May 31

Yellowstone Hiking 101

There is so much more to see in Yellowstone than you can by car alone. The park boasts over 1,000 miles of hiking trails and 15 miles of boardwalks throughout the most spectacular and diverse scenery one can imagine. Whether you just want to stroll through a geyser basin or trek to the top of a mountain peak, hiking in Yellowstone will undoubtedly foster an even deeper relationship with the park.

Day Hikes in Yellowstone

If you are looking to stretch your legs and take an enjoyable walk through a geyser basin or to a lake or river, we’ve got you covered! There are also plenty of longer day hikes to consider from the 2.5-mile Natural Bridge Trail to the 11-mile Sepulcher Mountain Trail. See our Great Short Hikes in Yellowstone for specific recommendations and the National Park Service’s day hiking resources.  Day hiking does not require a permit.

Staff Members’ Favorite Hikes

Naturalist Day Hikes

Naturalist Day Hikes are the perfect way to spend an active day in Yellowstone! Each Naturalist Day Hike takes advantage of the extensive hiking trails found throughout Yellowstone National Park by showcasing a different trail each day. Hikes are led by a Yellowstone Forever naturalist who will provide a guided experience that will emphasize seasonal highlights. Hikes will be taken at a rather leisurely pace to ensure we optimize wildlife sightings and take the time to smell the flowers!

Learn More and Sign-up

Trail Restoration Project

Yellowstone’s miles of trails are well loved and well-traveled. Combined with harsh weather conditions and unpredictable thermal features, park trails are in desperate need of repair each and every year. Through the Trails and Boardwalks project, Yellowstone Forever is proud to fund this important work done by park staff in partnership with the Yellowstone Youth Conservation Corps and Montana Conservation Corps. Photo: Norris Geyser Basin, NPS / Jacob W. Frank
Learn More

Hiking Safety | What to Bring

There are a number of things to keep in mind and to pack before heading out on a Yellowstone trail. Though some areas have more bear activity than others, all of Yellowstone is bear country. See the park’s detailed information on staying safe in bear country. Weather conditions can also change rapidly anywhere in the park, so come prepared with multiple layers. Here are items you’ll want to consider bringing on your hike in Yellowstone: plenty of water, food, good hiking boots/shoes, hat, sunscreen, bear spray, sunglasses, gloves, first-aid kit.

Learn More

Backpacking in Yellowstone

For those with more of an adventure in mind, Yellowstone has wide range of backcountry trails to explore. You can choose from hundreds of miles of trails for your journey and over 300 designated backcountry campsites. Permits are required for all backcountry overnight stays. The national park service provides detailed information on backcountry safety.

Learn More

Hiking Books and Maps

Hiking guides and trail maps are a great way to plan for, and bring along on, your park adventure. See these titles and more at Yellowstone Forever’s Park Store. A percentage of proceeds support projects and programs in Yellowstone National Park.

Learn More