Thing to Do

Specimen Ridge Day Hike Trail

Two hikers look out across a sweeping valley.

Follow the abandoned service road from the pullout for about 100 yards (91 m). Veer right onto the intersecting path and start climbing toward the ridge. Stay on the most obvious trail to the top of the open ridge. Follow the ridge line to the southwest in the direction of the cliff outcrop you saw from below. There are several wildlife trails that cut across below the top of the ridge, and traverse a forested area before ending at the trees. Be careful not to get off track on the wildlife trails. Take in the magnificent view across the valley. To the north, you can see the Slough Creek Valley and Absaroka Range. Descend the way you came up.

Safety notes: This strenuous, high elevation trail is not recommended for persons with heart and/or respiratory problems. This trail is not a part of the longer Specimen Ridge Trail. The Petrified Trees of Specimen Ridge is a separate, unmaintained and unmarked route. From the pullout, look southwest, away from the road. Toward the top of the ridge, at approximately the two o’clock position, you will see a cliff outcrop that contains the petrified trees. Keep this in mind as your ultimate destination.

Trailheads: Striped pullout 4.5 miles (7.2 km) east of Tower Junction on the Northeast Entrance Road. Marked by a sign reading “trailhead.”

This is a 3-mile (4.8-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.
Don’t confuse this route with the Specimen Ridge Trail.
Summer, Fall
Time of Day
Any Time

Yellowstone National Park

Hiker resting along Specimen Ridge Day Hike Trail
Hikers enjoying a view from Specimen Ridge.

NPS/Neal Herbert

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.

Daughter and mother hike up a trail along the Yellowstone River.

Tower & Northeast Day Hikes

Hikes in the northern part of the park reward you with enjoyable views of the Yellowstone River, meadows, and even petrified forests.

Last updated: June 29, 2018