Complete Guide: Easy Hikes In Yellowstone

There are so many options for easy hikes in Yellowstone, it spans 2.2 million acres and it is one of the oldest and largest national parks in the USA.

This fascinating geothermal site offers a wide array of unique geology, from calderas to geysers to colorful hot springs. As a result, you can easily spend days exploring this iconic national park via its many gentle hiking trails.

At just a 3-hour drive from San Francisco, 4-5 hours from Los Angeles, or 5.5 hours from Las Vegas, Yellowstone is a convenient nature spot to visit.

The following easy hikes in Yellowstone will help you get up close to the park’s highlights and take you to some hidden gems, too.

Traveling to Yellowstone soon? Read our Yellowstone itinerary too.

Easy hikes in yellowstone

Table of Contents

Midway Geyser Basin 

  • Distance: 0.7 miles (1.1 km)
  • Duration: 20 minutes

One of the shortest walks is the 0.7-mile (1.1 km) Midway Geyser Basin boardwalk trail. The trail is extremely popular as it takes you up close to one of the park’s most iconic attractions, the Grand Prismatic Springs. 

Grand Prismatic Springs is the largest hot spring in the country, measuring 370 feet (113 m) in diameter and 120 feet (37 m) in depth. It’s also one of the most colorful, boasting a bright blue center and shades of green, yellow, and orange around the edge.

The short boardwalk trail also passes by other sights, like Opal Pool, Turquoise Pool, and Excelsior Geyser.

You’ll find Midway Geyser Basin about halfway between Madison and Old Faithful. Follow the trail south from the parking lot, crossing the Firehole River.

Grand Prismatic Springs Overlook 

  • Distance: 1.2 miles (1.9 km)
  • Duration: 20 – 30 minutes

While getting up close to Grand Prismatic Springs is fantastic, the best views of this famous natural wonder are from afar. Therefore, after completing the Midway Geyser Basin trail, you might like to take the 1.2-mile (1.9 km) Overlook Trail. 

The first part of the boardwalk is entirely flat, then there is a gradual elevation gain that takes you to the viewpoint.

You can admire the vast hot spring from this area and get some Instagrammable photos.

Park at the Fairy Falls Trailhead by Firehole River on Grand Loop Road. From here, follow the first broad, flat trail you see.

Fairy Falls 

  • Distance: 4.8 miles (7.7 km)
  • Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours

If you want to combine some of the best short hikes in Yellowstone, you can walk the 4.6-miles (7.7 km) Fairy Falls Trail after the previous two. The trailhead is the same starting point as Grand Prismatic Springs Overlook Trail.

If you combine all three trails, you’ll have an entire morning full of incredible sightseeing. 

Fairy Falls is a beautiful 200 feet (61 m) tall waterfall and an excellent place to swim and cool off on a hot day. It has a total elevation gain of 170 feet (52 m) and no steep climbs, so it is a pretty gentle route. 

The trail loops through a lovely pine forest, but there is not much to see along the route. Also, note that bears are abundant in this part of the park.

Because of this, the trail is closed during the spring for bear management, generally opening back up in late May.

Artist Paint Pots

  • Distance: 1.1 miles (1.8 km)
  • Duration: 20 – 30 minutes

The Artist Paint Pots is a small hydrothermal area with colorful hot springs and two large mud pots. It is located on the west side of the park, 3.7 miles (6 km) south of the Norris Geyser Basin.

You can explore this area via the 1.1-mile trail (1.8 km) that loops around the hillside hydrothermal area. 

Although it’s one of the shortest hikes in the park, the trail is full of fabulous sights. It passes the two bursting mud pots, various bubbling hot springs, and some fascinating milky blue pools. 

The trail begins with a mud trail past a forest before reaching the boardwalk section that takes you around the remarkable natural wonders.

There are a few flights of stairs, and once you get to the highest elevation point, you’ll have a splendid view of all the mud points lined up. 

Easy hikes in yellowstone

Mystic Falls

  • Distance: 2.4 miles (3.8 km)
  • Duration: 1.5 – 3 hours

Mystic Falls is a 70-foot (21 m) cascade waterfall in the western part of the park (Upper Geyser Basin). The short 2.4-mile (3.8 km) trail takes you along flat boardwalks through the brightly colored hot pools of Biscuit Basin and eventually to the refreshing waterfall. 

You’ll also pass several small geysers, a peaceful creek, and a lush forest. Therefore, it is undoubtedly one of the most varied short hikes in Yellowstone in terms of landscape and terrain.

The trail is well-maintained, and there’s a total elevation of just 150 feet (46 m), making it suitable for most people.

The start of the course is at the Biscuit Basin Trailhead, located 3 miles (5 km) north of Old Faithful.

Natural Bridge

  • Distance: 2.5 miles (4 km)
  • Duration: 1 – 2 hours

Natural Bridge is a 51-foot (16 m) cliff that rhyolite rock from Bridge Creek cut through to form a fascinating arch. The arch sits at an elevation of 7,983 feet (2.4 km), and you can reach it via the 2.5-mile (4 km) out and back trail from the Bridge Bay Marina parking lot. 

To protect this fragile structure, you cannot walk over the top of the bridge, but you can access it and take photographs from below and directly in front.

There are some short but steep switchbacks along the trail, making it moderately challenging.

This trail is closed in spring and early summer due to bear activity. 

Mammoth Terraces 

  • Distance: 3.6 miles (5.8 km)
  • Duration: 1 – 2 hours

If you’re looking for an easy hike in the park’s north, head to Mammoth Lakes. Here you will see the incredible terrace-like cascade of steaming travertine pools known as Mammoth Hot Springs.

The trail consists of boardwalks and roads, but some parts have several steps. You can explore both the lower and upper terraces or just the lower ones.

The lower deck has some unique hot pools and waterfalls. If you want to explore the upper terrace, you’ll need to walk up the road for a while to reach Upper Terrace Drive.

It is located 2 miles (3.2 km) south of the Albright Visitors Center on the Grand Loop Road. This is one of the most famous geothermal sites in the national park so expect it to be busy.

If you want to avoid the crowds, go early in the morning when the area is more peaceful. 

Easy hikes in yellowstone

Norris Geyser Basin

  • Distance: 2.9 miles (4.7 km)
  • Duration: 1 – 1.5 hours

Norris Geyser Basin is the region’s hottest, oldest, and most dynamic thermal area. As a result, the basin draws in crowds, and the trail here is one of the most popular easy hikes in Yellowstone National Park.

