Mallard Lake Trail

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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.
11.7 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.
272 m
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Directions to Trailhead

The Mallard Lake Trail is a lovely route in Yellowstone National Park. This trail can be done as a day hike or broken up over a few days by camping at Mallard Lake. The Mallard Lake Trail is moderately challenging but appropriate for families with older children.

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Route Description for Mallard Lake Trail

The Mallard Lake Trail is a beautiful hike in Yellowstone. However, this trail can be quite buggy in the early summer. If you are hiking in June or early July, be sure to pack bug repellent or wear long layers to combat the mosquitoes. Mosquitos aren’t the only wildlife you see on the Mallard Lake Loop. This trail is a good place to see moose and deer. Bears are also seen along this trail. Make sure you educate everyone in your hiking party about bear safety before hitting the trail. At least one member of your hiking group should carry bear spray and know how to use it. There are, unfortunately, no fish in Mallard Lake.

If you are looking to escape the crowds of Old Faithful and enjoy some peace and solitude in the Wyoming wilderness, the Mallard Lake Trail is the route for you. With low traffic year-round, three lovely campgrounds, and glassy, crystal-clear water, Mallard Lake is the perfect place to kick back and relax and enjoy the beauty of Yellowstone National Park.

To hike the Mallard Lake Trail, begin at the Mallard Lake Trailhead and follow the path across the Firehole River to a divide. At the divide, take the path on your left to continue east up the hill to Mallard Lake.

Kick back and relax and enjoy your time on the shores of Mallard Lake. When you are ready to head home, simply retrace your steps back to the Mallard Lake Trailhead, where you began.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you fish in Mallard Lake?

No, there are no fish in Yellowstone’s Mallard Lake.

Can you swim in Mallard Lake?

Swimming in Mallard Lake is not recommended.

Insider Hints for Mallard Lake Trail

  • This hike has a steady incline up to the lake, bring along hiking poles if you’d like some extra support
  • In the summer, this trail is peppered with fragrant wildflowers
  • The Mallard Lake Trail makes a great trail running route

Getting to the Mallard Lake Trail Trailhead

This hike begins at the Mallard Lake Trailhead on Lower Lodge Loop, just east of the Old Faithful Lodge.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Mallard Lake Outlet, Mallard Lake E, Mallard Lake SE

  • When to do

    May to September

  • Pets allowed


  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type

    Out and back

Mallard Lake Trail Elevation Graph

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Mallard Lake Trail Reviews

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