Hiking in Yellowstone National Park

Hiking in Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is a grand and diverse wilderness. Vast lakes and mountains, geysers and incredibly abundant wildlife have made this region one of the most beloved parks in the United States. While you can see a fair amount of the park from your car, to really experience this area you must go hiking. With a little preparation and care, hiking in Yellowstone can be an unforgettable experience.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Plan your hikes with a topographic trail map. Consider not only distance but also terrain, availability of water and possible detour routes. Who will your hiking partners be? They may not be able to hike as hard or as long as you.
Step 2
Because Yellowstone is so diverse, you may find that it will take several hikes to incorporate the many spectacles the park has to offer. Take everyone's input and find trails that meet the needs and desires of every member of the hiking party.
Step 3
Plan lodging, even if you will be staying in the backcountry overnight. This may be as simple as a primitive campsite near a village or a base at one of the many lodges available in and around Yellowstone. Consider the location of trailheads when looking for campsites or lodges, since you will not want to travel far to get on the trail.
Step 4
When you arrive and have found your lodging facilities, find a visitor's center or park office. These are located in the several villages along Grand Loop Road and elsewhere throughout the park. Ask for information about weather and trail conditions in regions where you will be hiking, as well as any wildlife reports. Bring a map with your routes highlighted to note problem areas such as dried streams or flooding. If you plan to stay overnight in the backcountry, you will also need to obtain a backcountry camping permit.
Step 5
Make a checklist of gear you need to bring and mark each item off as you pack. Include food and water or means of water purification. Once your gear is ready and waiting, go to bed early.
Step 6
Wake up early on the day of your hike. Be on the trail as close to sunrise as possible. These early hours in the wilderness can be breathtaking and often boast unique wildlife activity. Early starts also allow for unplanned stops throughout the day. If you are backpacking, plan to wake up early every morning on your trek.

Article Written By Gregory Johnson

Greg's passion for the outdoors has led him in hikes across the United States and over diverse terrain. Though he currently resides in the foothills of Appalachia, Greg spends his summer months working and hiking in such places as Tucson, Arizona, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

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