Heart Lake Trail - Backpack, Camp, Hike, and Hot Springs near Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
US-89, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190, USA,Yellowstone National Park,Wyoming
44.317443768985996, -110.59823680727317
Address: US-89, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190, USA
GPS: 44°19'2.8"N 110°35'53.7"W
Maps | Directions
State: Wyoming

Lakes Trails Fishing National Park Pet Friendly

Backpack, Camp, Hike, and Hot Springs

The trail is very clear and leads to a moderate eight mile hike to Heart Lake. This hike has many possibilities. Day hikers need to push their time to make sure they are on the trail early to allow enough time to enjoy the lake, and then get back on the trail before dark. Backpackers can hike into a campsite near the lake and/or you can hike to and around the lake and camp out for a couple of days. Many hikers have said that if you plan to spend more than a couple of days that hiking to the summit of Mount Sheridan is a must, which may add an extra day to your trip. 

The trail leads you to great thermal features and is very scenic. You will see deep blue pools, fumaroles, steam vents and Rustic Geyser. Remember to use caution and respect when around these fragile features, especially since the ground can be very unstable.  

The fishing from the drainage of Heart Lake is remarkable. This is one of the reasons why this location is popular. If you catch a native fish to the park, you can catch and release it. If it is nonnative, there is no limit to how many fish you can catch. Native fish include the cutthroat trout, mountain whitefish and Arctic grayling. Nonnative fish include: brown trout, brook trout, rainbow and lake trout. Fisherman are asked to only fish with single, pointed, barbless hook and lead-free artificial lures. All watercraft needs to have a permit purchased from the park service. 

Due to bear activity, the trail is closed from April 1 to June 30 each year. You should carry bear spray and make noise as you hike to keep wildlife away. 

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Be courteous, informed, and prepared. Read trailhead guidelines, stay on the trail, and don’t feed the wildlife.

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Be careful. Pay attention to posted signs and always test the waters before you get in. Some hot springs can get up to boiling temperatures. Be sure to drink plenty of water to combat the dehydrating effect of the spring. Be respectful of other soakers and the hot spring. Don't hog the pool. Camp at least 200 yards away and keep fires in designated areas. Keep your pets out of the water and never pee in thermal feature. Glass bottles should never go near a hot spring.

  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel & camp on durable surfaces
  3. Dispose of waste properly
  4. Leave what you find
  5. Minimize campfire impacts
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be considerate of other visitors

Directions

From Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

  1. Head southeast on US-20 W
    Parts of this road may be closed at certain times or days
    (1.4 mi)
  2. Turn left onto US-191 S/US-287 S/US-89 S
    Partial toll road
    Parts of this road may be closed at certain times or days
    (7.2 mi)
  3. Turn left (400 ft)
or

The Heart Lake trailhead is at a clearing in the woods at the end of a short track that forks off the main road 5 miles south of Grant Village, and just north of Lewis Lake. It has plenty of parking space, rest rooms, a trail map, and an information board about back country travel and the danger of bear encounters, which are quite frequent in this area. Courtesy of americansouthwest.net
From Grant Village: Drive approximately 5.4 miles south toward Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park via the South Entrance Road. The Heart Lake Trail will be on the left just past the Dogshead Trail.Courtesy of trailguidesyellowstone.com

 

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Yellowstone 2016 by rxhigg
BACKPACKING YELLOWSTONE HEART LAKE by Random-o-Alek

Trails

Distance ?

6.9 miles

Elevation Gain ?

-328 feet

Real Ascent ?

576 feet

Real Descent ?

904 feet

Avg Grade (-1°)

-1%

Grade (-23° to 13°)

-43% to 23%

Elevation differences are scaled for emphasis. While the numbers are accurate, the cut-away shown here is not to scale.

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