328 steps. Short but strenuous hike. Scenic view of the Lower Yellowstone Falls from 3/4 of the way down the canyon.

If your in the Yellowstone National Park, this is a must do. The trail/stair case is visible from the opposite of the canyon, weaving its way down the canyon wall to a nice outlook at the base. Once we saw the staircase we knew we had to do it. When you're in the Yellowstone Canyon area, travel down the Artists Point Road and park at the parking lot at Artists point.

Uncle Tom's Trail is more of a stairway then a trail. After a few switchbacks in the trail, you arrive at the first few concrete steps. These steps abruptly turn into a metal stair case that takes you along the canyon wall. With 328 steps, the metal staircase takes you 3/4's of the way down the canyon wall to give you a nice vantage point of the Lower Falls. Be careful, going down the stairs is easy, getting back up is a different story. But if you think this is horrible, imagine Uncle Tom touring groups this same route only with rope ladders!

Pack List

  • A good attitude
  • Water
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
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RT Distance 0.2 Miles
Elevation Gain 500 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Groups
River
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Closed for construction

We went to check this out on 6/21/18 and it’s Closed for construction! No timeline on when it will be finished but it looks no where near done (the whole parking area is tore up) Super bummed as it seemed like a neat adventure.

Feelin' the burn, but worth it!

So glad we endured all of those stairs to experience this hike! It is down, down, down, and then up, up, up and we saw multiple people who probably should not have made the hike, so be aware of your limits on stairs.

Don't Let the Number of Stairs Keep You Away!

This is one of my favorite hikes in Yellowstone. Sure there are a lot of stairs, but you can take them at your own pace, resting as needed. The hike is relatively short and the rewards are great, with a spectacular close-up view of the lower falls and surrounding canyon. There are many side trails around this area too that will take you off the beaten path for some quite solitude in the park. Bonus: You will often see rainbows here, which makes the whole experience that much cooler.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

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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