Day Hikes Near Lake Village


Pelican Creek Trail
Natural Bridge Trail
Storm Point Trail
Elephant Back Mountain Trail
Howard Eaton Trail
Avalanche Peak Trail
Pelican Valley 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 Lake, Bridge Bay, and Fishing Bridge Areas, and all hikers are reminded to stay on the trail.

Pelican Creek Trail
Distance: 1-mile (1 km) loop
Climb: level
Difficulty: easy
Location: The trailhead is located 1 mile east of the Fishing Bridge Visitor Center at Pelican Creek Bridge’s west end.

The easy Pelican Creek Trail provides a short, but informative introduction to Yellowstone’s many scenic treasures. The trail wanders through a variety of habitat and is a birdwatcher’s paradise.

Natural Bridge Trail
Distance: 3 miles (5 km) roundtrip
Climb: level
Difficulty: easy
Location: The trailhead is located near the Bridge Bay Campground entrance at the Bridge Bay Marina parking lot. 

Mother Nature’s powerful erosion forces carved a spectacular fifty-one foot natural rhyolite bridge over Bridge Creek. The trail to the bridge is level, and an interpretive exhibit is available onsite. Those in fairly good physical condition may take a short hike up a switchback trail to the top of the bridge, but the bridge’s span is closed to visitors in the name of preservation. Since bears feed in this area, this trail is closed late spring through early summer to protect both visitors and wildlife.

Storm Point Trail
Distance: 2-mile (3 km) loop
Climb: level
Difficulty: easy
Location: This trail begins 3 miles east of the Fishing Bridge Visitor Center at a pullout near Indian Pond.

Beginning with overviews of Indian Pond and Yellowstone Lake, this trail meanders through lodgepole pine forests on its short journey to panoramic vistas at Storm Point. The rocky point is known for harboring a large population of yellow-bellied marmots, and bears also frequent the area. Hikers should check in at the nearest ranger station for the latest trail closures and bear activity information.

Elephant Back Mountain Trail
Distance: 3-mile (5 km) loop
Climb: moderate
Difficulty: moderate
Location: The trailhead is located 1 mile south of the Fishing Bridge Junction at a designated pullout.

Elephant Back Mountain Trail is one of the most popular day hikes in the Lake, Bridge Bay, and Fishing Bridge Areas since it affords outstanding photo opportunities. After climbing a moderately steep trail through lodgepole pines, hikers arrive at the summit of Elephant Back Mountain for views of the Pelican Valley, Yellowstone Lake, and the Absaroka Mountains.

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Howard Eaton Trail
Distance: 7 miles (11.3 km) roundtrip
Climb: level
Difficulty: easy
Location: The trail begins on the east side of Fishing Bridge at a parking lot.

The Howard Eaton Trail is a suitable trail for hikers of all abilities. The trail skirts the banks of the Yellowstone River before heading through forests, meadows, and sagebrush plains on a journey to LeHardy Rapids. The area frequently hosts grizzlies, so hikers are urged to contact the nearest ranger station for the latest information on area bear activity.

Avalanche Peak Trail
Distance: 5 miles (8 km) roundtrip
Climb: steep
Difficulty: strenuous
Location: This trail begins on Eleanor Lake’s west end across the road from a small creek.

Aptly named after its steep passage through an avalanche slide area to the scenic Avalanche Peak, this trail passes through forests and meadows before arriving at the base of Avalanche Peak. Majestic park vistas are available from the base of the peak, but adventurous hikers can opt to follow the rocky trail up to the peak’s narrow ridgeline. An unmarked trail returns hikers to the meadow previously encountered where users then backtrack to the trailhead. This trail should never be attempted during the fall as grizzly bears abound. Also, hikers should be alert for approaching thunderstorms and use extreme caution while walking Avalanche Peak’s ridgeline.  

Pelican Valley Trail
Distance: 6 miles (10 km) roundtrip
Climb: gradual
Difficulty: moderate
Location: This hike begins on a dirt road across from Indian Pond 3 miles east of the Fishing Bridge Visitor Center.

Open only during daylight hours, this trail winds through Pelican Valley and some of America’s prime grizzly bear habitat. Wildflower meadows, forests, and a valley loaded with wildlife all abound on this trail. While most hikers opt to turn around at the footbridge’s 3-mile mark, an extended 16-mile loop is available for those hikers traveling in large groups. Pelican Valley is known for harboring grizzly bears, wolves, elk, bison, sandhill cranes, eagles, and trout, so use extreme caution when viewing this wildlife. Make noise to alert area bears of your presence, and always check in at a ranger station for the latest wildlife activity information. This trail is closed until after July 4th due to increased early summer bear activity.

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