Best SHORT hikes in Yellowstone, GTNP

Jan 11th, 2009, 10:48 PM
  #1  
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Best SHORT hikes in Yellowstone, GTNP

Well, it looks like we'll have three and half days in Yellowstone and about three half days in GTNP (I'm playing golf the other half days. ).

Anyway, I'm looking for some short hikes/walks. Nothing more than moderate in difficulty, maybe a couple miles each, something like that (we aren't really backpackers and all day type hikers).

I'm going through the NPS and Yellowstone.net sites and they have so many listed, I thought I'd ask some of the experts here.

Thanks.
travelinandgolfin is offline  
Jan 12th, 2009, 04:51 AM
  #2  
maj
 
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You will be walking/hiking probably more than you realize at the different "sights". Mud Vulcano, West Thumb, the terraces at Mammoth Hot Springs, Fountain Paint Pots, Norris for example. It is worth it IMO to walk down all the viewpoints at Canyon. There are walks around the thermal features in the Old Faithful to Madison area.

Fairy Falls (continue on to Imperial Geyser -- flat and worth it) seems long in miles, but relatively flat and not a bad hike. We haven't been to Mystic Falls or Lone Star Geyser, but people like those also and they are not hard hikes. These are around the Old Faithful area -- Madison general area. The trails around the geysers at Old Faithful itself are great. If you want to get off the beaten path there -- the Observation Point trail is one to do.

Yellowstone River Picnic area trail (between Lamar and Roosevelt) is a good one also. Artist Paint Pots trail near Norris (if open) is also a nice easy trail. There is also a recommended trail at the south rim of Canyon that goes by Clear Lake and Lily lake.

It is worth it to pick one off the beaten path trail, even if it is a little longer than you think. We don't backpack either, but most of these trails aren't really strenuous.

In the Tetons, everyone will tell you to do the Hidden Falls/Observation Point trail and I totally agree. You can either walk around Jenny Lake to it or take the ferry across (just be aware that the ferry stops and starts at certain times and if you miss the last one you will have to walk around part of the lake to get back -- not the worst thing in the world because it is pretty flat also). The first part to Hidden Falls is usually crowded, the second part to Observation Point is steep, but take your time and continue on, it is worth it. When you get to the top continue on for a while along the Cascade Canyon trail. It is easy, flat and not as crowded. You can go as far as you want.
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Jan 12th, 2009, 08:57 AM
  #3  
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Thanks maj.

Just what I'm looking for!

If you think of any others, please let me know.
travelinandgolfin is offline  
Jan 12th, 2009, 10:09 AM
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My wife an I hiked up to Observation Point early one morning to look out over Old Faithful and the upper geyser basin. It's a fairly stiff climb for those of us used to flat land but the view was really nice and we only had to share the trail with one bison, no people. We also hiked to Lone Star geyser that morning and that trail was pretty empty too. That trail is nearly flat as it follows the course of a river most of the way. It is also a bike trail if you bring bikes along.
rm_mn is offline  
Jan 12th, 2009, 11:37 AM
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Get a copy of Frommer's Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks. It's very handy (pocket-sized) and resonably priced book that will answer your question about hikes and just about everything else concerning the two parks.
HowardR is offline  
Jan 12th, 2009, 04:45 PM
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Howard, I'll check that book out, but it's always nice to get feedback from different folks who have been there.
travelinandgolfin is offline  
Jan 12th, 2009, 05:14 PM
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I agree. Well, we've been there (more than once); it's out favorite destination in the USA; and, from our experience, recommending that book is among the best feedback I can offer!
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Jan 14th, 2009, 08:35 AM
  #8  
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Howard, can you name a few of your favorite hikes?
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Jan 14th, 2009, 09:03 AM
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The hike to Lake of the Crags is strenuous but not an all day'er. Its probably the most gorgeous hike in the area and one of my top 5 ever. Check with a ranger at Jenny Lake Ranger Station. If you go, you likely won't see many people. http://www.themountaingoat.net/?p=165
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Jan 14th, 2009, 09:32 AM
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A few of our favoite hikes:
*In the Jenny Lake area:
String Lake Trail
Leigh Lake Trail
The aforementioned Jenny Lake Trail leading to the hike to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point
HowardR is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 09:35 AM
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Ooops, I clicked off too soon.
Actually, we learned about the Leigh Lake and Spring Lake trails from the afotementioned Frommer's book, which also includes a host of other hiking suggestions form the simple to the complex in all areas of both parks.
HowardR is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 05:25 PM
  #12  
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It seems that many of these hikes don't really end at a particular destination, but that the hike itself is the attraction.

That being said, could we cut these hikes short (say a 10 mile hike, but we go just a mile and turn back) and still get a good flavor of the entire hike?

Or do we need to go all the way?
travelinandgolfin is offline  
Jan 15th, 2009, 03:26 AM
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One correction, it's String Lake, not Spring Lake.
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Jan 15th, 2009, 04:47 AM
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GTNP - I absolutely LOVE the Cascade Canyon trail (intermediate; hardest at the beginning). Just make a lot of noise to keep the bears away!

"Alles Gut!"
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