It is located north of the park, and the trailhead is by Norris Canyon Road on Grand Loop Road. The short boardwalk trail passes several hot springs and fumaroles with temperatures above the boiling point in this volcanic area.

The geyser results from three major faults, making it very active with earthquakes and an incredibly intriguing place to visit on a trip to Yellowstone.

Yellowstone Lake Overlook

  • Distance: 1.7 miles (2.7 km)
  • Duration: 30 – 60 minutes

Yellowstone Lake is the largest body of water in the national park and one of the most wildlife-rich areas. The short trail takes you to a beautiful viewpoint overlooking the lake with the Absaroka mountains in the distance.

As a result, this is one of the best short hikes in Yellowstone if you’re looking for priceless vistas. It’s also one of the lesser-known trails, so you’re unlikely to encounter crowds here. 

You’ll find the trailhead in West Thumb, close to Grant Village.

There is a moderate elevation, so it’s not the easiest trail in the park, but it’s worth it for the spectacular view. Heading here around sunset is extra special too!

Dunraven Pass To Mount Washburn

  • Distance: 6.8 miles (10.9 km)
  • Duration: 3 – 4 hours

Trekking up the famous peak, Mount Washburn, makes for one of the best day hikes in Yellowstone. As you make your way up the 10,243-foot (3,122 m) mountain, you’ll pass varied plant life and enjoy open views.

You’ll then marvel at the incredible panorama from the summit, showing the Teton range to the iconic Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. This popular out and back trail takes between 3 to 4 hours to complete.

It has an elevation gain of 1,400 feet (427 m), so it is classed as moderately challenging. You’ll find the trailhead at the top of Dunraven Pass on Grand Loop Road between Tower and Canyon.

Final Thoughts On Short Hikes In Yellowstone

These ten easy hikes in Yellowstone are just a few top choices out of the 80 plus trails and 900 miles (1,448 km) of walkable terrain in this famous national park.

With so much to see and explore here, hiking in Yellowstone is an accessible and enjoyable activity for everyone, no matter your fitness level or hiking experience. 

Hiking in the United States soon? Read the following guides:

  • Best hikes in Acadia National Park
  • Best hikes in Mt Rainier National Park
  • Best easy hikes in Sedona

— Update: 11-02-2023 — found an additional article 20 Easy Hikes In Yellowstone National Park You Don’t Want to Miss from the website for the keyword easy hikes in yellowstone.

Yellowstone National Park is a place unlike any other. It is filled with incredible wildlife, waterfalls, the world’s largest collection of geysers, etc. One of the best ways to see it all is by hiking. After all, Yellowstone has over 900 miles of hiking trails. And, believe it or not, many of the easy hikes in Yellowstone National Park allow you to see some of Yellowstone’s most coveted possessions. Did you know that Yellowstone National Park has over 10,000 thermal features?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, I may receive a small commission (which I am very grateful for) at no extra cost to you. 

Tips & Tricks – Easy Hikes in Yellowstone

Easy hikes in yellowstone
This was captured with a zoom lens. Do not get close to wildlife.
  • Yellowstone is busy. Tackle your must-do’s as early as possible or you’ll regret it.
  • Bear spray is a must!
  • Yellowstone is HUGE! Make sure that you plan accordingly. Group your hikes together based on the area of Yellowstone they are in. Driving from one side of the park to another can take a long time especially when you factor in wildlife blocking roads.
  • Water! Stay hydrated. Hydration backpacks are a lifesaver (for real).
  • Keep your distance from wildlife.
  • If you see a group of people looking at something. Pull over and ask what they see, and they will happily tell you.
  • The best time to visit Yellowstone National Park is in late spring/early summer to fall.
  • Get an America the Beautiful Pass. For $80 you & your family can get into any national park for a year. *Families of 4th graders get in free with the Every Kid Outdoor Program.

Map of Best Easy Hikes in Yellowstone National Park

1. Grand Prismatic Hot Spring Overlook

Easy hikes in yellowstone
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 1.5 miles
  • Trail Type: Out & Back
  • Elevation Gain: 200 ft.
  • Best Time of Year to Visit: May-October
  • Dog Friendly: No

The Grand Prismatic Hot Spring is the largest hot spring in the United States. This trail is not to be missed. The Grand Prismatic Overlook Trail offers one of the best panoramic views of the stunning Grand Prismatic. While this trail is easy, it does have a gradual incline on your way to the overlook. Keep your eyes peeled, there’s a good chance you may see some bison.

* This hike starts at Fairy Falls Trailhead.

2. West Thumb Geyser Basin Trail

Easy hikes in yellowstone
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 1.0 miles
  • Trail Type: Loop
  • Elevation Gain: 59 ft.
  • Best Time of Year to Visit: May-October
  • Dog Friendly: No

The West Thumb Geyser Basin Trail is genuinely breathtaking. It overlooks Yellowstone Lake. If you look close enough you can see hot springs and hydrothermal vents offshore.

Read more  Deep Creek Hot Springs – Apple Valley, California

3. Fairy Falls Trail

Easy hikes in yellowstone
*This was taken using a zoom lens. Do not approach wild animals.
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 4.8 miles
  • Trail Type: Out & Back
  • Elevation Gain: 170 ft.
  • Best Time of Year to Visit: May-October
  • Dog Friendly: No

Fairy Falls Trail is an easy hike that will lead you through the lodgepole pine forest to a spectacular waterfall. Fairy Falls is a sight to be seen as this fall drops 200 ft. The Fairy Falls trailhead is located in the Fairy Falls parking lot about a mile south of the Midway Geyser Basin.

*The Grand Prismatic Overlook Trail also uses a portion of Fairy Falls Trail.

4. Mammoth Terraces

Easy hikes in yellowstone
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 2.2 miles
  • Trail Type: Loop
  • Elevation Gain: 324 ft.
  • Best Time of Year to Visit: May-October
  • Dog Friendly: No

Mammoth Terraces is a boardwalk trail with some stairs. As you walk around the boardwalk you will find various viewpoints of Mammoth Hot Springs. When you are finished exploring Mammoth Terraces, Drive the scenic Upper Terrace Loop Drive.

