Cascade Lake

This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
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.
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
9.3 km
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.
87 m
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Directions to Trailhead

The Cascade Lake Trail is a lovely hike in Yellowstone National Park. This trail is moderately challenging but very family-friendly. This area is a great place to go for a day hike or an introductory backpacking trip.

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Route Description for Cascade Lake

The Cascade Lake trail is a gorgeous hiking route that's fun for the whole family. This trail can be buggy in the early summer; if you are hiking in late June or early July, bring along some bug repellent or wear long layers to deter the mosquitoes. Don't worry; mosquitoes won't be the only critters you'll see along this trail. The Cascade Lake Trail is a great place to see forest wildlife, including elk, bison, deer, and even swans. As with any hike in Yellowstone, there may be bears in the area, so make sure that everyone in your hiking group is aware of bear safety protocols before hitting the trail. At least one member of your hiking party should carry bear spray and know how to use it properly.

The Cascade Lake Trail truly is a wonderful spot to spend the day with the whole family. This trail doesn't get the crazy crowds of some of the other routes in Yellowstone, and the campgrounds along the lakeshore make the perfect place for a family picnic. Whether you hike this route in one day or spread your trip over a couple of days by camping on the lakeshore, the Cascade Lake Trail is a fantastic place to spend quality time with friends and family.

To hike the Cascade Lake Trail, begin at the Cascade Creek trailhead and follow the path north for 2.7 km to a divide. At the divide, take the path on your left to hike west along Cascade Creek to Cascade Lake.

Enjoy your time on the shores of Cascade Lake. When you are ready to head home, simply retrace your steps back to the Cascade Creek Trailhead where you began.

Trail Highlights

Cascade Lake

Cascade Lake is a small yet beautiful freshwater lake in Yellowstone National Park. There are three lovely, well maintained campsites on the lakeshore. Cutthroat Trout and grayling are the primary fish caught in this lake.

Insider Hints for Cascade Lake

  • This route makes a good introductory backpacking trip
  • In the early season, or after a rainstorm, this trail can be quite muddy so wear good, waterproof footwear if possible
  • If you are looking for a bigger adventure, this route can be extended along the Observation Peak via Cascade Lake Trail

Getting to the Cascade Lake Trailhead

This hike begins at the Cascade Creek Trailhead on the north side of Norris Canyon Road, just east of the Canyon Visitor Education Center.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Cascade Creek, Cascade Lake North, Cascade Lake West

  • When to do

    May to September

  • Pets allowed


  • Family friendly


  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type

    Out and back

Cascade Lake Elevation Graph

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