Avalanche Peak

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Moderate
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
3.5-4.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
8.1 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
700 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
Overall Rating
This is the average user-submitted overall rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
9.7
Physical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Technical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
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Directions to Trailhead
Views from the Avalanche Peak Hike in Yellowstone National Park

The trail up to Avalanche Peak is one of the highlights of walking in Yellowstone National Park. The hike up is steep, but it all becomes worth it at the top, where plentiful mountain views and gorgeous alpine valleys fill the horizon.

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Route Description for Avalanche Peak

This entire trail is very steep. Right from the beginning you will start climbing. Initially you travel through a densely-wooded forest, passing through several small meadows. Around halfway through the climb you will reach a small plateau where you will be able to see your objective up to the left – a long rocky ridge.

The trail veers to the left and continues to climb. Here you will encounter some scree, so take care. You will shortly come to the southern side of the ridge leading to Avalanche Peak. You’re not done yet, however the rest of the trail is mostly flat.

Continue along the ridge until you reach the northern tip of the crest and bask in the beautiful views that expand in every direction. Across the valley to the southeast you will be able to see Hoyt Peak, and the cirque that extends beyond it. Looking back the way you came, you will be able to spot Grizzly Peak directly across Sylvan Lake, and Top Notch Peak directly to the south. Across the plain to the west you will be able to spot the massive Yellowstone Lake expanding into the horizon.

The best views are north, of Silvertip Peak and the range of mountains that extend to its east. Don’t worry; people have made wind shelters at the top so you can prolong your stay. Bring a warm coat and a windbreaker. Return the way you came.

Insider Hints for Avalanche Peak

  • Starting early is paramount for this hike. Climbing in the cool temperature makes the elevation gain feel a lot easier.

Getting to the Avalanche Peak Trailhead

Drive towards the east entrance to the park. From Fishing Bridge (the north end of Yellowstone Lake), drive 27.0 km to the east towards Cody, Wyoming. After you pass Sylvan Lake, but before you pass Eleanor Lake, the signs for the trailhead will direct you to park on your right. Here there is limited parking and picnic tables. The trailhead is directly across the road from the parking lot.

Route Information

  • When to do

    June through September

  • Backcountry Campsites

    No

  • Toilets

    At parking lot and partway up the trail

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Avalanche Peak Elevation Graph

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Avalanche Peak Reviews

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