Day Hike to Cache Lake, Yellowstone NP, August 2019


I lava it!!!
Jan 19, 2012
Cache Lake was initially not on my radar on my last trip to Yellowstone in August of 2019. But since I only have a whole list of hikes I could do and no specific day assigned to a particular hike, I randomly pick a trail depending on conditions. Cache lake is a small and picturesque lake at the base of Electric Peak in the Gallatin BMA area of the park, and it is a short, roughly 12-mile round-trip hike to the lake and back.
I started at Glen Creek trailhead, which is just across the busy Bunsen Peak parking area.

After having breakfast at the Sheepeater Cliffs picnic area, I headed to the trailhead and had no issues finding a parking spot. It was still pretty early, and a beautiful sunny day of hiking was ahead of me.


The trail started to head to the northeast for about 2 miles until I reached the trail junction with Fawn Pass trail. The trail follows glen creek through meadows of sagebrush and amazing views of Electric Peak in the distance, as well as views of Gardner's Hole to the southwest and the prominent peaks of Quadrant Mountain, Antler Peak, and Bannock Peak. To the right was Terrace Mountain. I really enjoyed the views, and the wispy clouds that looked like cotton candy in the sky added to the eye candy that surrounded me.


Electric Peak in the distance

A few Northern Garder Snakes slithered through the sagebrush, but they were too fast, and I didn't get a shot.

Quadrant Mountain and some cirrus clouds

The trail to the first junction was very flat and followed Glen Creek along its way. The first willows along the creek started to turn yellow, and it wouldn't be long, and the whole area would have their fall colors.


Along the way, I got some nice views of Sepulcher Mountain. I hiked it to the top the year before and definitely want to do it again in the future. It was a pretty and very scenic hike, and I have enjoyed it a lot.


the south flank of Sepulcher Mountain


Willows along Glen Creek

Eventually, I reached the trail junction with the Fawn Pass trail to the left and Snow Pass trail shortly after to the right, but I kept going straight ahead for a little while.


The trail eventually started to gain some elevation as it was winding its way up and leaving Glen Creek below.



sticky geranium


leaving Glen Creek

In less than a mile, I reached the trail junction with Sepulcher Mountain and turned left. The trail climbed again and gained more elevation as it finally left the open sagebrush meadows.


A lot of wildflowers still covered the flanks of Sepulcher Mountain, and I could only imagine what I looked like during the peak of wildflower season.



Wildflowers in abundance

I had to stop every few minutes, so I could take in the beautiful scenery. Wildflowers always made me happy, and here they were in abundance. Around every corner was a new and exciting scene.


A few patchy stands of trees provided some shade on this pretty hot day, and I enjoyed a short break in the shade, looking up the south flank of Sepulcher Mountain.


Eventually, another beautiful meadow opened up, and the views from there toward Electric Peak in the distance were terrific. Up to this point, I haven't seen a single soul on this entire hike. So it was absolutely possible to enjoy solitude during the busy season in the park.



Shortly after, I reached the trail junction with Sportman Lake trail and took the spur trail to the right up to Cache Lake.


A short climb followed as the trail winded its way through a lodgepole pine forest. Now and then, the fiery colors of some Paintbrush dotted the landscape.


I finally reached Cache Lake, which was tucked in a meadow just below Electric Peak. Unfortunately, it was a bit windy today, so I missed the stellar reflections of Electric Peak in the lake. It was a serene and beautiful scene that enrolled in front of my eyes, and I enjoyed every second of it as I immersed in the scenery.


A flock of Golden Eye ducks floated along, and I saw a hawk in the distance.
Luckily there were no mosquitoes or biting flies, and I enjoyed my lunch along the shore of the lake.


The hike back was uneventful. I filtered some water in Glen Creek and enjoyed the scenery of the area. Because there is more than enough water everywhere, I barely carry more than 2 bottles of water on my day hikes and simply filter what I need along the way.


looking back to Sepulcher Mountain

At one point, I have to hike up Electric Peak. When I sat on the shores of Cache lake, it called my name really loud, and I think at one point, I have to follow that call. It was definitely a great day hike with a lot of fantastic scenery.


May 16, 2016
Looks like a beautiful day for a hike, thanks for the photos
Jan 18, 2014
Thank ya for a glimpse of sunshine and a nice day hike for me in my imagination...Happy Trails to ya!
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