My absolute favorite part of our trip to Yellowstone was hiking Bunsen Peak Trail Yellowstone. It was incredible. The views were just so cool. If you are visiting Yellowstone, and like to hike, this hike is a must! The trail is just south of Mammoth Falls and really easy to find.
If you are planning a trip to Yellowstone, I wrote a blog post all about visiting Yellowstone. It is such a spectacular National park, it needs to make it to your must-visit list!
There is some great info in this article about the trail.
Parking is easy to locate for Bunsen Peak. Our GPS took us right there with the parking lot being a good size.
Each turn is a new view and all are amazing. You get sweeping views of the park, of course, but also the Gallatin Mountains in the distance. The trail is 4.4 miles long, in and out. It is rated moderate, so not too bad. Just keep in mind though, that if you aren't used to the altitude, it might be a challenge.
The peak is about 8500 feet, but the elevation gain is only about 1300 feet.
A family who hikes together stays together
I think this is a great hike for families with older kids. We hiked with our family and my brother's. The kids ranged from 8-16 years old. Our kids are in good shape and had no issues.
We were not the only families out there on the trail either. This is a popular trail and for good reason. The switchbacks on the trail keep it doable for most who are in decent shape.
Here is my hiking buddy on the trip. I just love my little nephew and we chatted the whole way up the trail. I know a lot of people love solo hiking, but I prefer hiking with other people!
Snow in higher altitudes
We visited the first week in June, and there was still snow up top. it made it kind of fun though and the change was cool.
This can be expected in the early and late seasons because of the elevation. It wasn't deep enough that it was an issue though. It is just something to be mindful of.
Hiking pole suggestions
There seems to be a stigma when it comes to using hiking poles, and I am not sure why? They are great for stability and navigating tricky trails.
My hubby uses them on our more challenging hikes, and really loves them. I cannot find the ones we used online anymore, but here is a site with some great suggestions for good poles.
Poles can be good to use on Bunsen Peak as the trail gets a little funny to navigate higher up.
Let me just put this out there- my husband is 63 and still going strong. I love that although a lot of the hikes he goes on with us are really challenging, he still plugs through. He is awesome!
Hiking Boot Recommendations
Here we are getting close to the top. In case you are wondering, here are the hiking boots I use. I have had them for over a year now and love them.
But, let me update you a bit on this. While I still have and occasionally use these hiking boots, I have switched to hiking shoes for most of my hikes.
They are lighter to hike in and personally more comfortable. If you hike often, I would easily recommend shoes on a hike as opposed to boots.
If you have weak ankles or have sustained injuries to your ankles before, boots might be a better option. It is a personal choice.
There is plenty of wildlife to be seen on this trail. We saw a fox, plenty of birds, etc.
If you are wondering if there are bears in the area, I would say, yes. While we didn't encounter any, it is Yellowstone. We carried bear spray with us the whole time we were in the park.
We also visited with a woman after we came down off the hike would said one of the nearby trails had been closed per bear activity. Just be mindful, and respectful of distance and you should have no problem. Also note: I was born and raised in Alaska. Wildlife was an everyday part of our lives.
We made it! They have a cute cabin and radio station up top. Don't forget to log in to the hiker's book at the cabin.
Once you get to the peak, you have beautiful 360-degree views that are just spectacular! It was really windy up top, so bring something to layer. All of us threw on our jackets.
Snacking is really important on good trails like this. Our favorites are beef jerky, dried fruits and fig bars. My husband is giving an example here with his beef jerky :).
Water is a necessity as well. The day we hiked was cool. but there is very little shade, so if you are hiking on a hot day, you will want plenty of water!