What Hiking The Lava Creek Trail in the Yellowstone Really Like
If you are looking to enjoy some good wildlife viewing opportunities with nice scenery, then drive to the Yellowstone and make your way to the Lava Creek trail head for an exciting trailing experience.
Located at the Yellowstone National Park, Lava Creek Canyon Trail which is rated as moderate and can be best done from May to September. The trail features a glittering waterfall and also offers quite a good number of activity options, one of which is riding horseback.
Just so you know, this kid-friendly trail often opens before other trails in the park. Due to its relatively low elevation, Lava Creek Trail is naturally known to be one of the earliest trails in the park to become clear of snow. So, if you are looking to experience an early-in-the-season hike, this is the trail to choose. There are lots of good wildlife viewing opportunities and great views as you journey along the way.
The trail head can be located just across the road that leads from Lava Creek Picnic Area. You will have to turn left and continue through sagebrush meadows as soon as you reach the junction where the trail connects with the Blacktail Ponds Spur Trail. While journeying on this trail, take time to look for people on the other side of the creek viewing Undine Falls and try to listen to the sound of falling waters. Visitors can also view the falls, however, there is need for utmost cautiousness as there are no guardrails off the trail.
Lava Creek Trail can be hiked as an out-and-back. It leads past Undine Falls while passing through Lava Creek Canyon. This one-way, mostly downhill hike also leads up to the highway located very close to Mammoth along the Gardner River. At Mammoth, pick-ups can be arranged for anyone heading toward North Entrance Road. As a matter of fact, this trail is best done as a shuttle.
The trail affords some impressive views of the Mammoth Hot Spring Terraces and Lava Creek from where it bends to the right just after the falls. Before passing an open area at the 2.7-mile mark, the trail also steeps down into a forest mixed with lodge pole pine, fir and spruce. Watch for buffaloes and elks while following the trail along the Gardner River. Mount Everts can also be spotted around this area. Horses are not allowed on the steel suspension bridge that crosses the Gardner River.
Before meandering up and down along the river, the trail makes a right turn after making a climb up the hill from the bridge. Not too far from the Mammoth Hot Springs Camp Ground (about a half a mile) The Lava Creek Trail comes to an end.
There are quite a good number of trails in Yellowstone, but the Lava Creek Trail offers a range of interesting views that are rare to find elsewhere.