• Activities:

    Chillin, Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    4.2 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    1000 Feet

Easy Parking
Scenic
Wildlife

Short hike in Yellowstone's Lamar Valley with the option to link up to the 17.7 mile Specimen Ridge Trail.

The parking area for this hike is .3 miles west of the bridge crossing the Lamar River on the NE Entrance Road. The parking area is on the east side of the road. The trail isn't well marked but is clear and pretty easy to follow. The trail starts off on a flat stretch of valley. Follow the trail east then to the south and start to head up the slope towards the pine trees. It is surprisingly steep once you start to head up the slope and you will probably have to take a couple breaks to catch your breath.

The trail continues up and passes through some low scrub bushes. You will get to a pine forest, which you continue through. There are multiple small trails that lead up to the top. If you take the trails to the left (east), there is a petrified stump; to the right (west) takes a little longer but offers better views of the Lamar River and some lakes. Once you get to the top, you will be rewarded for all that uphill by some great views of the Lamar Valley.

You can take a break, enjoy the view, and head back down to the parking lot, or continue up and hook up with the Specimen Ridge trail. I headed back down after reaching the top. The Specimen Ridge trail leads to a petrified forest, the summit of Amethyst Mountain, and ends at the Lamar River Trailhead. To hook up with it, you continue up the hill behind the outlook until you link up to the trail on the ridge. From this point to the end of the Specimen Ridge trail at the Lamar River Trailhead is about 15 miles, so be prepared if you plan to do that lengthy hike and make sure to have someone drive your car down to the Lamar River Trailhead to be picked up.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Hiking shoes
  • Camera
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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