5. Midway Geyser Basin Trail (Grand Prismatic Boardwalk)

Easy hikes in yellowstone
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 0.7 miles
  • Trail Type: Loop
  • Elevation Gain: 55 ft.
  • Best Time of Year to Visit: May-October
  • Dog Friendly: No

Midway Geyser Basin Trail (Grand Prismatic Boardwalk) will take you right up to the Grand Prismatic. Spoiler Alert – it is beautiful and EVERYONE walks this trail. This means that the small parking lot fills fast. Not to mention the number of people walking the narrow boardwalk (without rails) can make it nerve-wracking while trying to navigate around the crowds. Falling in the Grand Prismatic does not sound fun. That being said, get there very EARLY to enjoy this beauty in peace.

6. Old Faithful Geyser Loop Trail

Easy hikes in yellowstone
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 0.7 miles
  • Trail Type: Loop
  • Elevation Gain: 19 ft.
  • Best Time of Year to Visit: May-October
  • Dog Friendly: No

Old Faithful Geyser Loop Trail is a boardwalk that will take you by multiple geysers & hopefully some bison too. Don’t leave without watching Old Faithful erupt. Check with the visitor center for accurate eruption times. It’s magical. Arrive early if you plan on watching Old Faithful. The best viewing spots fill quickly. Also, make sure to check out the lodge before leaving the area.

7. Mystic Falls

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 2.4 miles
  • Trail Type: Out & Back
  • Elevation Gain: 147 ft.
  • Best Time of Year to Visit: May-October
  • Dog Friendly: No

Mystic Falls Trail is an easy trail that follows a creek through the forest ultimately ending at Mystic Falls. This waterfall is just over 70 ft. tall.

8. Artist Point

Easy hikes in yellowstone
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 0.2 miles
  • Trail Type: Out & Back
  • Elevation Gain: 16 ft.
  • Best Time of Year to Visit: May-October
  • Dog Friendly: No

This is a very short & easy hike to Yellowstone’s iconic Artist Point (Grand Canyon of Yellowstone). This view doesn’t disappoint and is enjoyed by all. This can be a very busy area so plan accordingly.

9. Fountain Paint Pot Trail

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 0.6 miles
  • Trail Type: Loop
  • Elevation Gain: 22 ft.
  • Best Time of Year to Visit: May-October
  • Dog Friendly: No

Fountain Paint Pot Trail contains all four types of hydrothermal features: geysers, hot springs, mud pots, and fumaroles. Some are awesome, some a meh, and some are stinky. Even though everything may not be awesome, most of it is and I highly recommend it.

10. Lone Star Geyser Trail

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 5.3 miles
  • Trail Type: Out & Back
  • Elevation Gain: 127 ft.
  • Best Time of Year to Visit: May-October
  • Dog Friendly: No

This trail will lead you through a forest and ends at an active geyser. Lone Star Geyser Trail isn’t as popular as other easy hikes in Yellowstone National Park. This means if you’d like to enjoy an active geyser with fewer people, this is the way to do so.

*Lone Star Geyser erupts every 3 hours.

11. Fairy Creek Trail to Imperial Geyser

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 6.5 miles
  • Trail Type: Out & Back
  • Elevation Gain: 387 ft.
  • Best Time of Year to Visit: June-October
  • Dog Friendly: No

This trail will take you by Fairy Falls, Grand Prismatic Overlook & Imperial Geyser. Although the trail is a longer hike, it is still easy. It is a popular trail for birding, hiking & trail running. This means that it can get busy.

12. Norris Geyser Basin Complete Loop

Easy hikes in yellowstone
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 2.9 miles
  • Trail Type: Loop
  • Elevation Gain: 190 ft.
  • Best Time of Year to Visit: March-October
  • Dog Friendly: No

This easy stroll along a boardwalk takes you past multiple geysers. They are all unique and impressive.

13. Mud Volcano Trail

Easy hikes in yellowstone
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 0.8 miles
  • Trail Type: Loop
  • Elevation Gain: 118 ft.
  • Best Time of Year to Visit: May-October
  • Dog Friendly: No

Mud Volcano Trail was the best surprise. We didn’t expect to like it as much as we did. The churning cauldron was mesmerizing because it was very active. Be warned – this was also very smelly.

14. Artists Paintpots Trail

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 1.0 miles
  • Trail Type: Loop
  • Elevation Gain: 101 ft.
  • Best Time of Year to Visit: May-November
  • Dog Friendly: No

Walking along this short trail you will pass by geysers, colorful hot springs, mud pots, and a fumarole.

15. Biscuit Basin Interpretive Trail

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 0.7 miles
  • Trail Type: Loop
  • Elevation Gain: 26 ft.
  • Best Time of Year to Visit: May-November
  • Dog Friendly: No

Biscuit Basin is a great place to see geysers, mud pots, hot springs, and wildlife. Biscuit Basin Trailhead is located in the Biscuit Basin parking area.

16. Canyon Rim South Trail to Artist Point

Easy hikes in yellowstone
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 2.5 miles
  • Trail Type: Out & Back
  • Elevation Gain: 278 ft.
  • Best Time of Year to Visit: May-November
  • Dog Friendly: No

The South Rim Trail follows the rim of the canyon and has some spectacular views of the waterfall & deep canyon. You will stumble upon a few switchbacks but they aren’t anything too intense.

*Several trails start in this parking lot. Make sure that you get on the right one. This trailhead is behind the bathroom building in the parking area.

17. Upper Geyser Basin

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 3.5 miles
  • Trail Type: Loop
  • Elevation Gain: 114 ft.
  • Best Time of Year to Visit: May-October
  • Dog Friendly: No

This trail is in the same area as Old Faithful. Plan on seeing them together. Check with the visitor center to see when Old Faithful will erupt upon arrival. Then plan on doing the trail before or after the eruption.

18. Storm Point Loop

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 2.5 miles
  • Trail Type: Loop
  • Elevation Gain: 98 ft.
  • Best Time of Year to Visit: June-October
  • Dog Friendly: No

Storm Point Trail passes right through dense forest, and by Indian Lake ultimately taking you to Yellowstone Lake. There is a chance that you can encounter bison, elk, grizzly bears, & black bears on this trail. I highly recommend that you bring bear spray with you.

19. Black Sand Basin Trail

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 0.5 miles
  • Trail Type: Out & Back
  • Elevation Gain: 9 ft.
  • Best Time of Year to Visit: May-September
  • Dog Friendly: No

A quick & easy walk along this boardwalk will take you past jewel-like geysers & colorful hot springs.

20. Red Rock Point via Red Point Trail

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 0.7 miles
  • Trail Type: Out & Back
  • Elevation Gain: 259 ft.
  • Best Time of Year to Visit: May-October
  • Dog Friendly: No

This trail is short and relatively easy but has steep stairs & switchbacks. Red Rock Point via Red Point Trail will lead you to some incredible views of the falls.

