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.PSSST. Your travel medical insurance can now cover COVID-19!If you grab SafetyWing Nomad Insurance, it’ll be covered just like other illnesses. I’ve been using it since 2019 and I can assure you it’s the perfect solution for nomads like you and me.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.Grand Prismatic Springs OverlookYellowstone Lake OverlookDunraven Pass To Mount WashburnFinal Thoughts On Short Hikes In YellowstoneMidway Geyser Basin Distance: 0.7 miles (1.1 km)Duration: 20 minutesOne 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 minutesWhile 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 hoursIf you’re looking 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 PotsDistance: 1.1 miles (1.8 km)Duration: 20 – 30 minutesThe 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. Mystic FallsDistance: 2.4 miles (3.8 km)Duration: 1.5 – 3 hoursMystic 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 BridgeDistance: 2.5 miles (4 km)Duration: 1 – 2 hoursNatural 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 hoursIf 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. Norris Geyser BasinDistance: 2.9 miles (4.7 km)Duration: 1 – 1.5 hoursNorris 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 OverlookDistance: 1.7 miles (2.7 km)Duration: 30 – 60 minutesYellowstone 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 WashburnDistance: 6.8 miles (10.9 km)Duration: 3 – 4 hoursTrekking 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 YellowstoneThese 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:


Source: abrokenbackpack.com