Trails for Every Trekker: 12 Wyoming Hiking Trails in & Near National Parks

Wyoming’s many hiking trails are pristine pathways to only-in-Wyoming views, such as iconic Old Faithful, mysterious Devils Tower and the photogenic Grand Tetons. Check out these hikes in and around Wyoming’s national parks, forests and monuments, which are listed below by level of difficulty, ranging from laid-back walks to uphill climbs.

Jenny Lake Loop Trail, courtesy T. Boni via Flickr

Beginner Wyoming Hiking Trails

Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park 

Capture the best of Yellowstone’s geysers from the boardwalks at Old Faithful on this popular 4-mile loop trail. Yellowstone possesses nearly 60 percent of the world’s geysers, and the Upper Geyser Basin is home to the largest number of these steamy spectacles, including Castle, Grand, Daisy and Old Faithful. Plan to spend two hours investigating this area at dawn or dusk to escape the crowds. Explore more Yellowstone geyser experiences.

Tower Trail, Devils Tower National Monument 

Discover Devils Tower from every angle as you encircle Wyoming’s most famous rock formation on this 1.2-mile loop trail. Along the way, you’ll spot birds, chipmunks, a large prairie dog habitat and even golden eagles. Learn more about Devils Tower.

Nature Trail and Historic Quarry Trail, Fossil Butte National Monument 

The 1.5-mile Nature Trail is ideal for viewing wildlife such as mule deer, pronghorn, elk, jackrabbits, grouse, golden eagles and robins, while the 2.5-mile Historic Quarry Trail is a bit more challenging and allows hikers to experience the geology of Fossil Butte. Both loop trails have exhibits along the way that reveal information about the area’s geology, history, wildlife and vegetation. Read more about Wyoming’s national parks and monuments.

Artist Paint Pots, Yellowstone National Park  

From this 1.2-mile loop trail located on Yellowstone’s west side, the whole family can enjoy spectacular views of Mount Holmes and the sight of gurgling mud resembling hot chocolate pudding. The presence of hydrogen-sulfite gases converted into sulfuric acid by microorganisms turn rock into clay to form the mud pots, which pop and bubble as various gases continue to escape them. Be alert for flying hot mud while you marvel at this scientifically fascinating marvel.

Intermediate Wyoming Hiking Trails

Mystic Falls Trail, Yellowstone National Park 

Travel up a narrow ravine to the majestic, 70-foot waterfall along the Little Firehole River, and hike along the wooded highlands to a viewpoint of Firehole River valley with the Upper Geyser Basin in the distance. This 3-mile loop trail starting at Biscuit Basin is best done in the clockwise direction, so you’ll see the falls first and the gorgeous overlook will appear suddenly as you continue along the trail.

The Falls Trail, Sinks Canyon State Park

While the main attraction at Sinks Canyon State Park is the geological spectacle in which the Popo Agie (pronounced pu-PO-juh) River disappears into a hefty cavern (the Sinks) and reappears in a trout-filled pool, the series of waterfalls and cascades at Middle Fork Falls are worth a visit. The 3-mile round-trip hike leads to the falls and lovely canyon, river and mountain views. Find the trailhead at Bruce’s Parking Area for Shoshone National Forest, about 3 miles up the road from Sinks Canyon State Park Visitor Center. Learn more about Wyoming’s state parks and historic sites.

Jenny Lake Loop Trail, Grand Teton National Park 

If you’re looking to cross paths with moose, deer, eagles and other wildlife, a hike along Jenny Lake Loop Trail delivers excellent opportunities for encounters with the national park’s coolest inhabitants. The 7.1-mile round-trip trail skirts the lake’s shore at the foot of the Grand Tetons, guaranteeing beautiful views. The trailhead is located at the east shore of the boat dock. This is a popular trail, so hike in the early morning or late afternoon for a more solitary journey.

Beauty Lake Trail, Shoshone National Forest 

This 5-mile out-and-back trail delivers dazzling views from the start at Beartooth Lake, which bears crystal clear reflections of Beartooth Butte and a clay tower that looks like it was stolen from a classic Western film. The short, yet challenging trail will lead you to Beauty Lake, and then to Crane Lake and surrounding alpine meadows where you can enjoy some much-deserved rest on a rock bench.

Advanced Hiking Trails

Elephant Back Mountain Trail, Yellowstone National Park 

A highlight of this 3.6-mile, loop trail, which starts at small parking area along the Grand Loop Road near Lake Village, includes one of the best elevated viewpoints of Yellowstone Lake and the surrounding mountains. Trek through a lodgepole pine forest on a moderately steep trail to emerge at a clear, tree-framed viewpoint of Yellowstone Lake’s north shoreline. Discover more wondrous Yellowstone attractions.

Sykes Mountain Trail, Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area 

Hike through layers of time on this 3.75-mile round-trip trail that weaves through junipers, boulders and sandstone ledges. Tiers of mountain terrain that appear during the climb reveal nature’s transformative effect on the environment. The rugged, cross-country trek starting near the Horseshoe Bend access road sign will take you up a desert mountain to the overlooks of Bighorn Canyon and Horseshoe Bend. The trail can be less than enjoyable on scorching summer days, so be sure to plan accordingly.

Table Mountain Trail, Grand Teton National Park 

Encounter the grandeur of the Grand Tetons by completing this 12-mile out-and-back trail in Caribou-Targhee National Forest. The top of Table Mountain possesses the best vantage point in the park for close-up views of the Grand Tetons and Cascade Canyon, which drops nearly 3,000 feet below. With an elevation gain of 3,606 feet, this trail is only recommended for experienced hikers. Find Table Mountain’s trailhead near Teton Canyon Campground on Teton Canyon Road after a drive through the town of Alta. Find more summer adventures in Grand Teton National Park.

Amphitheater Lake Trail, Grand Teton National Park 

Ambitious and experienced ramblers can tackle this 4.8-mile back-and-out trail (about 10 miles round trip) in a day. Drift through dense fir and pine forests, wildflower-covered meadows and glacial moraines before reaching the ascent up a mountain. At the top, Disappointment Peak will tower above you. The one-of-a-kind views of Amphitheater and Surprise lakes make this hike worth the 3,000-foot climb. 

See more Wyoming hiking trails.