The Great Outdoors: It’s why you’re here. And Yellowstone’s natural wonders are unlike anything you’ll see elsewhere on the planet. Roads will show you only a fraction of the immense wilderness here, but more than 1,200 miles of trails can lead you to peaceful lakes, up airy peaks, and through steaming backcountry geyser basins. Make sure to hike at least one trail while you’re here—you haven’t really visited the park if you don’t. 

With hikes ranging from short, easy strolls to strenuous, multiday endeavors, there’s something for everyone at Yellowstone. Even better, the trails offer the best way to escape the inevitable summer crowds: Believe it or not, only a tiny fraction of visitors get out of their cars and explore the trails. Besides hiking, the park is also a terrific place for boating, paddling, biking, and winter sports.

In fact, there’s so much to see and do here that it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the choices. Here is the crème de la crème: Choose one or more, and you won’t be disappointed. 

Day Hikes

Yellowstone’s trails range from flat, easy strolls to extended paths that delve deep into the wilderness. And though you’d need months to explore all the hidden corners here, even a single day hike will reveal a whole new side of the park to you. These selected day hikes from every developed area are the best of the best—you won’t regret saving time to make tracks on at least one of them. Note: The trails through the geyser basins also make for excellent day hikes. 

Keep in mind that hiking in Yellowstone can be hazardous for the unprepared: Bad weather, river crossings, and wildlife all pose real risks. Check in at a visitor center or ranger station for details on the weather forecast and trail conditions for your hike, and make sure to pack the essentials 

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.