Last Updated: June 14, 2021
This Backcountry Situation report provides the most up-to-date conditions for Yellowstone’s Backcountry. Conditions are listed by area, then trail.To avoid frustration, even if you are experienced with Yellowstone’s backcountry, please review our Camp in the backcountry webpage as process for obtaining a permit has changed for 2021. 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.
Backcountry Permits are required for all overnight stays in the Backcountry. Backcountry Permit Offices are closed to in-person visits. Backcountry Permits are available via phone and email only. Permits are available daily 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Please visit our Camp in the Backcountry page for specific information on how to obtain a backcountry permit.
Snow is melting quickly however higher elevations and mountain passes still have deep snow. Please make sure to check out current snow and river conditions before heading into the backcountry.
High Water Caution:
Streams are at peak runoff levels 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 an potentially hazardous stream crossings.View river levels of the surrounding rivers.
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 further information on tick prevention.
The fishing season is currently open. Please visit the Catch a fish page for further information.
The boating season is currently open. All boats entering the water must have a Yellowstone National Park Boat permit and Aquatic Invasive Species Inspection. Boat inspectorions are available 8-4:30 at Grant Visitor Center, Bridge Bay Ranger Station, and the Lewis Lake Ranger Station. Please visit our boating pages for more information. Prepare for the upcoming season by Cleaning, Draining, and Drying your boats now.
All trails are currently closed for overnight horse use is closed until July 1. There are a few trails that are currently open for day rides. Day ride permits are required for all day rides.The following trails are open for day riding are: Rescue Creek, Blacktail Creek and Yellowstone River Trail, Hellroaring Creek, Coyote Creek, Lost Lake,Garnett Hill loop and Slough Creek. Please note the as the Yellowstone River water levels rise horse travel is not passable west of campsite 1Y5. Click here to request a day ride permit. Make sure to review our Ride a Horse page for further information regarding horse riding permit requirements and information.
Other than qualified service animals, pets are not allowed in the backcountry.
Bear Management Areas:
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 or Bear Management Area Map for further details and locations of closure area .
Richards Pond (BMA B) Several restrictions in place. See Bear Management Area pages.
Gneiss Creek (BMA C) Closed through June 30.
Gallatin (BMA D) No off-trail travel May 1 through November 10.
Blacktail (BMA E) Closed through June 30.
Washburn (BMA F) Open only by special permit (through July 31)
Antelope (BMA G) Closed through November 10.
Mirror Plateau (BMA H) Day use only May 15 through November 12.
Pelican Valley (BMA I) Closed through July 3.
Clear Creek (BMA J1) No off trail travel through August 10. See Bear Management Area pages for further details
Clear Creek (BMA J2) No off trail travel through July 14. See Bear Management Area pages for further details
Lake Spawn (BMA K) No off trail travel through July 14.
Two Ocean (BMA L) From March 10 through July 14th, and August 22 - November 10, travel is allowed only on designated trails. From July 15- August 22 a permit is required for off trail travel.
Riddle / Solution (BMA M) Closed April 30 through July 14.
Heart Lake (BMA O) Closed through June 30.
Review the park roads page, to see which of the park's roads are open.
Click on a region of the map for current backcountry conditions in that area.
Sepulcher/Beaver Ponds/Snow Pass area (1N4, 1K1, 1K2)
Glen Creek Trailhead – Fawn Pass & Electric Pass (1K3)
Bunsen Peak/Osprey Falls (1K4)
Bighorn Pass trail (Indian Creek, 1K5)
Mount Holmes area (1K6, 1K8)
Trailheads along Hwy 191 (from north to south)
Daly Creek/Black Butte/Sky Rim Trail/Shelf Lake (WK1, WK2)
Specimen Creek/High Lake/Crescent Lake/Sportsman Lake (WK3)
Bacon Rind (WK4)
Fawn Pass/Fan Creek (WK5)
Bighorn Pass (Hwy 191 - WK6)
Gneiss Creek/Cougar Creek (WK7/WK8)
Harlequin Lake Trail
Back to Map
Blacktail Deer Creek Trail/Yellowstone River Trail/Black Canyon (1N5)
Lava Creek Trail/Rescue Creek Trail (1N2, 1N3, 1N6)
Hellroaring Creek/Coyote Creek/Buffalo Plateau (2K8, 2N1, 2N5, 2N2)
Buffalo Fork (2N3)
Garnet Hill (2K2)
Tower Fall Trail
Slough Creek (2K5, 2N4)
Pebble Creek (3K2, 3K4)
Bliss Pass (between Slough Creek and Pebble Creek)
Back to Map
Specimen Ridge/Agate Creek/Yellowstone Picnic Area trailhead (2K4, 2K7)
Lamar River Trail - Soda Butte to Mist Creek Pass (3K1)
Cache Creek/Thunderer (3K1, 3K3)
Wapiti Lake trail/ Wrangler Lake/ Broad Creek/ Howard Eaton trail (4K7, 4N2, 4K8,5K2)
Pelican Valley/Turbid Lake (5K3)
South Rim and North Rim
Mount Washburn (4K9, 2K6)
7-Mile Hole (4K6)
Cascade, Grebe, Wolf & Ice Lake (4K2, 4K3, 4K4, 4K5, 4N4)
Mary Mountain/Hayden Valley & Cygnet Lakes (4N1, 4N3)
Solfatara (1K7, 4K1)
Fairy Falls/Mystic Falls/Fountain Flats (OK4, OK5, OK6)
Mallard Creek/Mallard Lake (OK9, OK3)
Mary Mountain (OK7)
Summit Lake (9K9,OK4)
Shoshone Lake/Lewis Lake (8K1, 7K2)
Lone Star Trail (OK1) & Howard Eaton Trail (OK2)
Bechler Meadows and Falls River area
Bechler Canyon/Bechler River trail
Boundary Creek/Dunanda Falls
Union Falls/Mountain Ash Creek
Pitchstone Plateau (8K4)
Beula Lake/South Boundary Trail west (8K5, 8K6)
Please email the Central Backcountry Office if you have any questions about specific areas.
Last updated: June 14, 2021