Hike Slough Creek Trail

Rate this Adventure 56 miles  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Marilla Havens

Long, easy hikeIncredible wildlifeViews of the vast Lamar ValleySome type of satisfying when you hit the border of Wyoming and the border of the park

This long, scenic trail wanders 11 miles along the slow-moving Slough Creek from the Slough Creek campground, into Montana, and to the border of the park. This area of the park is known for its wildlife, and you're likely to see bison, a vast variety of birds of prey, and maybe a bear or pack of wolves if you're lucky. Keep an eye out for signs of bears on the trees along the path. The creek is also apparently great for fishing if you're into that.

To reach the trailhead, take the road east from Tower Junction (near Roosevelt Lodge) and turn left on the dirt road to Slough Creek Campground. The trailhead is located a little before the campground and there's plenty of parking and a pit toilet.

This trail is well-used and well-maintained, and is open to horse traffic, so you may run into a few stock parties. If you do, step off the trail and avoid sudden movements that could scare the horses.

Except for a hill at the very beginning, this trail is pretty much flat. Get past that first hill and you're home free for a beautiful stroll along Slough Creek. The creek goes through several vast, picturesque valleys with views of the surrounding mountains. If you don't have time to hike the whole thing, it's worth making it to the first valley (around 2 miles in), which has some stunning rock formations and beautiful views of the mountains.

Around 4 miles in, you'll hit the first of several lovely campsites along the way, making this a great option for an easy overnighter. Book these sites in advance up to 2 days before your trip at a backcountry office at one of the visitor centers located at all the main locations in Yellowstone.

At 8.2 miles you'll reach a junction that would take you over to Pebble Creek Trail--take a left to stay on the trail. Soon after that you'll reach the border of Montana, marked by a small sign. Another 3 miles (which will feel like the longest three miles of your life) or so and you reach the border of the park, where there's a ranger station and a small ranch. This is a great place to stop for lunch and crack open some beers because you've got a long trek back. Once you get to the border, head back the way you came to the trailhead.

This is a great trail to do on a cooler day, as there's limited shade and it's easy to bake in the mountain sun. Leave in the morning for the best chance to see wildlife, and be sure to bring bear spray. As a day hike at an average pace, it'll take you around 9 hours, so bring plenty of water and food. Keep in mind that in Yellowstone, it often rains briefly in the afternoon, so there's a solid chance you get rained on a little.

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Camping
Fishing
Backpacking
Hiking
Forest
River
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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