Hiking Avalanche Peak, Yellowstone

Yvonne

I lava it!!!
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
3,841
This is a pretty short but steep hike, and definitely a leg burner. I really enjoy hikes with a lot of elevation gain and expansive views as a reward, so I thought I give it a try. This wonderful leg burner has an elevation gain of 2,200 ft in 2.5 miles up to the summit. It's only a short 5-mile roundtrip hike but the views are outstanding from the top of Avalanche Peak in all directions.
I left early from my base camp at Canyon campground and headed over toward the East Entrance and Sylvan Pass. There is a small parking lot on the right side of the road and to start hiking, you have to cross the road.

i-gRLc668-XL.jpg


the first part of the trail goes through a lodgepole pine forest and immediately starts climbing up. I was glad I was already here in the park for a week and already seasoned to the higher elevation.

i-z6Nctnc-XL.jpg


After about the first 0.7 miles the forest becomes more open and the first views come into place.

i-W2v4jJX-XL.jpg


After a bit over a mile, I left the forest and the entire scenery opens up. Scree slopes descend into a large bowl below Avalanche Peak. This was definitely a good excuse to take a picture break and catch my breath. From this point on, the trail was mostly above tree line.

i-z3ZsW8m-XL.jpg


i-XQSbQmg-XL.jpg


From this point, it was mostly switchbacks. I gained a lot of elevation in a short amount of time and with each switchback, the views started to get better.

i-Lt7fmZB-XL.jpg

looking south towards Mt. Doane

The trail continues to climb

i-CkKqBHz-XL.jpg


more elevation gain and first view toward Yellowstone Lake

i-NfVknG4-XL.jpg


After about 1.7 miles the trail briefly flattens. The final ascend was still ahead of me.

i-tDxWwGV-XL.jpg


i-SxBRb7f-XL.jpg

Going Up

i-45RSmrG-XL.jpg

Trail across the scree

After a while, I got another great view of Yellowstone Lake and the entire area

i-9vjxZKc-XL.jpg


i-45qNzSg-XL.jpg

View towrds Mount Chittenden and Cathedral Peak

I finally started to walk across the last ridge to the summit with the Tetons in the distance and Mt. Sheridan

i-mr5fvFN-XL.jpg


i-qVLCvGM-XL.jpg


Amazing views in all directions, this was definitely worth the effort.

i-DHcxQ3G-XL.jpg


Eventually, I reached the summit. It was super windy up here and only a few windbreaks erected by other hikers brought some relief.

i-MQG4TVB-XL.jpg

I made it!!

i-JvBqL6T-XL.jpg

Admiring the view

i-h9jWhLv-XL.jpg

Silvertip Peak and Shoshone National Forest to the northeast

i-jXJZzLP-XL.jpg

another view of Yellowstone Lake and Mount Sheridan in the distance

i-p4kmGcK-XL.jpg


I sat down and enjoyed the view during a lunch break. I was the only one up there.
The hike back down was definitely much faster but pretty tough on my knees because it was so steep.

i-dsVQKZV-XL.jpg


Eventually, I reached the trailhead again and 5 miles of awesomeness are behind me.
On the way back to Yellowstone Lake I stopped at Nine Miles trailhead because there was a Grizzly roaming around between the deadfall and snags.

i-3HwWSBM-XL.jpg


i-rN2JdLn-XL.jpg


i-gwrXNrs-XL.jpg


This was a great finish of a great hike and I was actually happy I didn't see Grizzlies on any of my hikes. Each time I saw bears were when I headed from one hike to the next and they were close to the road.
 

Pringles

Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2015
Messages
299
Every time I drive by that trailhead I think that I want to explore that trail. I’m not sure I want to go all the way to the top. I’ve thought that I just want to get to open ground, where you can see the bowl, but that scenery... wow. Which direction were you looking when you ate lunch? (Where your feet were out in front of you.).

The grizzly you saw is nicknamed Snow, and she’s a regular in that area. One of the local photographers says she gets scared of sandhill cranes. She’s 4 and one half. Her mother, Raspberry, is also often seen in the vicinity. We’re hoping Raspberry has cubs next spring. They are both looking healthy going into winter.

Thanks for sharing the description and pictures of that hike. It would be a real push for me, but it would be so neat.
 

Yvonne

I lava it!!!
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
3,841
Every time I drive by that trailhead I think that I want to explore that trail. I’m not sure I want to go all the way to the top. I’ve thought that I just want to get to open ground, where you can see the bowl, but that scenery... wow. Which direction were you looking when you ate lunch? (Where your feet were out in front of you.).

The grizzly you saw is nicknamed Snow, and she’s a regular in that area. One of the local photographers says she gets scared of sandhill cranes. She’s 4 and one half. Her mother, Raspberry, is also often seen in the vicinity. We’re hoping Raspberry has cubs next spring. They are both looking healthy going into winter.

Thanks for sharing the description and pictures of that hike. It would be a real push for me, but it would be so neat.

I figured that it was snow I saw in that area. I saw her a few times in total in both years exploring the park.
The view on top where I took the pictures was mostly looking to the North or Northeast.
I love the great expansive views in all directions, it definitely is a nice reward for the work hiking up.
I guess I'll go again next summer
 

b.stark

Forever Wandering
.
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
943
Looks like a great hike. Avalanche Peak was on my short list a few years back while I was in the area, but I tweaked a knee pretty badly in the Tetons and could only hobble around level areas in Yellowstone.
 

