This Backcountry Situation report provides the most up-to-date conditions for Yellowstone’s Backcountry. Conditions are listed by area, then trail. Before heading out on the trail, make sure to review information about traveling safely in bear country, and familiarize yourself with our bear management areas. Depending on other activities you intend to pursue in the backcountry please reference our fishing, boating, and horse use regulations.
Permits are required for all overnight stays in the backcountry. Permits for backpacking and stock trips can be acquired at any backcountry office. Backcountry permits for boat trips are only available at Bridge Bay, Grant Village, and the South Entrance backcountry offices.
Offices open 8 to 4:30 unless otherwise indicated.
Albright Visitor Center (Mammoth Backcountry office): Open (closed 12:00 pm - 12:30 pm for lunch)
Bechler Ranger Station: Open
Bridge Bay Ranger Station: Open. Boat permits and AIS inspections available. (closed 12:00 p.m. - 1 p.m. for lunch)
Canyon Visitor Education Center (Backcountry office): Open. Hours differ from other offices. 8:30- 4:00 Closed Wednesday and Thursday. The Canyon Backcountry Office will be temporarily closed July 3 - 5th All Day.
Grant Visitor Center (Backcountry office): Open. Boat permits and AIS inspections available.
Old Faithful Ranger Station: Open. Opening hours are later than other offices 10:00 am to 4:30. Prone to emergency closures.
Snake River Ranger Station: Open. Boat permits and AIS inspections available.
Tower Ranger Station: Open. (Closed for lunch 12:00 - 1:00)
West Yellowstone Visitor Information Center: Open. (Closed for lunch 12:00-1:00)
High Water Caution
Streams are hitting peak run off and many are too high and dangerous to cross. Streams which are crossable in the morning may rise to unsafe levels by afternoon. Don't get caught on the wrong side of a stream. If you must cross - scout out the safest location, the best crossing may not be in the exact location where the trail meets the stream. Above all use caution and be safe around all streams. Yellowstone's backcountry does not have many bridges, please evaluate planned travel routes for any potentially hazardous stream crossings.
Before deciding to have a campfire, check that your campsite allows for fires, and consider the current weather conditions. During the spring when campsites are still snow covered, users may only have a fire if the designated campfire ring can be located, and if visitors can find / access dead and down wood. Campfires are only allowed in the designated fire ring.
Ticks are out. After your hike check your body for ticks. Visit the CDC website for more information.
The general fishing season is open. Some streams are closed until mid-July. Check thefishing regulations for details.
Boat inspections only available at Grant Backcountry Office, Bridge Bay Marina, and the South Entrance. Yellowstone National Park Boat permits (motorized and non-motorized) will be available for purchase at the Mammoth Visitor Services office following inspections.
Horse use requires either an overnight or day ride permit. All trails are currently closed for overnight horse use, overnight horse opens July 1. Some trails around Northeast region are currently open for day rides. Check individual trails descriptions below (further in the document) as to whether they are open to day use. Make sure to review our horseback riding page and to get a day ride permit.
Food Storage Reminder
Do not leave food unattended at any time. All food, trash, and odorous items must be properly stored (hung 10 feet above ground and 4 feet from side supports or kept in one of the installed metal bear proof boxes, or an approved bear resistant food container) whenever the items are not in immediate use. Day hikers should keep their packs with them at all times. In past years, there have been several instances of bears obtaining food from unattended packs. Backpackers should hang their food immediately upon entering their campsite – before setting up camp. Food Caches are not allowed in the backcountry. Hanging food overnight in an unoccupied campsite or elsewhere is not permitted – this is considered unattended food. Yellowstone allows only the use of certain bear resistant food containers.
Current Campsites Requiring Bear Resistant Food Containers
In order to reduce human related impacts on bears in high density grizzly bear habitat the park has established several bear management areas. Listed below are the current Bear Management Areas (BMAs) in effect. Some Bear Management Areas are full closures, others are no off trail travel restrictions. Please reference the Bear Management page for further details and locations of closure area .