What to Pack for Yellowstone

Here is a list of must-haves for tackling the easy hikes at Yellowstone National Park. I’ve linked my family’s favorite products to help you out. For hiking shoes and moisture-wicking clothes, I linked to our favorite brand as everyone prefers different styles of these products. To be honest, we will wear moisture-wicking clothes from anywhere, but prefer this brand when we can get it on sale. The same can be said for hiking shoes. Whatever you choose to wear doesn’t need to be expensive, it just needs to be comfortable and get you through your vacation.

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Getting There- Roadtripping with our car is how we prefer to travel. That being said, Skyscanner has great deals on flights and RVShare has deals on RV rentals.

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FAQ – Easy Hikes in Yellowstone National Park

Final Thoughts on Easy Hikes In Yellowstone National Park

There you have it, some of the best hikes in Yellowstone National Park. Although these hikes are easy with minimal elevation change, they offer some of the best views in Yellowstone National Park (America’s first national park). By the way – Grand Teton National Park is literally right next door. It’s always a good idea to swing by when you’re finished visiting Yellowstone.

Pin Now, Travel Later

— Update: 12-02-2023 — found an additional article 9 Best Short Hikes in Yellowstone National Park from the website for the keyword easy hikes in yellowstone.

Most visitors to Yellowstone National Park barely see the park beyond their car. When they do stop, it is often to visit one of the roadside highlights which tend to be crowded with visitors. To truly experience the park as it was meant to be seen, you’ll want to set aside some time to head out for a hike.

Easy hikes in yellowstone

You don’t have to go on an epic multi-day or even day-long hike (such as Mount Washburn, the most popular dayhike in the park) to enjoy some of Yellowstone’s most stunning landscapes. Many of Yellowstone’s best short hikes are family-friendly, easy hikes that are suitable to hikers of all levels, including kids.

Choose among hikes that lead to lesser-visited geysers, get you up-close to misty waterfalls and fascinating thermal features, or offer stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountain ranges and geyser basins. 

Here are our picks for the nine best short hikes in Yellowstone that pack in the best scenic punch per mile. 

1. Grand Prismatic Overlook

Extremely hot water bubbles up from an underground chamber 121 feet below the surface of the Earth to create this wildly colorful spring.

The Grand Prismatic Spring is the largest hot spring in the United States and it discharges an incredible 560 gallons of water per minute. The center of the pool is a beautiful shade of deep-blue, but as the water spreads out and cools it takes on every color of the rainbow thanks to the heat-loving bacteria which inhabit each band around the spring.

For a unique view of Grand Prismatic Spring, take the Grand Prismatic Overlook Trail from the Fairy Falls Trail, the newest one to hike in Yellowstone.

This 1.2-mile out-and-back trail gradually climbs 105 feet to a viewpoint overlooking the spring. Parking is very limited at the trailhead so head there early in the morning for your best chance at scoring a spot.

Easy hikes in yellowstone

2. Lone Star Geyser Trail 

This flat, paved trail meanders along the Firehole River to a lonely geyser standing tall in a clearing in the middle of the forest. Lone Star Geyser regularly erupts around every three hours and there’s a logbook near the geyser where visitors note eruption times.

Even if you don’t stay to see it erupt, this 4.8-mile roundtrip hike makes for a lovely jaunt along the river and the dramatic cone-shaped geyser is a sight in itself.   

The Lone Geyser trailhead is about three miles south of Old Faithful near the Kepler Cascades parking lot. Bikes are allowed on the trail but are not allowed on the boardwalks near the geyser. The Lone Star Geyser Trail also connects with the Shoshone Lake Trail and the Howard Eaton Trail to Old Faithful. 

3. Geyser Hill Loop Trail 

Old Faithful is just one of many geysers in Yellowstone’s Upper Geyser Basin. In fact, this basin has the largest concentration of geysers in the entire world including many of the world’s largest.

The 1.3-mile loop is one of the easiest yet most interesting trails in the Upper Geyser Basin and winds through several thermal features in the hills above Old Faithful including the Anemone Geyser and the Doublet Pool.

You can also add on the quick trip up to Observation Point, which allows a bird’s eye view of Old Faithful. Check the estimated time of Old Faithful’s next eruption time at the visitors center and aim to get up to Observation Point for the eruption.

It’s about a one-mile hike from the visitors center and is a great place to watch Old Faithful erupt and with much fewer people than the viewing area near the geyser.  

4. Lamar River Trail

Easy hikes in yellowstone

The Lamar River Trail runs through the heart of the Lamar Valley, the northeastern corner of the park, and a prime location for viewing wildlife such as bison. Hiking this beautiful and gentle trail is a great way to see wildlife away from the busy road, and enjoy meadows filled with wildflowers.

The trail follows the Lamar River for 3.5 miles to its junction with Cache Creek and you can hike as little or as far as you want along the trail. The entire trail runs for nearly 17 miles and is one of Yellowstone’s top backpacking trails. 

5. Artist Paintpots Trail

If you only have time for one hike in the Norris Geyser Region of the park, make it the one-mile Artist Paintpots Trail. This mostly level trail winds through a very active thermal area featuring colorful pools, steam vents, mud pots, and bubbling geysers. The features exhibit varying shades of blue, purple, orange and red, and change color depending on the amount of water and time of year.   

6. Uncle Tom’s Trail

This short hike involves a steep descent down 328 steps from the top of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone to the base of Lower Falls, the tallest waterfall in the park. Built in the late 1800s by a park concessionaire known as “Uncle Tom,” this trail is the oldest and possibly the most famous hike in the park.

Read more  Best Times to Visit Grand Canyon’s South Rim

Although the hike is just under a mile round trip, the hike is quite steep and strenuous. For a longer hike, park at Artist Point and hike along the South Rim Trail until you get to the junction with Uncle Tom’s Trail. This will give you many more views of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. 

7. Mammoth Hot Springs Trail 

Easy hikes in yellowstone

A series of boardwalks and trails wind through the beautiful terraced formations and bubbling hot pots at Mammoth Hot Springs. These formations are unlike any other in the park and some people describe them as a cave turned inside out.

You can start from the Upper Terraces or Lower Terraces parking area and wander as far and in any direction that you wish. The entire boardwalk covers about 3.5 miles, which makes for a really nice hike in Yellowstone.  

