Hayden Valley Trail

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.
5-6.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
21.9 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.
327 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead

The Hayden Valley trail is a gorgeous route in Yellowstone National Park. With over 20.9 km of trail, this is a great place to see the flora and fauna of this region. The Hayden Valley Trail can either be done as a full day hike or broken up over a couple of days by camping at 4W1 Wrangler Lake Campground nearby.

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Route Description for Hayden Valley Trail

The Hayden Valley Hiking Trail is a wonderful route from the Fishing Bridge to the Chittenden Bridge in Yellowstone National Park. This is a long hike. Make sure that, if you plan to do it all in one day, you start your hike early and bring along a headlamp in case you wind up finishing in the dark. With so much to explore, the Hayden Valley Trail is a great place to see wildlife, including elk, bison, and wolves. Bears are sometimes seen in this area. Before hitting the trail, make sure that everyone in your hiking party is familiar with bear safety protocols. At least one member of your hiking group should carry bear spray and know how to use it properly.

To hike the Hayden Valley trail, begin at the Fishing Bridge Visitors Center and follow the Howard Eaton Fishing Bridge Canyon Trail north as it winds its way along the east bank of the Yellowstone River. The trail will divide approximately 3.2 km in; stay right here to remain on route. 14.5 km later, the trail will split once again; stay right here, then keep left to follow the Sour Creek Trail and the Wapiti Lake Trail to the Wapiti Lake Trailhead.

Your arrival at the Wapiti Lake Trailhead marks the end of the Hayden Valley Hiking Trail. From here, catch your shuttle home or explore Yellowstone Falls along the North Rim Trail that begins here if you have the energy.

Getting to the Hayden Valley Trail Trailhead

This hike begins at the Fishing Bridge Visitors Center on East Entrance Road and ends at the Wapiti Lake Trailhead on South Rim Drive.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Fishing Bridge RV Park, 4W1 Wrangler Lake Campground

  • When to do

    June to September

  • Pets allowed

    No

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    One Way

Hayden Valley Trail Elevation Graph

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