Yellowstone River Picnic Area Trail - Hike near Tower Junction, Yellowstone National Park
Tower Junction,Wyoming
44.91664700978, -110.40039951
GPS: 44°54'59.9"N 110°24'1.4"W
Maps | Directions
State: Wyoming
Trails/Routes: 0.3 mi

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The Yellowstone River Picnic Area trail is 3.9 miles loop trail. It is called the Yellowstone Picnic Area trail because the beginning of the trail is in a picnic area.This hike features a beautiful river, and is a great hikers of all ages. You will gain 450 ft of elevation on this hike. Most of the elevation will be gained on the fairly steep incline at the start of the hike. When you find yourself at the top of the ridge, that is where the trail begins to ease up.Yellowstone River Picnic Area Trail includes a beautiful lookout, and displays exquisite views of the canyon. The canyon exposes the ridges and carvings due to years of erosion.This hike is fairly popular, which is why during nicer weather the trail can be very crowded.  The trail is on the cliff side of the canyon following the Yellowstone river. Dependent on the season, you can expect to have many wildlife sightings. Having many opportunities for wildlife sightings is always fun for adults, but can be an incredible learning opportunity for children. 

There is a portion of the hike that leads you through meadows. This is where you will see the majority of the wildlife. As you hike along the rim of the canyon, it is free of trees allowing into view the  steam vents down by the river. In all, this hike is a beautiful beginner friendly hike. It features many beautiful animals and an amazing scenery.

737 Edited by gnau

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


From Tower Junction, Yellowstone National Park

  1. Head east on Grand Loop Rd toward US-212 E
    Toll road
    (299 ft)
  2. Turn left at the 1st cross street onto US-212 E
    Toll road
    (1.2 mi)
  3. Turn right (98 ft)
  4. Slight right (187 ft)