Glen Creek Trailhead – Fawn Pass & Electric Pass (1K3) (Closed to Stock)
Trail to Gardners Hole area (campsite 1G2) wet and muddy in places. The Gardner River and Fawn Creek are running deep and swift. Fording is not recommened. (6/17/19)
Sportsman Lake Trail from the Glen Creek trailhead has areas of snow along the section between the Sepulcher trail junction and the Gardner River. The Gardner River is running deep and swift. Fording is not recommended. (6/17/19)
Expect deep snow as trails climb in elevation toward the passes. Crossing Fawn Pass or Electric Pass are not recommended. (6/17/19)
Due to construction there is a trail detour at the Glen Creek trailhead. The trail detour for hikers starts across the road from the Bunsen Peak Parking lot. Follow the signs. (5/8/19)
Campsites 1C1 and 1C2 are now open and can be only accessed by Grizzly Lake Trailhead 1K8. The campsites are located downstream not along the Grtizzly Lake Shore. Expect wet and marshy conditions. (6/17/19)
The Grizzly Lake Trailhead 1K8 is not signed. (6/17/19)
Campsites 1C4, 1C5 are still closed. (6/17/19)
Mt Holmes Trailhead 1K6 is closed due to road construction. Campsites are inaccessible because there is no access or parking at Mt. Holmes trailhead. See road construction page.
Open - snow free. (6/19/19)
Monument Trail (closed to stock)
Monument trail open.(6/19/19)
Trailheads along Hwy 191 (from north to south)
Daly Creek/Black Butte/Sky Rim Trail/Shelf Lake (WK1, WK2)
Black Butte Trail (WK2) Expect wet and muddy conditions at lower elevations and snow at higher elevations. (6/17/19)
Daly Creek Trail (WK1) to Sky Rim Trailhead (WN1) expect wet and muddy conditions at lower elevations and snow at higher elevations. (6/17/19)
Sky Rim trail and Shelf Lake are completely snow covered. (6/3/19)
Specimen Creek/High Lake/Crescent Lake/Sportsman Lake (WK3)
Specimen Creek (WK3) Trail: Expect occasional snow at lower elevations and deep snow at higher elevations. (5/28/19)
Bacon Rind (WK4)
Bacon Rind trail (WK4) is open (6/19/19)
Visitors should be cautious of the following hazards when entering areas recently affected by Forest Fire:Unstable, dead trees (trees may fall unexpectedly, especially in windy conditions. Loose rocks and logs (watch for rolling debris.) (5/8/19)
Blacktail Deer Creek Trail/Yellowstone River Trail/Black Canyon (1N5)
The Yellowstone River Trail between Blacktail Deer Creek and Hellroaring Creek is posted as a Bear Frequenting Area. One or more black bears have been frequenting the area. Keep food, trash, and other attractants stored properly anytime you are not using them. Hang/store food as soon as you enter your campsite. Do not leave packs unattended. (6/7/19)
Yellowstone River Trail, and Blacktail Deer Creek trails are in good condition. (5/29/19)
Horse use: Rescue Creek and Lava Creek open for day rides. There is nostock allowed on the bridge near the Gardiner end of the trail (trailhead 1N3). Stock users need to start and end at the Lava Creektrailhead from the East (1N6).
Lost Lake Loop
The road to the Petrified Trailhead is open (5/28/19)
Helllroaring Creek Trailhead is open and dry. (5/28/19)
Hellroaring Creek is too deep and swift to cross. Hikers will need to use the bridge north of campsite 2H7 to cross. (6/9/19)
Conditions on Bull Mountain Loop unknown, likely some lingering areas of snow and wet/muddy conditions on the northeast side of the loop north of the Poachers Trail. (6/10/19)
Coyote Creek trail south of the park boundary is mostly dry. Be cautious of the creek crossing between campsites 2C1 and 2C2 - cross with caution, and scout for the safest place to cross the river.(6/10/19)
Upper elevations of Buffalo Plateau trail are completely snow covered. Campsite 2B1 is likely snow covered(5/24/19)
Horse use: Hellroaring Creek,and Coyote Creek trails are open for day rides.
