Hike Uncle Tom's Trail
Wyoming › Uncle Toms Trail
Added by Derek Tice
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!
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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.
I have been there around in the beginning of June. There was a lot of people during my visit. The trail was pretty steep but short. At the time, the sun was in the right spot to create the rainbow during 9-12 am.
So Many Stairs!
Yes-it is a lot of stairs...but the trail is short enough it shouldn't be an issue for the average person. There are platforms and a few benches to rest on after every 50 stairs or so if needed. The parking lot can get quite crowded and it may be difficult to find a parking space during the summer at mid-day. If you're lucky and the sun is in the right spot (around noon in the summer), you'll see a beautiful double rainbow over the falls.
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