8. Bunsen Peak

Bunsen Peak is the most prominent peak south of the Mammoth Hot Springs. It was a favorite hike of early Yellowstone explorers thanks to its impressive views of the surrounding area. The peak got its name from a German scientist, Robert Bunsen, who studied geysers and also invented the Bunsen Burner.  

The Bunsen Peak Trail has an elevation gain of 1,300 feet to the summit in just over two miles, making it the most difficult hike on this list, but doable by most beginner hikers if you take your time.

The trail passes through sagebrush-covered hills and a patch of forest burned in the 1988 fire before arriving at the rocky summit. The summit is very exposed giving an unobscured view of Mammoth Village and the distant Absaroka, Gallatin and Madison mountain ranges.  

Easy hikes in yellowstone

9. Mystic Falls Trail     

This trail is a bit off the tourist radar and is a ranger’s favorite. The trail starts at Biscuit Basin and leads to a lovely waterfall on the Little Firehole River. The 70 foot waterfall, called Mystic Falls, cascades through a particularly narrow part of the canyon and there are several good viewpoints that tower high above the falls.

Also, be on the lookout for steamy hot springs along the river banks. The hike is two miles roundtrip or you can make the hike a longer loop by connecting with the Fairy Creek Trail before returning via the Mystic Falls Trail.

Other good shorter hikes in Yellowstone to consider include Beaver Ponds Loop, Storm Point Trail, and Midway Geyser Basin Trail.

This article was originally published in November 2020.

— Update: 12-02-2023 — found an additional article 7 Easy Trails In Yellowstone National Park from the website for the keyword easy hikes in yellowstone.

With two kids comfortable hiking in Nebraska, hitting trails in Yellowstone National Park was going to be a huge step up (not just in altitude). So, I sought easy trails that packed a lot of views or cool geologic features. Read on for which trails we did!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, making a purchase through an affiliate link helps bloggers like me continue doing what we love to do.

Easy hikes in yellowstone

How We Found These Trails In Yellowstone

I started planning this trip months in advance, highlighting possible “easy” hike options in Lonely Planet’s “Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks” guidebook. To be honest, though, the easy hikes listed in the book were still long ones for my kids, who are 8 and 10. 

We were able to find shorter routes of the suggested hikes in the book, though. Time to put those map-reading skills you learned long ago to good use.

A lot of our hikes were spur-of-the-moment hikes at quick stops as we drove around the park. If something catches your eye, stop! The park usually posts signs at parking lots with trail lengths.

Related post: 3-day Itinerary For Yellowstone That Hits The Highlights

What To Bring For Easy Hikes

Even for a short hike, it’s smart to be prepared in Yellowstone. Bring plenty of water and, if you’re going beyond boardwalks, bring snacks.

Comfortable hiking shoes are important. My kids have been wearing Keen boots for this trip and they’ve been light and durable.

Bug spray and sunscreen are other obvious needs. A hat is also a good idea. 

Raincoats are also smart. We left on a hike and it was sunny with puffy, “The Simpsons” type clouds. After about two hours, rain clouds rolled in and drenched us.

Easy hikes in yellowstone

Guidebooks and park officials all highly recommend bringing bear spray. I suggest buying it before you make the trip to Wyoming. In Omaha, I could’ve bought it for under $30. On our way through Wyoming, every store we stopped at was sold out of it, so we ended up buying it inside Grand Teton National Park for $55. And, on several trails, I had my hand on it because we were in a remote enough and alone.

Yellowstone National Park trail safety

My advice is to listen to the experts. We followed all of the rules posted at Yellowstone regarding hiking safely, especially since you’re in Bear Country and could be on a trail passing a hydrothermal area.

You can find Yellowstone safety tips for hiking as well as day hike suggestions here.

Southern Loop Easy Trails

Lewis Falls

Time: 5-10 minutes

This short, but sweet, hike was our first to stumble upon when we entered the park from the south entrance. Lewis Falls is a 30-foot waterfall that’s visible from the road.

Easy hikes in yellowstone

I noticed that most who stopped snapped pictures from the small parking area and moved on. That’s fine, but they missed out on a short, dirt trail that takes you closer to the falls.

There is an incline at the beginning that is off-putting, but don’t let it deter you. In a matter of minutes, the trail ends at the falls.

It’s not as spectacular as some of the larger, well-known waterfalls, but it’s nice, short hike that let’s kids (or adults who “don’t do hiking”) feel adventurous.

Tip: If you don’t want to spend much time hiking to get a good view of a waterfall and you don’t want to deal with crowds, stop at Kepler Cascades.

Midway Geyser Basin trail

Time: 30 minutes 

The Midway Geyser Basin is home to one of the park’s biggest show stoppers: Grand Prismatic Spring. Its popularity is well deserved. The area is stunning and unearthly. It’s also pretty easy to get to, so you can expect a lot of people on the boardwalk with you.

Easy hikes in yellowstone

By the way, the first unreal pool of water you encounter is huge and impressive. Many people stop here thinking it’s the main attraction.

Expect less than an hour to see all the sprigs, even if you linger and take a lot of selfies. I think we spent more time trying to get a parking spot than trekking up to see the sites.

Tip: Keep a close eye on kids. The boardwalk is wide but there are no rails on most of the path.

Lower Geyser Basin

Time: 20 minutes

This fairly short trail was very crowded when we visited, probably because there are a ton of unique geological sights packed into a small area.

Easy hikes in yellowstone

You’ll find the fascinating Fountain Paint Pot there, a bubbling spring. And while we were there, Clepsydra Geyser erupted.

It’s near the Midway Geyser Basin, so if you’re planning on seeing Grand Prismatic Spring (which I think you should), this is an easy stop to tack on.

Mud Volcano Area

Time: 30 minutes

We almost didn’t stop for Mud Volcano. It was dusk, we’d spent a hot day exploring the park’s Southern Loop highlights. We were tired.

Easy hikes in yellowstone

But the draw of names like Mud Volcano and Black Dragon Caldron on the sign caught my kids’ eye, so we swerved to make the turn.

Good thing we did, because Churning Caldron is worth seeing!

The total hike along this boardwalk is 2/3 of a mile. Part of the route are steep and might make you winded, and may cause a bit of whining, but hang in there.

Tip: There some stairs on this path, so it’s not 100% accessible.

Easy hikes in yellowstone

We had a few visceral memories of this area. For one thing, it smells like a lot of stinky mud pots and fumarole do. My kids were pretty dramatic about the stench.

Be sure to keep an eye on kids and stay on the trail here.

Second, like many places in Yellowstone, wild animals abound. A long bison rested very close to the trail. Very close!