Buffalo Fork (2N3)
Buffalo Fork trail is inaccessible. Expect swift waters along Slough Creek. Do not attempt to cross. (6/19/19)
Garnet Hill (2K2)
Garnet Hill is now open. (6/18/19)
Tower Fall Trail (Not suitable for stock)
Slough Creek (2K5, 2N4)
Slough Creek trail is snow free. (6/11/19)
Bliss Pass snow covered and should not be crossed due to deep snow and dangerous conditions. (6/11/2019)
Horse Use: Slough Creek is open for day rides .(6/3/19)
Pebble Creek (3K2, 3K4)
Pebble Creek trail is open. Expect a little snow on the trail to campsite 3P1 and on the pass above the Warm Creek Trailhead. (6/10/19)
Pebble Creek is running swift and deep. Campsite 3P1 is the only campsite on Pebble Creek that is accessible withouth having to cross the creek. Campsites 3P2-5 are closed until the creek drops to safe crossing levels. (6/10/19)
Bliss Pass (between Slough Creek and Pebble Creek)
Bliss Pass is snow covered and should not be crossed due to deep snow and dangerous conditions. (5/28/19)
Trout Lake(not suitable for stock)
Trout Lake is open. Likely wet and muddy in places. (5/28/19)
Specimen Ridge/Agate Creek/Yellowstone Picnic Area trailhead (2K4, 2K7)
Specimen Ridge cannot be hiked in its entirety. The Lamar River is not crossable on the east end of the trail. Don't be caught on the wrong side of the river as it is a 14 mile backtrack to the trailhead. Trail is snow covered along much of the route. (5/24/19)
Yellowstone Picnic Area trail is open.(5/28/19)
Agate Creek campsite 2Y1 is open. (5/28/19)
Lamar River Trail - Soda Butte to Mist Creek Pass (3K1)
Lamar River Trail to Cache Creek is snow free. Campsite 3L1 is the only campsite along the Lamar River trail that is accessible without crossing Cache Creek. (5/28/19)
Cache Creek and the Lamar River are flooding. They are not crossable and are at unsafe levels. (6/16//19)
Conditions unknown. Expect patchy snow with increasing elevation. Campsite 3C2 and 3C3 may be snow free, but expect snow upstream of 3C3. Campsite 3C4 is likely snow covered and inaccessible due to the ford of Cache Creek. (5/9/19)
Republic Pass is completely snow covered and inaccessible. (5/24/19)
Thunderer trailhead (3K3) is closed. Soda Butte Creek is too swift and deep to cross. (6/16/19)
South Rim Trail is closed from Sunset Point to Chittenden Bridge (6/16/19)
Sublime Point and the Ribbon Lake Trail has been cleared of downed trees, trail has minimal snow. Campsites 4R2 and 4R1 are in good condition.(5/31/19)
Uncle Tom's trail is temporarily closed. Do not pass trail closure signs or flagging. The overlooks near Uncle Tom's parking lot are open. (5/28/19)
Mount Washburn (4K9, 2K6)
Dunraven Trail has hard pack snow on the northern aspects of the trail and wet rock base with running water on the southern aspects. Approximately 50% of the trail is snow covered. Expect hardpacked snow on the top half of the trail. Icy conditions may exist. Proper snow equipment and experience travelling on snow are advised. (6/18/19)
The Barricade at Chittenden road is closed. Visitors wanting to hike the trail will need to park at the pull out across the road, or in a way not to block the barricade. (6/18/19)
The trail to Washburn along Chittenden Road is snow free. (6/18/19)
7 Mile hole trail has been cleared and is snow free, will encounter muddy conditions. (6/16/19)
Sulphur Creek crossing between 4C2 and 4C3 is too hazardous to cross. 4C3 is not accessible. (6/16/19)
Expect snow and downfall along the Washburn Spur trail and the Washburn Meadow campsite 4E1. (6/16/19)
Wapiti Lake (4K7)
Howard Eaton and Sour Creek trails leaving from Wapiti Lake Trailhead are clear but have areas of standing water. Sour Creek is running deep use caution when crossing. (6/16/19)
Cascade, Grebe, Wolf & Ice Lake (4K2, 4K3, 4K4, 4K5, 4N4)
Cascade, Grebe Lake, Wolf Lake and Ice Lake trails are mostly snow free but very wet in areas. There are areas of standing water across meadows near the lakes. (6/10/2019)
Grebe Lake Trail has been cleared of downed treees. Trail is mostly dry until the Grebe Lake, but at the lake there is about 1 1/2 feet of standing water, and very swampy. Campsites are in good condition. (6/19/19)
Expect snow on Observation Peak and campsite 4P1. (6/10/19)
Wolf Lake and Grebe Lake have bird protection closures.Campsites 4G5, 4G6, and 4G7 are closed. Please review these maps of the closure area.(6/10/19)
Campsite 4G2 is closed due to flooding. (6/8/19)
Mary Mountain/Hayden Valley & Cygnet Lakes (4N1, 4N3)
The Mary Mountain trail is now open to Nez Perce/West Mary Mountain Trailhead OK7. (6/16/19)
Mary Mountain trail is wet and muddy. (6/10/19)
Solfatara (1K7, 4K1)
Solfatara trailhead (1K7) is closed due to road construction. The Solfatara Creek trail can be accessed from the Solfatara Creek trailhead (4K1) located at Norris Campground. (5/10/19)
Lone Star campsites OA1, OA2 and OA3 are snow-free (6/5/19)
Expect areas of wet, muddy and snow south of Lone Star as the trail climbs to the Continental Divide. Hiking to Shoshone Lake via Lone Star Geyser will encounter snow, wet and marshy conditions and use caution fording Shoshone Creek. (6/18/19).
