Hike Uncle Tom's Trail

Details

Distance

0.2 miles

Elevation Gain

500 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

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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Chillin
Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Groups
River
Scenic
Waterfall

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Reviews

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Explorer

🥈 Contributor

over 4 years ago

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.

🥉Contributor

almost 5 years ago

Nice photos!

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.

Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

almost 5 years ago

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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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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