Related post: Love easy hikes in national parks? Check out these Glacier National Park easy hikes I recommend if you want to see animals!

Southern Rim of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Time: 2 and ½ hours

By far, the most rewarding hike and the most difficult hike was the one we took to see the beautiful falls of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Granted, can easily drive and park at Uncle Tom’s Point or Artist’s Point to catch glimpses, but the most breathtaking vistas are away from the crowds.

Tip: Uncle Tom’s Trail was closed when we were there.

Easy hikes in yellowstone

This hike was originally going to be 6 miles and marked “easy” in our Lonely Planet guide. FYI: For kids and non-experienced hikers, 6 miles is never easy, and the incline on some parts of that path would be more considered “moderate.”

Anyway. Six miles was too long for us so we shortened the route.

Easy hikes in yellowstone

Parking at Uncle Tom’s Point, we first saw the Upper Falls, before taking the Southern Rim Trail toward Artist’s Point, where you get a great view of Lower Falls (the taller falls). 

Tip: Artist’s Point has bathroom facilities. No, it doesn’t have a water bottle fountain. You can guess why I know both of these things.

After admiring the view, we continued on toward Clear Lake. We passed a bubbling hydrothermal area with steaming pools of water. It was hot and stinky and a little eerie to walk through alone.

Clear Lake was a gorgeous view, but also a little nerve-wracking since we saw many piles of fresh bear poop. Hurrying on, we came to an open field and saw a pronghorn. 

Easy hikes in yellowstone

And then it started to rain. Seriously. Look at the clouds in the Clear Lake picture. We didn’t expect it to be raining about 10 minutes later!

Granted, we had just been complaining about the heat, so it was refreshing. However, we’d also talked to a family who’d mentioned being caught in a hailstorm there. So…

We ran the last stretch back to Uncle Tom’s Point. 

Old Faithful area

Time: Varies, but we only spent about 20 minutes on the trail because we wanted to catch Old Faithful’s eruption.

Easy hikes in yellowstone

By far, the most crowded area in the park during our visit was around Old Faithful. Before your visit, download the Yellowstone app so you can keep track of when the geyser is predicted to erupt. If you have more than hour, hit the nearby paved trails to explore.

This area is full of geysers and steaming hot springs. Stay on the path!

We ran into a park ranger who answered the kids’ questions. This was the only place we encounter a ranger. I imagine prior to the strange times of 2020, the rangers were a lot more accessible (ranger stations in the park were not open during our visit).

Northern Loop Easy Trails

Mammoth Hot Springs trail

Time: 30 minutes to 1 hour

The other-worldly terrain at Mammoth Springs is a popular attraction in the northern section of the park. We only explored perhaps half of the trail, since we were nearing the end of our stay and the kids were openly rebelling against hikes at that point.

Easy hikes in yellowstone

The boardwalk has several steps, making it a bit more strenuous of a trail than others, especially if you make your way to the lookout.

Our favorite part of this area were Mound Spring and Palette Spring, but I imagine you’d find a different favorite. It’s all very strange and unique there.

It’s very important to stay on the trail at Mammoth Hot Springs.

Plan a Yellowstone trip

In the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing more stories about our time in Yellowstone National Park. Be on the lookout for them:

  • Everything You Want To Know About Safety Protocols at Yellowstone
  • These Cabins Put You Between Yellowstone and Grand Tetons

If you plan on combining Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park, read these posts, too!

  • Easy Hikes In Grand Teton
  • Everything You Want To Know About Safety Protocols At Grand Teton National Park

Let me know if you’re interested in an itinerary for this trip!

Easy hikes in yellowstone

— Update: 12-02-2023 — found an additional article 10 Best Easy Hikes in Yellowstone National Park from the website for the keyword easy hikes in yellowstone.

The Best Easy Trails and Hikes in Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park offers around 3,472 square miles or 2,221,766 acres to explore. With over 1,000 miles of hiking trails, it might be difficult to know which ones are best. In this Yellowstone hiking guide, I am covering the best easy hikes in Yellowstone National Park to include on your Yellowstone itinerary! All hikes are under 5 miles round trip so the whole family can enjoy it! 

These Yellowstone easy hikes will allow you to enjoy some wildlife, waterfalls, thermal features, and includes sight-seeing of the must-see Yellowstone attractions!

Easy hikes in yellowstone
Easy Yellowstone Hike to Artist Paintpots

Disclaimer: This page may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission at NO cost to you. Disclosure

1. Fountain Paint Pots Trail

One of the best easy hikes in Yellowstone is the Fountain Paint Pots Trail. This trail is a 0.5-mile loop and is perfect for those who love thermal activity.

Located near the West Yellowstone entrance in the Lower Geyser Basin, make your way down the boardwalk to explore mud pots, fumaroles, hot springs, and geysers. 

Some of the most notable attractions along the boardwalk are Fountain Paint Pot, Leather Pool, Red Spouter, Morning Geyser, and Fountain Geyser!

The entire trail is on a boardwalk and relatively flat. It takes around 25 minutes to 40 minutes to complete the loop depending on how long you spend looking at the different features.

Read more  The Ultimate Day Hiking Guide to Petra, JordanAll the Best Hiking Trails in the Rose City of Petra

There is some grading between Silex Spring and Fountain Paint Pot. Additionally, there are also some steps near Twig Geyser to keep in mind.

It is best to visit Fountain Paint Pots during the Summer, Fall, or Winter. This trail is subject to wildlife closures (bears) mainly during the Spring.

Tip: Nearby this hike is Firehole falls. If you are coming from the Yellowstone West Gate, it is a nice place to pull over and stretch your legs. 

Quick Fountain Paint Pots Trail Info: 

Distance: 0.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 22 ft.

Restrooms: Yes

Kid-Friendly: Yes

Difficulty: Easy

When to Visit: Summer, Fall, Winter

Location: Lower Geyser Basin – Closest to the West Yellowstone Entrance

Easy hikes in yellowstone
Leather Pool on Fountain Paint Pots Trail
Easy hikes in yellowstone
Driving up to Fountain Paintpot

2. Brink of the Lower Falls

Suggested Marquita by from Marquitas Travels

The Brink of the Lower Falls is 0.7 miles of a rather steep switchback hike. It leads to Lower Lookout Point which offers an incredible view of the largest waterfall in the Rocky Mountains, a 308-foot waterfall.

