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Posted by Granite Head ( on 12:07:44 07/01/13

In Reply to: Hiking Trails posted by Paul Jones

Just did Lone Star geyser, which is about 2.5 easy miles each way; we were (accidentally) lucky enough to time our arrival 5 minutes before it went into a 25-minute full eruption. One reason the trek is easy is that it is an old road, flat and in good condition, but it's also one of the prettiest hikes in the park as it runs along the Firehole River for quite a ways. The visitor center at Old Faithful might be able to give you prediction information, it erupts about every 3 hours.

Another former, and flat, road leads past Grand Prismatic Spring to Fairy Falls, and about a half mile farther to two really neat back country geysers. I think that walk is slightly longer - maybe 3 miles in each direction - than Lone Star.

If you can do steep but quite short, the walk to Trout Lake is very rewarding. If you can walk a little farther, follow the path past the inlet about another quarter mile to Buck Lake, more remote and similarly spectacular. That part isn't as steep.

Another favorite modest hike is Slough Creek (starts at the vault toilet near the entrance to the camp ground) to First Meadow, just gorgeous back there but it is bear country so keep that in mind. I've never encountered a bear there but did experience a wolf howl-fest that stopped us in our tracks! We never did see the wolves.

Beaver Ponds trail, a loop from Mammoth Hot Springs, takes you through various kinds of landscapes, woods, open fields, sage brush, with attendant flora and fauna. I think it's about 5 miles and not too hilly.

In general I think you're likely to see more wildlife from the car than the trail. You might certainly hope to see bears from the car rather than on foot :-) However, I've certainly encountered the full gamut from the trail as well. In other words, carry bear spray and know how to use it. (The only bears I've seen from trails are black bears and they pretty much skeeddadle when they see people)

Because these are all easy-moderate and beautiful, they tend to be on the popular side. My suggestion is that if you're on the trail by 9:00 in the morning you will beat 95% of the traffic and may have trails to yourself much of the time.

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