Cascade Lake Trail to Observation 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.
4-5.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
15.0 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.
475 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead

The Cascade Lake Trail to Observation Peak is a gorgeous hike that earns you incredible views of Yellowstone National Park. This trail can be done as a full day hike or broken up into an overnight backpacking trip by camping at Cascade Lake. The climb up to the top of Observation Peak is steep and strenuous and not recommended for families with young children.

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Route Description for Cascade Lake Trail to Observation Peak

The Cascade Lake Trail to Observation Peak is a moderately challenging hike. This trail features a steep and strenuous climb to the top of Observation Peak. Proper hiking footwear and lots of water are essential for this route, and we strongly recommend bringing along a set of hiking poles to aid your ascent and save your knees some strain on the way back down. Though the climb will leave your muscles burning, the views from the top of Observation Peak are worth it. Don’t forget the camera; you will earn yourself an incredible 360-degree view of Yellowstone National Park stretching out to the horizon line from the top.

Beginning at the Cascade Lake Trailhead, follow the path east to Cascade Lake. At Cascade Lake, take the path on your right to head north up to the top of Observation Peak.

At the top of Observation Peak, take a well-deserved rest and snap some photos of the Wyoming wilderness before turning around and retracing your steps back to the Cascade Lake Trailhead where you began.

Check out the Observation Peak via Cascade Creek Trail for a variation on this route.

Getting to the Cascade Lake Trail to Observation Peak Trailhead

This hike begins at the Cascade Lake Trailhead on Grand Loop Road just north of the Canyon Village.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Cascade Creek, Cascade Lake North

  • When to do

    June to October

  • Pets allowed

    No

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Low

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Cascade Lake Trail to Observation Peak Elevation Graph

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