Yellowstone National Park | Wyoming

Hiking in Yellowstone National Park

Season

Spring through fall; shoulder seasons less crowded

Nearest city

Jackson, WY is a two-hour drive

Duration

4-8 hours

Skill level

Beginner to advanced

Your epic Yellowstone hiking adventure awaits

No trip to Wyoming is complete without a visit to America’s first National Park. With nearly 1000 miles of hiking trails to explore, there’s something for beginners and experienced hikers alike. From wildflower meadows in full bloom, to vibrant thermal pools and erupting geysers, to the deep-cut canyons where waterfalls rage, it’s no wonder Yellowstone’s dramatic scenery is world renowned. Let a private guide show your group the highlights of Yellowstone, on tours customized to your specific goals and skill level.

Most Popular Day-Hikes

A Private Tour of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

From $140 per person · 4-7 hours

View one of the park’s best attractions on this classic beginner Yellowstone hike. Your group will get awe-spiring views of this incredibly colored canyon, trek past wildflower meadows, lakes and forests, complete with a stop at Artist’s Point — one of the best waterfall viewing locations in the US. Bring your camera for all the great photo ops on this day hike. Depending on your group, this hike is between 3.5 to 8 miles in length with minimal elevation change.

A Private Family-Friendly Hike to Fairy Falls

From $140 per person · 6-8 hours

Get a little bit of everything on this family-friendly day hike: geysers, waterfalls, beautiful scenery, and wildlife spotting. This day-hike begins with a short walk up the Grand Prismatic Spring — the most vibrant, rainbow-hued thermal feature in the whole park. Decide with your guide whether you’d like to make this hike an 8-mile loop or a 5.5-mile out-and-back.

Private Guided Hiking in Lamar River

From $140 per person · 4-7 hours

Calling all wildlife lovers! The Lamar River Trail is the spot in the park to see roaming bison, bighorn sheep, bears and the occasional grey wolf. Hike between four to eight miles depending on your group, over the Soda Butte Creek footbridge, through the meadows and continuing into the valley, with the option to climb up toward Specimen Ridge.

Hike the Mystic Falls Loop Trail With a Private Guide

From $140 per person · 5-7 hours

On this eight-mile hike, your group will experience two of Yellowstone’s most famous geyser basins along with a less-traveled backcountry gem. Take in the Old Faithful basin, with the world’s largest collection of geysers, before heading to Biscuit Basin. Then, you’ll tackle a section of the Continental Divide Trail (CDT), before reaching the 70-foot cascade of Mystic Falls and trekking up the Fairy Falls Trail. This is a tour packed with park highlights!

Hike Bunsen Peak With a Private Guide

From $140 per person · 5-7 hours

360-degree views await! Starting just southwest of the historic Fort Yellowstone, hike between four and seven miles up steep switchbacks to reach the 8,527-foot summit of Bunsen Peak. With lots of breaks along the way for photo-ops, this is a challenging hike past towering pinnacles and blooming wildflowers, with incredible views of Electric Peak and the Yellowstone River Valley.

Seven Mile Hole Full-Day Hike

From $140 per person · 8-10 hours

Head to the bottom of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone on this 10-mile full day private hiking tour. This is the only established trail that will get you below the rim of this colorful canyon. After a stroll through wildflower meadows, it’s an intense, steep descent of 1,000 feet, passing a geyser basin before reaching the river’s edge below. The biggest payoff: you’ll likely be alone at the bottom to take in Yellowstone’s magic with just your group and your guide.

Things you need to know

Why should I book with 57hours?

With us, it’s all play and no work for you! 57hours is an open platform that connects you with trained and certified outdoor adventure professionals all over the world. Using our tech-savvy, we make it super easy to find and book adventures worth tackling, with guides worth booking, all gathered from the first-hand experiences of the locals who adventure in these amazing locations.

Why should I go hiking?