CAUTION: Strong Bear Warning for Elephant Back (6/19/19)
Pelican Creek Nature trail is closed for the 2019 season due to road construction projects (5/22/19)
Expect wet and marshy conditions on the upper elevations of Elephant Back. (6/18/19)
Storm Point is marshy in areas. The bridge over the river on the west side is out. (6/18/19)
Nine Mile Trailhead (5K5); Thorofare Trail / Mountain Creek (6K1, 6K2, 6K4, 6K5)
Nine Mile is a little muddy in a few areas but in overall good shape for the first 1.5 miles. Significant deadfall on the trail south of Cub Creek. Expect deteriorating conditions further down the trail. (5/24/19).
Boats permits and Aquatic Invasive species inspections are required and only available at the Snake River Ranger Station, Bridge Bay Ranger Station and the Grant Village Backcountry Office from 8:00am to 4:30 pm.
Campsite 7L7 and vicinity is closed for loon nesting protection. Please view the closure area, as closure signs will not be posted until later this week. (5/30/19)
All docks and buoys are in place. (6/13/19)
Expect all campsites along Yellowstone lake to be wet and marshy. (5/28/19)
High winds are a daily occurrence on the lake, particularly in the afternoon. Canoeists and kayakers are urged to travel close to shore, evaluate conditions, get an early start, and complete open water crossings as quickly as possible.
Most trails leading in to Shoshone Lake are wet and marshy or snow covered at higher elevations. The South Shoshone Lake trail, North Shore trail, and Shoshone Lake trail over the Continental Divide have snow and are not highly recommended. (6/18/19)
Dogshead Trail is clear of downed trees and is snow-free. (6/13/19)
DeLacy Creek trail, and Lewis Channel trail are clear of downed trees.(6/19)
DeLacy Creek crossing at DeLacy beach is 2-3' deep and fast moving, experienced users only. Fording DeLacy Creek is required to access campsites 8S2 and 8S3 via the DeLacy Creek trailhead. (6/8/19)
Lewis Dock is in place. (6/6/19)
Lewis Channel Ford at Outlet/South Shoshone Trail is 1-2.5 feet and fast moving. (6/17/19)
The Lewis River between Lewis Lake and Shoshone Lake is deep and cold. When pulling boats up the channel, boaters should use caution and be aware that there are areas with deep holes 4-5 feet deep. A wet suit is recommended. Please note: the use of felt soled waderes are not permitted in Yellowstone National Park. (6/8/19)
High winds are a daily occurance on the both Lewis and Shoshone Lakes, particularly in the afternoon. Boaters crossing Shoshone Lake should use good judgement to evaluate conditions and cross only at the "narrows". (6/6/19)
There is a Loon Closure area in the Lewis River channel. The cove near the mouth of the Lewis channel is temporarily closed . Travel up the Lewis riveer is allowed. Buoys and sings mark the closed area. (6/6/19)
Lone Star Trail (OK1) & Howard Eaton Trail (OK2)
Upper Lone Star and Howard Eaton Trails are mostly snow covered. Campsites OA1, OA2 and OA3 are snow-free. Hiking to Shoshone Lake via Lone Star Geyser is not highly recommended due to areas being wet, marshy and snowy conditions. Use extreme caution fording of Shoshone Creek. (6/18/19)
Fish Lake Trailhead (9K3) is CLOSED until July 15th due Loon Closure Area. (6/05/19)
Travel in the Bechler area is not advised. There is significant snow and standing water. Road to Bechler Ranger Station is open. (6/05/19)
Stock Use: Bechler area trails are closed to horse use until July 15 due to wet trail conditions. (6/04/19)
Bechler Meadows and Falls River area
Trails across the meadows area are snow covered and/or flooded. (6/05/19)
Bechler Canyon/Bechler River trail
Bechler River Trail from Bechler Canyon to Shoshone Lake Trail is snow covered. As the snow melts, the rivers will become uncrossable. (6/05/19)
Boundary Creek/Dunanda Falls
Trails to Dunanda Falls are snow covered and/or flooded. (6/05/19)
Robinson Creek Trail is snow covered and/or flooded. (6/05/19)
Union Falls/Mountain Ash Creek
Union Falls is inaccessible. Grassy Lake Road is CLOSED to motorized traffic and Falls River is deep, swift, and uncrossable. (6/05/19)