plans for long day hikes in Yellowstone


Jan 24, 2014

Planning for my first trip to Yellowstone in September 2020, plenty of time to plan.
I am staying in Gardiner and then in Old Faithful cabins, 4 and 5 days.
I don't have shuttle option for thru hikes (solo hiker) and I don't like trails with lots of crowds.
I am preparing a list of hikes closer (that is a relative term) to those areas and my interest is in vast landscapes, critters, lakes, creeks, elevation .......... a variety of those things. I have hiked solo in bear areas before (Glacier and Denali), so I know what to expect and be bear aware. I have run into bears before.

How do these look like ?

"Closer" to Old Faithful cabins (5 days):
Summit Lake (in and out t the lake)
Mary Mt trail starting at Yellowstone river, up to the Violet Hot Springs area and back.
Union Falls (this is a MUST hike for me, I know there is bit of a drive time from the cabins, don't care to drive 90 minutes to get there)
Black Butte trail in the Sky Rim trail area.
Mt Holmes (I am aware of the road construction and this one could be in the Old Faithful list)

"Closer" to Gardiner (4 days)
Electric Peak
Bunsen Peak and Osprey Falls
Specimen Ridge to Amethyst Peak and back
Rescue Creek Lava Creek loop
Garnet Hill Loop and side trip to Hellroaring Creek Trail

Something that I would like feedback is in combination of short hikes, which looking at the map I cant really be sure of distances and time to travel from trailhead to trailhead. That is why I am not sure how I would plan those without someone providing ideas and combination.

Thanks !


I lava it!!!
Jan 19, 2012
Mount Holmes and Electric Peak are steep and long trails. I would not want to do it as a day hike.
And I do hike long distance day hikes.
Some of your hikes are on my list for my trip in August, so I can report after that


Jan 24, 2014
Mount Holmes and Electric Peak are steep and long trails. I would not want to do it as a day hike.
And I do hike long distance day hikes.
Some of your hikes are on my list for my trip in August, so I can report after that
thanks !!!!

I know those two are long, I have not checked their profiles in caltopo to figure out how much of the hike is going up. I tend to do between 15-20 miles per hike, but I have done those distances in for example Glacier National Park and I am not sure if that is a fair comparison to Yellowstone. Anyway, I keep an eye on time and distances when I hike so if it is a in-and-out hike I will turn around even if I am not close to the end .... it is the experience that counts, not that I made to the top :)
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