Thing to Do

Observation Peak Trail

Hikers along a tan, bare ground trail through an alpine meadow.

Hike to a high mountain peak for an outstanding view of the Yellowstone wilderness. Trail passes through open meadows to Cascade Lake where wildflowers abound and wildlife is often seen. Beyond the lake, the trail climbs 1,400 feet in 2.6 miles through whitebark pine forest.

Safety notes: The trail can be wet and snowy through July. Observation Peak trail is not recommended for persons with heart and/or respiratory problems. Past Cascade Lake, no water is available.

Trailheads: Cascade Lake trailhead 1-ΒΌ miles (2 km) north of Canyon Junction on the Grand Loop Road.

This is a 9.6-mile (15.4-kilometer) there-and-back trail that begins and ends at the same trailhead.
Strenuous hike
Pets Allowed
Entrance fees may apply, see Fees & Passes information.
This trail is in the central part of the park, with the trailhead about 1-mile north of the Canyon Village road intersection. There is a parking lot dedicated to the hiking trail, as well as a parking lot at the picnic area north of the trailhead.
Summer, Fall
Time of Day
Any Time

Yellowstone National Park

Hikers along a bare ground trail that meanders through an alpine meadow.
Hikers along Observation Peak Trail.

NPS/Jim Peaco

More on Day Hikes in Yellowstone

Hikers standing on the rocky top of Avalanche Peak with Yellowstone Lake in the background.

Yellowstone Day Hikes

Lace up your boots and explore some of the over 1,000 miles of trails in Yellowstone National Park.

Waterfall drops down into the steep, yellow-wall lined canyon with conifer forests growing around.

Canyon Area Day Hikes

Explore lakes and mountaintops for a variety of experiences around the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River.

Last updated: August 12, 2019