Day Hikes Near Grant Village & West Thumb


West Thumb Geyser Basin Trail
Yellowstone Lake Overlook Trail
Shoshone Lake Trail (via DeLacy Creek)
Riddle Lake Trail
Lewis River Channel/Shoshone Lake Loop Trail
Duck Lake 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 West Thumb and Grant Village Areas, and all hikers are reminded to stay on the trail.

West Thumb Geyser Basin Trail
Distance: 3/8-mile (1 km) roundtrip
Climb: level
Difficulty: easy
Location: The trailhead is located 0.25 miles east of the West Thumb Junction.

The West Thumb Geyser Basin Trail meanders along a well-maintained boardwalk path. Users walk through a geyser basin filled with inactive lakeshore geysers and brightly colored hot pools.

Yellowstone Lake Overlook Trail
Distance: 2 miles (3 km) roundtrip
Climb: moderate
Difficulty: moderate
Location: The trailhead is located near the entrance to the West Thumb Geyser Basin parking area.

Yellowstone Lake rests in the shadow of the snowcapped Absaroka Mountains at the panoramic Yellowstone Lake Overlook. Although the trail is level at its start, hikers should be prepared for the 400-foot ascent up the hill leading to the overlook.

Shoshone Lake Trail (via DeLacy Creek)
Distance: 6 miles (10 km) roundtrip
Climb: level
Difficulty: easy
Location: The trailhead is located 8.8 miles west of the West Thumb Junction at DeLacy Creek.

Shoshone Lake is Yellowstone’s largest backcountry lake, and this popular trail leads hikers to its shores. This easy hike skirts a forest before wandering through open meadows to the lake. Wildlife abound, so be sure to bring your camera, but follow all wildlife viewing safety tips.

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Riddle Lake Trail
Distance: 5 miles (8 km) roundtrip
Climb: level
Difficulty: easy to moderate
Location: The trailhead is located near the Continental Divide sign approximately 3 miles south of the Grant Village intersection.

Located in popular bear habitat, Riddle Lake is a small but picturesque lake in Yellowstone’s backcountry. The Riddle Lake Trail takes hikers across the Continental Divide through marshy meadows and lush forests. To increase hikers’ safety, the trail does not open until July 15 when bear activity has decreased.

Lewis River Channel/Shoshone Lake Loop Trail
Distance: 11-mile (17.5 km) loop
Climb: gentle
Difficulty: easy to moderate
Location: The trailhead is located directly north of Lewis Lake approximately 5 miles south of the Grant Village intersection.

Hikers wind through forested moose country as this trail journeys to the colorful Lewis River Channel. Continuing on to the scenic Shoshone Lake, the trail joins with the Dogshead Trail to make a complete loop. Trout are abundant in the Lewis River and Shoshone Lake, and eagles and osprey are frequently seen in the region.

Duck Lake Trail
Distance: 1 mile (1.6 km) roundtrip
Climb: moderate
Difficulty: moderate
Location: The trailhead is located across from the Lake Overlook Trailhead in the West Thumb Geyser Basin parking area.

Traces of the 1988 fires and the cycle of regrowth are evident along the Duck Lake Trail. After ascending a slight hill for a view of Yellowstone Lake, the trail descends to Duck Lake’s shoreline.

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