Yellowstone Hiking

Yellowstone National Park includes some 1,100 miles of hiking trails. Many provide access to spectacular areas where there are geysers, hot springs, waterfalls, high mountain lakes and other attractions.

Short ranger-led walks are available in many areas and go to scenic features in the park front-country. They are appropriate for hikers of all abilities.

Backcountry hiking and backpacking can be rigorous in Yellowstone. Such adventures are worthwhile because they provide great opportunity to enjoy virgin wilderness not seen by casual park visitors.

Hikers and backpackers have the opportunity to see far more wild animals than people who auto tour the park. Wildlife is a great attraction in Yellowstone and provides a tremendous thrill. But wildlife also brings dangers, as discusses elsewhere on this website. Learn how to hike and backpack safely in bear country.

Permits are not needed for day hikes in Yellowstone. Permits are needed for any overnight stay in the backcountry. See the park website's Backcountry Trip Planner for additional information.

Much of the Yellowstone backcountry is managed as roadless wilderness that can only be seen by people willing to hike, backpack or horsepack. The park is considered one of America's great hiking/backpacking destinations. Some backcountry areas have become popular and attract a large number of people during the summer season. But the park is huge and includes many areas where you can hike away from the crowds and enjoy solitude.

Countless guidebooks describe hiking and backpacking in the park. Get one and become familiar with the park before you head out.

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