Questions about Lamar Valley Hikes

swmalone

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Apr 27, 2016
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We have a trip planned to Yellowstone with some extended family towards the latter part of August. My wife and I want to go explore the Lamar Valley area and rather than just drive along roads hoping to spot wildlife with everyone else we were hoping to find some shorter day hikes that could be enjoyed by everyone. I think the youngest participant is 7 and the oldest is 63 most can handle at least moderate hiking for a few miles.

I would appreciate any suggestions from people that have spent time in that area.

Thanks.
 

b.stark

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Slough Creek trail is pretty nice, good trail (wagon road for a resort ranch across the park border) and moderate elevation gain. Expect to see a few bison, some like to use the trail. Hiking along the trail up the upper lamar river is another good but moderate hike. True single track hiking trail. There's a small mostly dormant thermal area not too far up the trail.

Lots of wildlife in this area, make sure your bear spray is handy.
 

kwc

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Mar 31, 2016
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Wraith Falls ... short hike to a nice waterfall, but this is on the Mammoth to Tower road so it's well before the Lamar Valley.
I agree with @b.stark about Slough Creek ... you can hike as far as you like ... the initial half mile is uphill (sometimes steepish), then down again, after that it's modest ups and downs. You'll come to a bend in the creek at about the 2 mile mark. It was pretty hot in the open meadows but maybe that was just a quirk during our visit (it was in the low 90s).
There's also a self guided nature trail in the valley (it's on the left hand side of the road as you head towards the NE entrance.
Another one you might consider is the Storm Point trail but this is down near Fishing Bridge heading east on the E entrance road. Nice loop trail with great views of Yellowstone Lake. However there is heavy duty road construction from the Fishing Bridge junction of the loop road eastward towards the E entrance. You may have to wait in line for a bit in a couple spots as it's down to single lane.
Also note that there is road construction on the Mammoth to Norris road ... again, long wait time due to single lane traffic. And it's quite a long construction project.
Another nice trail is the DeLacy Trail to Shoshone Lake ... not in the Lamar Valley though ... it's a 6 mile R/T hike to the lake and back. This hike is on the Old Faithful to Grant section of the loop road. We didn't see any wildlife on the trail but it is a very pleasant hike.
IF you are planning on seeing anything in the Old Faithful area ... get there early. It looked like DisneyWorld as we passed by the other day.
 

Artemus

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The Specimen Ridge Trail is very, very nice. Also, the Agate Creek Trail and Lamar Valley trail are great. Lamar Valley trail has little elevation change. The other two have more gain. Looking at the map I also remember the Yellowstone River overlook trail being a lot of fun. Plus off-piste is great in the Lamar. Serious bison and bear country too with a few wolves sprinkled in so pepper spray and some caution are mandatory. If any of those look interesting I can give you some more details. The Lamar is my home away from home ;)
 
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swmalone

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Apr 27, 2016
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Thanks for all of the suggestions.

@Artemus I will definitely look into the areas you mentioned and get back with you for suggestions. We have bear spray and bells and will definitely be careful.

I was hoping that road construction was finished up. We were there a couple of years ago and the road to Mammoth was torn out and as they diverted us to one lane while working on the other side our jetta scraped a few times. Does anyone know if high clearance should be used in any of the road construction areas.

Also as far as old faithful goes I'm not sure if we are going to head to that area or not. We do have a few people coming that have never been to Yellowstone so we may have to wade through the crowds so they can see it. I have never been to Yellowstone in August but I assume the crowds are going to be quite large.
 

Yvonne

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I'm in Yellowstone in mid-August as well. And I also do Old Faithful, but early in the day or later in the day. That's when most visitors are not there anymore. It will be my first time in August as well, so I have to see how this will work. Most of my hikes are backcountry hikes, but once in a while, I stop for the touristy stuff.
 

swmalone

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I'm in Yellowstone in mid-August as well. And I also do Old Faithful, but early in the day or later in the day. That's when most visitors are not there anymore. It will be my first time in August as well, so I have to see how this will work. Most of my hikes are backcountry hikes, but once in a while, I stop for the touristy stuff.

I was hoping to avoid the busiest of the tourist areas but I am sure some will want to see them. The fun part is going to be getting my father-in-law to move a little quicker in the morning so we can get an early start. He is one of the guys that likes to wake up have a leisurely breakfast, read the paper, watch the news, have some more coffee, take a nap, then head out for the day.
 

Artemus

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I was hoping to avoid the busiest of the tourist areas but I am sure some will want to see them. The fun part is going to be getting my father-in-law to move a little quicker in the morning so we can get an early start. He is one of the guys that likes to wake up have a leisurely breakfast, read the paper, watch the news, have some more coffee, take a nap, then head out for the day.
Best time to see animals, everywhere, is twilight pre-dawn and post sunset. You won't have much crowds up high on Specimen Ridge.
 

swmalone

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Best time to see animals, everywhere, is twilight pre-dawn and post sunset. You won't have much crowds up high on Specimen Ridge.

I'm trying to convince everyone that Specimen Ridge is a good trail to do, sounds like a few just want to do the trail from the Yellowstone River Picnic area. We may split into a couple of different groups.
 

Artemus

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Swims... I sent you a PM with some Ridge details. Anyone else interested then PM me.
 
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