Just a few hundred yards off the road, things get a lot less crowded, and you’ll have the views and the wildlife (almost) to yourself. Getting out of the car and into the wilds is always worthwhile, but these shorter trips are the best of the best for those not doing extended, multi-day hikes.
- The Mount Washburn Trail: Starting at Dunraven Pass, south of Tower Junction, this walk to the fire lookout atop Mount Washburn offers unsurpassed views of both parks, plus the opportunity to see mountain wildlife, such as bighorn sheep.
- The Lone Star Geyser Trail: This gentle, 5-mile hike along the Firehole River presents several places to stop and take in the scenery, go fishing, and—at the endpoint—view an active, medium-size geyser. It is also one of a few bicycle-friendly trails in Yellowstone, and in the winter, it’s a popular cross-country skiing trail.
- Upper Pebble Creek Trail: Explore the less-traveled, peak-heavy northeastern part of the park on this wildflower-filled ramble to cliff views and creekside hiking.