Nestled in close proximity to the North Canyon Rim parking lot, restrooms are nearby. The roughly paved trail quickly descends 300 feet; thus, potentially making the return a slight challenge.

Depending on your fitness level, the hike can take between 30-60 minutes. Luckily, there are benches along the trail, if needed. No matter how long the trail may take, one will not be disappointed as the view is absolutely breathtaking.

Not only is it home to a bigger-than-life-sized waterfall, but it also gives views of the unique and colorful canyon, confirming why it was appropriately named the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

Quick Brink of the Lower Falls Trail Info: 

Distance: 0.7 miles

Elevation Gain: 265 ft.

Bathrooms: Yes

Kid-Friendly: Yes

Difficulty: Easy/ Moderate

When to Visit: Year-Round

Location: Canyon Village – About 38 miles from the West Yellowstone Entrance and North Yellowstone Entrance (Gardiner). 

Easy hikes in yellowstone
Lower Brink Yellowstone Hike

3. Midway Geyser Basin Trail

Midway Geyser Basin Trail is likely one of the most popular hikes in Yellowstone National Park. Not only is this trail easy, but it is also one of the hikes that allow you to see Yellowstone’s most popular attraction, Grand Prismatic Springs!

The loop is 0.8 miles and brings you up close and personal to Grand Prismatic Springs. Did you know Grand Prismatic Springs is deep enough to fit a 10 story building?

From the boardwalk, you will also be able to see other thermal features including Opal Pool, Turquoise Pool, and Excelsior Geyser. Please make sure to stay on the boardwalk at all times!

Because this is such a popular trail, try to get here early. The loop is wheelchair accessible and has restrooms. Additionally, this area is subject to wildlife closure in the Spring due to bear activity. 

Quick Midway Geyser Basin Trail Info: 

Distance: 0.8 miles

Elevation Gain: Some grading

Restrooms: Yes

Kid-Friendly: Yes

Difficulty: Easy

When to Visit: Sumer, Fall, Winter

Location: Midway Geyser Basin – Closest to the Yellowstone West Entrance

Easy hikes in yellowstone
Midway Geyser Loop Standing Next to Grand Prismatic Springs

4. Grand Prismatic Springs Overlook Trail 

Suggested by James Ian from Parks Collecting

The Grand Prismatic Spring is the largest hot spring in the United States and one of the best attractions in Yellowstone National Park. Bright blue, rimmed with green and yellow, and with orange sun-like rays, it is arguably the best of the many beautiful colored pools in Park.

Located in the Midway Geyser Basin, it can be seen up close from a boardwalk that goes around it, but this doesn’t really let you see the entire view since it is so large. The best view is from the Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook Trail.

This trail is 1.2 miles roundtrip, with an elevation change of 105 feet, making it one of the best and most rewarding easy hikes in Yellowstone.

To access the trail, park at the Fairy Falls Trailhead. Please note that RVs, buses, and trailers aren’t allowed to park in this parking area. From the parking lot, walk along a wide and mostly flat trail (it is impossible to miss).

After about half a mile, the trail branches off to the left up a small hill. Take this trail. At the top, there is a small viewing platform with iconic views of the colorful hot spring.

The trail is very kid-friendly, but there are no restrooms (though there are facilities at the nearby boardwalk). From the overlook, you can return directly to the trailhead or continue on to Fairy Falls.

Additionally, it is best to visit the Grand Prismatic Overlook trail during the Summer, Fall, or Winter. This trail is subject to wildlife closures (bears) mainly during the Spring and opens in late May.

Quick Grand Prismatic Springs Overlook Trail Info: 

Distance: 1.2 miles

Elevation Gain: 105 ft.

Restrooms: Nearby Boardwalk

Kid-Friendly: Yes

Difficulty: Easy

When to Visit: Summer, Fall, Winter

Location: Midway Geyser Basin – Closest to the Yellowstone West Entrance

Easy hikes in yellowstone
Grand Prismatic Springs Overlook

5. Fairy Falls Trail

Suggested by Michelle from The Wandering Queen

Another one of the best easy hikes in Yellowstone is to Fairy Falls. This trail is around 4.8 miles round trip and has an elevation gain of 170 feet. It is rated as easy because you don’t have to climb up too many hills or mountains.

It is an excellent hike if you want to cool off because it features the outstanding Fairy Waterfall. This waterfall is around 200 feet tall and is a great place to swim on a hot day.

The trailhead is located at the same trailhead as the Grand Prismatic Overlook trail. It is best to combine both of these hikes for the best experience.

Please note that parking is limited at the Fairy Falls Trailhead and they do not allow buses, RV’s, or trailers to park. Additionally, the trail is closed during the Spring for bear management. It generally opens up in late May.

Make sure to bring water and a hat. There is very little shade.

Quick Fairy Falls Trail Info: 

Distance: 4.8 miles

Elevation Gain: 170 ft.

Restrooms: Nearby Boardwalk

Kid-Friendly: Yes

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

When to Visit: Summer, Fall, Winter

Location: Midway Geyser Basin – Closest to the Yellowstone West Entrance

Easy hikes in yellowstone
Fairy Falls Waterfall

6. Norris Geyser Basin Trail

Suggested by Erica from Trip Scholars

Norris Geyser Basin offers one of the most spectacular hikes in the park. The geothermal waters at Norris are the hottest and some of the most acidic in Yellowstone National Park. This creates an otherworldly landscape unlike anywhere else on earth and makes for an awe-inspiring easy hike.

The trail is located at the major crossroads on the west side of the Great Loop Road. The Norris Geyser Basin Trail is made of two short loops: The Porcelain Basin Trail (.75 miles) and The Black Basin Trail (1.5 miles).

There is an elevation gain of 150 feet, much of it is stairs at the beginning of the hike. There are vault toilets in the parking lot and the best times to visit are before 10 AM and after 5 PM.

Bring water and hats since the acidity in the Porcelain Basin prevents most vegetation from growing so there is no shade. Also, be sure to take your time in the walkthrough open-air museum as you begin your hike.

It provides some of the best geology exhibits in the park. Once you pass through the museum, take in the astounding view from the overlook. You may get lucky on your hike and see the tallest geyser in the world erupt, Steamboat Geyser! It has been recorded of shooting water over 300 ft!

On your way out, stop by the small bookshop if you want to pick up some great resources to learn more about Yellowstone.

Quick Norris Geyser Basin Trail Info: 

Distance: 2.9 miles

Elevation Gain: 150 ft.