Most people travel to Yellowstone and do the scenic loop drive, never venturing more than a few feet from their cars — but cars just don’t do Yellowstone justice. Why view this breathtaking landscape passively through a window, when you can walk on epic trails that take you past geysers, waterfalls, canyons, rivers, wildflower meadows, and mountain peaks? Hiking is undoubtedly the best way to enjoy Yellowstone’s striking terrain and experience the untouched nature around you.

What’s included?

What you get in this adventure:

  • A professional, knowledgeable, medically trained, wilderness guide
  • Trail snacks and a picnic lunch
  • Use of a top of the line, technical day pack
  • Use of trekking poles

What can I expect from hiking with a guide?

Hiring a local guide offers you the chance to experience Yellowstone’s beauty to the fullest. Local guides know all the hidden gems the area has to offer, will explain the history and geology during the hike, and will customize your day to the desires of your group. Because there is so much to see and do in Yellowstone — and it gets crowded quickly — this is one location where it really pays to have a guide by your side to make the most out of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

What do I need to bring?

Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

  • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 40L bag)
  • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
  • Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
  • Spare clothes for layering
  • Waterproof rain jacket
  • Sunhat
  • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera — optional (but recommended)

What’s the itinerary?

It all depends on the day-hike you choose! Your exact itinerary will be determined after booking, but most tours begin outside the Canyon Village Visitor Center or the Old Faithful Visitor Center. Hikes are between four and ten hours depending on trail choice and the skill level of your group. Your adventure begins first thing in the morning at 8:00am. All hikes include trail snacks and a picnic lunch and will return to the meeting place.

How fit do I need to be?

The best thing about hiking in Yellowstone is that there are incredible options for all skill levels. For beginner hikes, if you can walk for four to six hours with little elevation gain, you are good to go! Intermediate hikes will see a little more change in elevation and hikes will start to increase in length, hiking anywhere between four to eight miles. Advanced hikes are full day treks with steep descents and challenging switchbacks. Keep in mind, the weather in summer can be very hot and you’ll also be packing a daypack filled with water and other things you’ll need throughout the day.

What is the minimum age requirement?

Anyone 5 and older can join private day-hikes in Yellowstone, with final approval on a case-by-case basis. If you’re travelling with children under 12, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

What about group sizes and pricing?

The tours listed above are private. Pricing is per person, and costs decrease as your group grows, making it the perfect opportunity to hike with family or friends! The standard group size on these private Yellowstone day-hiking tours is seven guests and one guide, but larger groups can be accommodated. If you’re traveling with a larger party, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

What about bad weather?

Yellowstone is prone to sudden temperature and weather changes, so you need to be prepared with the right gear. The same white cloud shielding you from sunbeams can easily turn into a thunderstorm within minutes. Rest assured, your guide — all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMTs — will know the correct course of action if the weather throws a curveball. In most cases, unfavorable weather won’t stop you from experiencing a guided hiking tour within the park, but if plans need to shift, your guide will amend your itinerary to find a trail more suitable to the day’s weather.

Do I need an insurance policy?

It’s highly recommended that you cover all your bases with travel and medical insurance. While hiking might seem like a low-risk outdoor activity, accidents can happen anywhere and we recommend insurance to avoid paying out of pocket for costly medical expenses. And as we’ve recently seen, travel plans can be abruptly halted, so it’s a good idea to have cancellation insurance that also covers lost baggage. It’s tried and tested and it works.

Cancellation policy

All policies regarding cancellation, rescheduling and trip insurance will be clearly laid out by your guide prior to booking your adventure. Contact us if you’d like more information on a specific adventure.

Getting there and meeting location

The park has five entrances, depending on the direction you’re traveling from. If you plan to enter through the south entrance, Jackson Hole, Wyoming is the closest airport. If you plan to enter on the north side, Bozeman, Montana is the closest airport. To the west, it’s Idaho Falls, Idaho and to the east, it’s Yellowstone Regional Airport near Cody, Wyoming.

Here’s a map of Yellowstone from the National Park Service to make planning your trip easier.

For your guided day-hike, you’ll meet outside of the Canyon Village Visitor Center or the Old Faithful Visitor Center, depending on the hike you choose. Your guide will contact you approximately one week before your hike to coordinate the exact time and location.

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