Yellowstone Trail Hiking: Self Guided

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Self Guided Hikes

One of Yellowstone's hallmarks is providing easy access for visitors to visually experience some of their most popular attractions by foot.  Though you may call it hiking, these easy walks (shown below) are self-guided, making it simple for everyone, regardless of their level of mobility.

Great self-guided trail areas include:

  • Canyon Rim
  • Old Faithful
  • Fishing Bridge & Lake
  • Fountain Paint Pot
  • Norris Geyser Basin
  • Madison
  • Mammoth Hot Springs
  • Mud Volcano Area
  • West Thumb Geyser Basin & Grant Village

Stretch your legs on a Yellowstone Park self-guided hike. Popular year-round, hiking is one of the best ways to enjoy Yellowstone Park. Short day hikes require minimal previous experience but be aware of possible effects of higher elevations. Also, be prepared for any wildlife encounters and changing weather conditions.

Areas to go on Self-Guided Hikes:

  • Bridge Bay, Fishing Bridge & Lake Canyon offer great views of Yellowstone River and magnificent waterfalls from the Upper and Lower Falls. Other viewpoints include Inspiration, Grandview, and Artist Point. 
  • Fountain Paint Pots hike features geysers, hot springs, fumaroles, and mudpots.
  • Mud Volcano Area hikes impresses hikers with its explosive mudpots and distinctive smell of Sulphor Caldron.
  • Mammoth hikes highlight an ever-changing landscape of travertine terraces sculpted by hot spring activity.
  • Norris Geyser Basin contains the hottest Park geyser along with Steamboat, the world's tallest geyser, and Echinus, the world's largest acidic geyser.
  • Old Faithful is one of the most popular Park geysers and offers multiple side trail hikes.
  • West Thumb & Grant Village hikes offer great views of the Absoraka Mountains and boiling springs discharging into Yellowstone Lake.
  • Forces of the Northern Range takes hikers through exhibits about the volcanoes, glaciers, and fires that shaped Yellowstone.

Other than park entrance fees, permits are not required for day hikes.

Hiking Suppliers/Outfitters:
Get everything you need for a day hike or journey into Yellowstone backcountry at one of these experienced, area businesses.

Some Safety Precautions:
Remember to check trail and weather conditions before hiking. Hike with a buddy and make sure someone else knows your hiking plan. Carry extra water.