Day Hikes Near Canyon Village


Canyon Rims
Mary Mountain Trail
Howard Eaton Trail
Cascade Lake Trail
Observation Peak
Grebe Lake Trail
Seven Mile Hole Trail
Washburn Trail/Washburn Spur Trail

Day hiking in Yellowstone provides an ideal opportunity for people of all ages to get out and experience the park’s many wonders away from the crowds. Thousands of miles of trails await, and wildlife sightings are nearly always guaranteed. Those planning a day trip into Yellowstone’s wilderness are encouraged to stop by a ranger station or visitor’s center for trail maps and the latest information regarding weather, animal activity, and trail closures. The following trails are available in the Canyon Village Area, and all hikers are reminded to stay on the trail.

Canyon Rims
There are numerous trails and viewpoints of the canyon falls, both from the north and south rim.

Mary Mountain Trail
Distance: 21 miles one-way
Climb: gentle
Difficulty: moderate
Location: The trailhead is located 4 miles south of Canyon Junction slightly north of the Alum Creek pullout. 

The Mary Mountain Trail, which is often faint and difficult to follow due to trampled trail markers, winds through the Hayden Valley. As hikers gently ascend up and over Mary Mountain and Central Plateau, views of distant Yellowstone meadows are afforded. Bison sightings are prevalent along this trail.

Howard Eaton Trail
Distance: Depending on the destination, 6 to 24 miles roundtrip
Climb: gentle
Difficulty: moderately easy
Location: Located on the Norris-Canyon Road, the trail originates 0.5 miles (0.8 km) west of Canyon Junction. 

Winding through meadows, marshland, and forests, the Howard Eaton Trail lets hikers choose a destination that meets their time frame. Requiring anywhere from two hours to an overnight stay, the Howard Eaton Trail leads to Cascade Lake, Grebe Lake, Wolf Lake, Ice Lake, and eventually the Norris Campground. The trail is noted for bear activity in the early season, so use extreme caution.

Cascade Lake Trail
Distance: 4.5 miles (7.2 km) roundtrip
Climb: level
Difficulty: easy
Location: The trailhead is located 1.5 miles north of Canyon Junction at the Cascade Lake Picnic Area.

This easy trail meanders through open meadows near babbling brooks. The trail is noted for its brilliant wildflower displays and abundant wildlife. Users should plan three hours for this day hike and note that the trail is generally muddy through July.

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Observation Peak
Distance: 11 miles roundtrip
Climb: steep
Difficulty: strenuous
Location: The trailhead is located 1.5 miles north of Canyon Junction on the Tower-Canyon Road at the Cascade Lake Picnic Area.  

After arriving at Cascade Lake, hikers take a 1,400-foot strenuous climb to a mountain summit. The peak provides stunning views of Yellowstone, and the trail is renowned for its lush scenery of open meadows and forests. Hikers should note that no water is available beyond Cascade Lake, and the trail is not recommended for those with breathing difficulties or heart conditions.

Grebe Lake Trail
Distance: 6 miles (9.7 km) roundtrip
Climb: gentle
Difficulty: moderately easy
Location: The trailhead is located on the Norris-Canyon Road 3.5 miles west of Canyon Junction.

This three to four hour hike gently ascends through meadows and forests on its journey to and from Grebe Lake. The trail connects to the Howard Eaton Trail at the lake.

Seven Mile Hole Trail
Distance: 11 miles roundtrip
Climb: steep
Difficulty: strenuous
Location: The trail begins on Inspiration Point Road at the Glacial Boulder Trailhead. 

The Seven Mile Hole Trail rewards hikers with views of the canyon and Silver Cord Cascade as it drops 1,400 feet to Seven Mile Hole. The area features both dormant and active thermal features, so extreme caution should be used. Hikers are also urged to conserve their energy, as the 1,400-foot climb out of Seven Mile Hole is strenuous. The trail is not recommended for those with breathing difficulties or heart conditions.

Washburn Trail/Washburn Spur Trail
Distance: 11.5 miles one way
Climb: steep
Difficulty: strenuous
Location: The trail begins 4.5 miles north of Canyon Junction at the Dunraven Pass Trailhead.

Wildflower meadows, grazing bighorn sheep, and amazing views line the Washburn Trail. The steep trail climbs to vantages of the Absaroka Mountains, Gallatin Mountains, and Yellowstone Lake at the summit of Mount Washburn. The trail then descends to the mudpots and thermal features housed at Washburn Hot Springs before ending at Glacial Boulder on the Inspiration Point Road. Hikers must then backtrack to the starting trailhead. Due to the hike’s length and elevation gain, the trail is not recommended for those with breathing difficulties or heart conditions.

North Rim Trail
Distance: 4 miles roundtrip
Climb: level
Difficulty: easy
Location: The trail originates at Inspiration Point near the Upper and Lower Falls.

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South Rim Trail
Distance: 6.4 miles roundtrip
Climb: Hikers on the North Rim Trail are privy to unbeatable views of the famous waterfalls in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The footpath is rarely crowded, and the vantages are more scenic than the region’s major overlook points. level
Difficulty: easy
Location: The trail originates directly beyond the South Rim Drive Bridge in a designated parking area.

Much like its North Rim counterpart, the South Rim Trail affords outstanding views of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and its famous waterfall inhabitants. The trail is not generally crowded, and several picture-friendly vantage points are accessed.

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