Absarokanaut

Member
.
Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Messages
647
Thanks for bringing back great memories of several hikes up Avalanche. I think it's an exponentially better hike than Washburn and recommend it for lots of friends that visit.
Avalanche.jpg
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
norwegianxplorer Hiking Sierra de las Nieves, Spain. Sunrise hike from Yunquera, Andalusia, Wild boar and Spanish Ibex Hiking & Camping 0
norwegianxplorer Hiking the unique hoodoos landscape of EL TORCAL de Antequera in Spain at sunrise, May 2022 Hiking & Camping 0
seekinglost Introducing the Mojave-Sonoran Trail: A NEW 625-mile Winter Thru-Hiking Route Trip Reports 4
Reef&Ruins Interesting Thread on Another Hiking Forum General Discussion 13
TeamJenkins17 Washakie Wilderness Hiking Hiking & Camping 0
M What's your rain forecast comfort zone for canyon hiking? Trip Planning 4
Rockskipper Night Hiking General Discussion 19
F It has begun - Hiking Baja's El Camino Real Backpacking 7
J Death Valley Natl. Pk. 6 Days hiking. Nov 14-19, 2021 Hiking & Camping 1
F Hiking a section of the El Camino Real in Baja in 2022 Trip Planning 0
OwenM Hiking Horse Canyon? Trip Planning 4
norwegianxplorer Backpacking Norway, Femundsmarka National Park Pt 3, Grand Scandinavian Hiking & Backpacking Tour Ep4 Backpacking 0
kwc Hiking in Baxter State Park, Maine Hiking & Camping 4
Mountain Wanderer Hiking the Idaho Centennial Trail in the Great Burn Backpacking 0
A Need hiking gear suggestion Hiking & Camping 9
norwegianxplorer Backpacking Norway, Lysefjorden/Kjerag/Kjerag Waterfall/Kjeragbolten, 4 days Solo Hiking high above the Norwegian Fjords Trip Reports 2
J Death Valley NP Black Mountains and beyond Hiking Dec 19-20, 2020 Hiking & Camping 1
trailsofbudapest Hiking in Hungary Trip Planning 0
Dreamer Hiking w/ Eric, Fishing w/ Al Backpacking 5
norwegianxplorer Preikestolen, Pulpit Rock, Hiking Norways most Iconic and spectacular Landmark & views, Lysefjord, Norway Hiking & Camping 1
kwc Fall hiking in the southern Adirondacks Hiking & Camping 4
kwc Adirondack Hiking - the colors are starting to pop! Hiking & Camping 5
J Need Park City area Hiking help Trip Planning 2
Ross Hiking Scotland Hiking & Camping 19
kwc Hiking in the South Central Adirondacks Hiking & Camping 1
kwc Adirondack Spring Hiking Continued Hiking & Camping 3
C Little Hiking, Little Rockhounding Everything Else 0
Yvonne Hiking Connector Trail to Northgate Peaks on Zion Opening Day, May 13 Hiking & Camping 8
U Any recommendations for 5 days hiking in Wyoming, Idaho or MT? This is around July 15-20. Not counting on Glacier being open Trip Planning 9
kwc More Southern Adirondack Hiking Hiking & Camping 5
kwc Southern Adirondack Day Hiking (aka Social Isolation) Hiking & Camping 0
TrektheWorld Heil Ranch Hiking and Hammocking Hiking & Camping 2
kwc Local Hiking Hiking & Camping 1
DouginGJCO Hiking &/or backpacking partner for Canyonlands Natl Park and nearby Noobs: Introduce yourself! 0
Yvonne Hiking the Hurricane Canal and Hurricane Rim Loop, February 15 Hiking & Camping 4
TractorDoc September 14th-21st Solo Hiking in Yellowstone and Grand Teton NP Hiking & Camping 12
Yvonne Yellowstone 2018 - a solo trip hiking and exploring America's first National Park: Part II Madison Hiking & Camping 3
Yvonne Yellowstone 2018- A solo trip hiking and exploring America’s first National Park: Part I Mammoth Hiking & Camping 13
M Hiking attire Gear 22
TractorDoc Mount Rainier in Late July -- Day Hiking Meet Up (Members Only) 0
Yvonne Hiking Yellowstone - 100 miles the Second Trip Planning 21
NorthwestWanderer Hiking to Lake 22 in the Cascades Hiking & Camping 2
G Grand Canyon hiking - need a ride Trip Planning 0
Mikjik86 Video Hiking/Camping San Rafael Swell/Goblin Valley/Horseshoe Canyon - Feb 2019 Hiking & Camping 2
Miya Noob Question about Hiking in the Snow General Discussion 32
Stephanie Winter weekend trip with some hiking Trip Planning 3
LarryBoy Critique the Route: Deseret Hiking Route Trip Planning 11
McKee80 Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail Nov 1, 2018 Backpacking 3
Titans 3 week Arizona road trip: Tucson Desert Rain & Hiking SAGUARO NP Hiking & Camping 1
Titans Redwoods hiking & Oregon coast in September incl. 360 sphere pictures Hiking & Camping 10

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Top