Bathrooms: Yes

Kid-Friendly: Yes

Difficulty: Easy

When to Visit: Spring, Summer, Fall

Location: Norris Geyser Basin – Closest to the North Yellowstone Entrance (Gardiner) 24 miles. 27 miles from the West Yellowstone Entrance.

Easy hikes in yellowstone
Norris Geyser Basin

7. Artist Paint Pots Trail

Another one of the best easy hikes in Yellowstone can be done at Artist Paint Pots Trail. This 1-mile loop is the perfect hike around golden hour/sunset. 

Enjoy a short walk down a wide/flat dirt path surrounded by trees that opens up to a boardwalk and thermal features. You can take a short climb to the top of the hill for an overlook of the mud pots and hot springs. 

Quick Artist Paint Pots Trail Info: 

Distance: 1 mile

Elevation Gain: 101

Restrooms: No

Kid-Friendly: Yes

Difficulty: Easy

When to Visit: Summer, Fall

Location: Norris Geyser Basin – Closest to both the North Yellowstone Entrance (Gardiner) West Yellowstone Entrance.

Easy hikes in yellowstone
Overlook from Artist Paint Pots

8. Natural Bridge Hike

Suggested by Rebecca from Whatever Packs Your Bag

Natural Bridge Trail is an easy 2.5-mile trail round trip and one of the best hikes in Yellowstone. It begins and ends at the same trailhead, and parking can be found at the Bridge Bay Marina.

The paved portion of the trail ends at an interpretive exhibit with an amazing view of the natural bridge. If you are looking for the best views, they are from the top.

To get to the top of the bridge take a not very well marked, switchback trail to the left of the exhibit.

Please note, it is off-limits to walk on the bridge as it is made out of rhyolite rock cut through by Bridge Creek and has become very fragile.

Once you hike the steps to the other side of the bridge, the hike back down is relatively easy.

The elevation gain is very low/ none to really speak of, but the switchbacks are a bit steep if you are unsteady. There are only a few of them, but even if you don’t go to the top the view of the bridge is excellent and totally worth the walk. This hike is totally kid-friendly!

There is a small store at the Bridge Bay Marina, where you can pick up food/ necessities and hit the restrooms.

The trail is closed until early Summer due to bear activity. 

Quick Natural Bridge Trail Info: 

Distance: 2.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 216

Restrooms: Yes

Kid-Friendly: Yes

Difficulty: Easy

When to Visit: Summer, Fall

Location: Bridge Bay Marina Near the Yellowstone East Entrance Gate

Easy hikes in yellowstone
View of Natural Bridge

9. West Thumb Geyser – Yellowstone Lake

West Thumb Geyser Trail located by Yellowstone Lake is an easy 1-mile loop hike or some might say walk. You will get to see a lot of cool thermal features including colorful pools and hot springs along with getting to see Yellowstone Lake. 

The path brings you along the boardwalk surrounding the hot springs. You might even be lucky enough to see some bison or elk during your visit. 

Some thermal features you will see include the Abyss Pool, Black Pool, Twin Geyser, Painted Pool, Lakeshore Geyser, and Fishing Cone.

Fun fact: Yellowstone Lake is the largest high elevation lake in the USA. It sits above 7,000 ft in elevation. 

Quick West Thumb Trail Info: 

Distance: 1 mile

Elevation Gain: 216

Restrooms: Yes

Kid-Friendly: Yes

Difficulty: Easy

When to Visit: Summer, Fall

Location: West Thumb Geyser Basin Near the Yellowstone South Entrance Gate (Jackson Hole) and East Yellowstone Entrance.

Easy hikes in yellowstone
Overview from West Thumb Geyser Boardwalk Trail

10. Mud Volcano Trail

Ready for a stinky but fun and easy Yellowstone hike? Mud Volcano, close to Haydens Valley is a short 0.6-mile loop that brings you around the mud volcano and a few other thermal features including Dragons Mouth Spring, Sizzling Basin, and Grizzly Fumarole. 

The smell of rotten eggs is actually caused by hydrogen sulfide gas. You will likely smell this around other areas in the park. You can also find Sulphur Caldron, one of the most acidic features in the park, on this trail. This area is where many faults and earthquakes happen. 

You may even have a chance to see wildlife here. We saw many bison nearby the parking lot and by the trail entrance in the grass.

Please note this trail does have some steep grading and steps.

Quick Mud Volcano Trail Info: 

Distance: 0.6 mile

Elevation Gain: 118

Bathrooms: Yes

Difficulty: Easy

Kid-Friendly: Yes

When to Visit: Year-Round

Location: Near Haydens Valley and East Yellowstone Entrance.

Easy hikes in yellowstone
The trail to Mud Volcano with Bison in the distance

What to Know Before Hiking The Yellowstone National Park Trails

Now that you know some of the best easy hiking trails in Yellowstone here are some things to keep in mind when hitting the trails. 

  • None of these trails require hiking boots. You should be fine with comfortable track sneakers. 
  • Use the All Trail app, bring a printed map, and a satellite GPS. There is very little cell service in the park.
  • Hiking poles are also not needed, however, if you plan on hiking a lot, you may want to consider some collapsable hiking poles. 
  • Bring a reusable water bottle, sunhat, sunscreen, and bug spray. Also, consider getting bear spray. Please note you can’t get on a plane with bear spray. 
  • Keep a safe distance from wildlife. 
  • Stay on the trail at all times. Yellowstone is dangerous. Remember, it’s a super volcano after all. 
  • Leave no trace behind. Everything that you bring in the trail, remember to take back out.
  • Check the Yellowstone website ahead of time for trail and road closures. 

Additionally, check out this Yellowstone Packing List, and Travel Tips to Know for visiting Yellowstone National Park. 

Best Time To Visit Yellowstone National Park

The best time to visit Yellowstone National Park is in the Sumer and Fall months. This is when most attractions and hiking trails will be open. Summer is also the busiest time in Yellowstone.

Because of this, you will want to make sure you book your accommodations well in advance and hit the road early. I have listed a ton of great places to stay around each Yellowstone Entrance in the above link about travel tips for Yellowstone.

Best Yellowstone National Park Hikes: Wrap-up 

This concludes some of the best easy hikes to enjoy during your trip to Yellowstone. I hope you have the best time exploring the first National Park in the USA and arguably one of the most unique! 

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below. Additionally, you can find more Yellowstone National Park tips, travel itineraries, and more in my Wyoming travel section.

Enjoy this guide of Easy Yellowstone Hikes? I’d appreciate it if you could share it below! 

Easy hikes in yellowstone


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