Riddle Lake Hike - Hike near Grant Village, Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190, USA,Grant Village,Wyoming
44.35848787483076, -110.58174213482135
Address: Yellowstone National Park, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190, USA
GPS: 44°21'30.6"N 110°34'54.3"W
Maps | Directions
State: Wyoming

Hike

This hike takes you through a blanket of forest, then a dirt trail that leads you to the beautiful lake. You will pass several tree trunks covered in scratch marks, offering fresh evidence that bears frequent this area*. This hike is closed for a majority of the hiking season due to swans nesting in that area. To know if it is available to hike, contact the park ranger.

Riddle lake was named by early explorers in the 1800's who were uncertain about which ocean the lake drained toward because it sits so close to the Continental Divide- it was believed flow toward both the east and west oceans and then later discovered that it actually flowed into Yellowstone Lake. This area does attract a lot of wildlife such as Elk, Moose and Grizzly bears. 

Upon reaching the lake you can see the Red Mountains to the south. The trail then follows the shore and eventually ends at a black sand beach on the northeast side. Many people stop their hike when they approach the lake, but you can continue around the lake to enjoy the scenery. 

This is considered an easy hike with little elevation difference.

*WARNING: To stay extra safe, it is smart to have bear spray with you on your hike and also to make noise while you are on your hike to keep wildlife away. When it comes to wildlife, if you see them on your hike, do not approach them, for your own safety. You can take pictures of wild life but do not approach to pet. 

You must pay the $25 entrance fee or have an America the Beautiful Annual Pass to enter Yellowstone National Park. The $25 entrance fee is good for 7 days.

947 Edited by jamiegarrard

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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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  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 Grant Village, Yellowstone National Park

  1. Head south on Grant Campground Rd (0.7 mi)
  2. Turn right onto Grant Village Rd (1.0 mi)
  3. 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
    Destination will be on the left
    (2.3 mi)
or

To get to the trailhead: From Grant Village at the bottom of the West Thumb of Yellowstone Lake, Drive 2.3 miles south on South Entrance Road (Routes 191 and 89) to the trailhead on the east side of the road. From the other direction, the trailhead is 17.2 miles north of the south entrance of Yellowstone National Park.

Trailhead address: South Entrance Road (Route 191 & 89), Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
Trailhead coordinates: 44.358408, -110.582163 (44° 21′ 30.26″N 110° 34′ 55.78″W)

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Riddle Lake by hike734
Riddle Lake-Yellowstone National Park by Fabio Tedesco

Trails

Distance ?

1.5 miles

Elevation Gain ?

-67 feet

Real Ascent ?

7 feet

Real Descent ?

74 feet

Avg Grade (-0°)

-1%

Grade (-2° to 0°)

-3% to 1%

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

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