildlife conflict and safety issues.
No fees are required, however, one-way or round-trip skier shuttles may be offered to specific trails in the park for a fee.
This trail begins on the left (west) side of the Washburn Hot Springs Overlook road, approximately 0.3 miles (0.5 km) north of Canyon Junction.
Skier shuttle reservations may be required to access this trail. Reservations and information are available at park hotels and at: 307-344-7311, toll-free: 866-439-7375, TDD: 304-344-5395.
Time of Day
Accessibility Information
This skier-tracked trail starts off on a service road for the first 200 yards, following a wide path after that, eventually narrowing as it approaches a lodgepole pine forest. The trail then winds through the forest eventually coming to a narrow bridge crossing. Service dogs allowed with backcountry access permit.
Skiers make their way down the trail on the rolling hills of the forested Roller Coaster Ski Trail.

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Last updated: January 13, 2020