Bunsen Peak

Yellowstone
View Photos

Bunsen Peak

Distance: 4.4mi
Elevation: 1,558ft
Time: 2-3h

Difficulty Rating:

Rising above the grassy planes and the herds of buffalo, the hike up Bunsen Peak will give you a new perspective on where you have been travelling. The short climb on a well-maintained trail is well worth the plentiful views of Yellowstone!

Getting there

Drive south of Mammoth towards Norris Junction for 8km and turn off at the Bunsen Peak parking lot. The turnoff is just as you leave the Golden Gate Canyon. This miniscule parking lot fills up nearly instantaneously, so get there early.

About

When to do

May through October

Backcountry Campsites

No

Toilets

At Parking Lot

Family friendly

No

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

Moderate

Route Type

Out and back


Elevation


Detailed Description

Shortly after starting up the trail you will come to a junction, take the left path leading up to Bunsen Peak. This trail switchbacks mildly up the entire mountain – a fantastic introduction to gaining some elevation in a hike.

As you hike and from the top you will able to look north down the Golden Gate Canyon toward Mammoth. The most visible views will be of Electric Peak and the Gallatin Range to the west. Beautiful – albeit dead – standing trees line the entire climb, as does the ever-expanding view of the Swan Lake Flats.

Two thirds of the way up the hike you will get a view of the impressive rock feature called Cathedral Rock. From here the scenes of Mammoth Hot Springs and Mount Everts are the best.

Insider Hints

  • To extend the hike continue down the west side of Bunsen Peak (a looser trail), then loop back along the flat Bunsen Peak Road.

Similar adventures

Avalanche Peak

Difficulty:
5mi
2297ft
3-5h

The trail up to Avalanche Peak is one of the highlights of walking in Yellowstone National Park. The hike up…

South Rim

Difficulty:
2.8mi
656ft
1.5-2.5h

The South Rim is our favorite way to view the incredible Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, providing a variety of…

Brink of the Lower Falls

Difficulty:
1.2mi
328ft
0.5-1h

The Lower Brink of Yellowstone Falls trail is a steep climb down to the viewpoint of the Grand Canyon of…