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    Purple Mountain Trail

    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.
    9.5 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.
    488 m
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    The Purple Mountain Trail is a fantastic hike in Yellowstone National Park. This route traces a series of steep switchbacks to a summit overlook with incredible, panoramic views of Yellowstone National Park. This trail is appropriate for moderately experienced hikers and families with older children.

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    Route Description for Purple Mountain Trail

    The Purple Mountain Trail is a wonderful hiking route in Yellowstone National Park. This trail is moderately strenuous, with a steep, consistent climb to the summit. Proper, supportive hiking footwear is essential on this route, and we strongly recommend bringing along a set of hiking poles to aid in your ascent and save your knees some strain on the way back down. The Purple Mountain trail does travel through bear country. Before you head out on your adventure, make sure that everyone in your hiking group is familiar with bear safety protocols. At least one member of your hiking party should carry a canister of bear spray and know how to use it.

    With lovely scenery along the trail and awe-inspiring views from the top, the Purple Mountain Trail is a fantastic hike in Yellowstone National Park. The climb up to the top will burn your muscles and heart pumping, but we promise that the summit views are totally worth it.

    To hike the Purple Mountain Trail, begin at the Purple Mountain trailhead and follow the well-marked path north up the switchbacks to the summit overlook.

    Take a well-deserved rest at the top and soak in the incredible views of Yellowstone National Park stretching to the horizon line. When you are ready to head home, simply turn around and retrace your steps back to the Purple Mountain Trailhead where you began.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How long is the Purple Mountain Trail?

    The Purple Mountain Trail is 9.5 km round-trip.

    Insider Hints for Purple Mountain Trail

    • This hike is not long but it does have a steep climb; bring more water than you think you’ll need.
    • Purple Mountain usually has snow on top until mid-May.
    • Bring the camera! This hike is gorgeous.

    Getting to the Purple Mountain Trail Trailhead

    This hike begins at the Purple Mountain Trailhead on the north side of Grand Loop Road, just east of the Madison Campground.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground


    • When to do

      May to September

    • Pets allowed


    • Family friendly

      Older Children only

    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Purple Mountain Trail Elevation Graph

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    Purple Mountain Trail Reviews

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