Yellowstone National Park Trails near Lake Village

Natural Bridge Trail

The natural bridge is a 51 ft. (18 m) high cliff of rhyolite rock that has been cut through by the erosional forces of Bridge Creek. The trail from the campground meanders through the forest for 1.2 mile (0.8 km). It then joins the road and continues to the right (west) for 1 mile (1.5 km) before reaching the Natural Bridge. The short but steep switchback trail to the top of the bridge starts in front of the interpretive exhibit. To protect this fragile resource, the top of the bridge is closed to hiking. However, good views may be attained next to the bridge. The bicycle trail to the bridge begins just south of the marina off the main road.

The trail is closed from late spring to early summer due to bears feeding on spawning trout in Bridge Creek. Inquire at the Visitor Center about trail closures before hiking or bicycling these trails.

Trailhead: Bridge Bay Marina parking lot near the campground entrance road

Distance: 3 miles (5 km) roundtrip

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Storm Point Trail

This trail begins in the open meadows overlooking Indian Pond and Yellowstone Lake. The trail passes by the pond before turning right (west) into the forest. It continues through the trees and out to scenic, windswept Storm Point. The rocky area near the point is home to a large colony of yellow-bellied marmots. Following the shoreline to the west, the trail eventually loops through the lodgepole pine forest and returns to Indian Pond.

Trailhead: Pullout at Indian Pond, 3 miles (5 km) east of Fishing Bridge Visitor Center

Distance: 2 mile (3 km) loop

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Elephant Back Mountain Trail

This trail climbs 800 ft (244 km) in 1-1/2 miles (2.4 km) through a dense lodgepole pine forest. After a mile, the trail splits into a loop. The left fork is the shortest and least steep route to the top. The overlook provides a sweeping panoramic view of Yellowstone Lake and the surrounding area.

Trailhead: Pullout 1 mile (1.5 km) south of Fishing Bridge Junction

Distance: 3 mile (5 km) loop

Level of Difficulty: Moderately strenuous

Howard Eaton Trail

From the east side of Fishing Bridge, the trail follows the Yellowstone River for a short distance before joining a service road; the trail continues on the road for 1/4 mile (0.4 km). Leaving the road, the trail meanders for three miles (5 km) through meadow, forest, and sagebrush flats with frequent views of the river. Wildlife and waterfowl are commonly seen here. The last mile (1.5 km) passes through a dense lodgepole pine forest before reaching an overview of LeHardy Rapids.

To return, follow the same trail back to the trailhead. The trail does continue on for another 12 miles (19 km) to the South Rim Drive at Canyon, but is not well maintained. This trip would require planning for a full day's hike and a return ride to the trailhead.

This area is good grizzly bear habitat, and the trail is closed when bears are known to be in the area. Inquire at the Visitor Center before hiking.

Trailhead: Parking lot on east side of Fishing Bridge

Distance: 7 miles (11.3 km) roundtrip

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Avalanche Peak Trail

This trail climbs steeply (1,800 ft in 2.5 miles) without the benefit of switchbacks. It passes through the forest and into an old avalanche slide area. It continues through the whitebark pine forest to a small meadow at the base of the bowl of Avalanche Peak, affording some of the best panoramic views in the park. The trail continues up a scree slope along the narrow ridgeline of Avalanche Peak. An unmarked trail drops down the northeast side of the bowl and returns to the meadow. Since whitebark pine cones are a favored food of grizzly bears in the fall, avoid this trail at that time.

Trailhead: West end of Eleanor Lake across the road to the east of the small creek

Distance: 5 miles (8 km) roundtrip

Level of Difficulty: Strenuous

Pelican Valley Trail

This trail winds through the Pelican Valley providing views of the broad open valley and forest, some of the best grizzly habitat in the lower 48 states. It reaches the footbridge in 3 miles (5 km). The trail continues on through the valley. Due to grizzly bears in the area, the trail is not open until July 4th, and then it is recommended (not required) for use by groups of four people or more.

Trailhead: Dirt road 3 miles (5 km) east of Fishing Bridge Visitor Center, across the road from Indian Pond

Distance: 6 miles (10 km) roundtrip to footbridge

Level of Difficulty: Moderate The Yellowstone Park Foundation funded the Pelican Valley Trail Reroute Project. They are a non-profit organization whose mission is to fund projects and programs that protect, preserve and enhance Yellowstone National Park. To learn more about current trail restoration projects for which the foundation is raising funds, visit their Trail Projects page .

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