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!
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.
|When to do|
May through October
At Parking Lot
Out and back
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.
To extend the hike continue down the west side of Bunsen Peak (a looser trail), then loop back along the flat Bunsen Peak Road.
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