Lots of options

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Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 18:53:57 08/03/15

In Reply to: Mtn Peak Hikes posted by Jim


There are lots of options for mountain peak day hikes in Yellowstone, depending on what length and how much vertical you are interested in.

Here's a few in the same relative distance/vertical category as Washburn:

1. Observation Peak: It's 5 miles of trail, with the first several being flat. It seems to me the vertical is almost identical to Washburn. If crowd avoidance is a motivation, this is a good option.

2.) Purple Mountain: This is around 3 miles if I remember correctly, and the vertical might not be quite as much as the aforementioned. The summit is nowhere near as spectacular as the other two.

3.) Avalanche Peak: This is a 4 mile roundtrip, with a bunch of vertical. I seem to remember it being around 2,000 vertical feet. If you loop the top, it extends it to more like 5 miles. I highly recommend the option. It gives you the opportunity to do the entire ridgetop, and gives you a much different view on the descent.

4.) Sepulcher is a good one, with plenty of vertical. You can choose between two vastly different trailheads, depending on how much distance and how much vertical you desire.

If you want something bigger/longer, try Mt. Holmes or Mt. Sheridan, both of which have trails all the way to the summit. These are the other two peaks in Yellowstone that have active fire lookout towers on top. Mt. Holmes can be done in a day. Mt. Sheridan is done in a day by some of the younger, more adventurous folks. When I did it, I spent two nights at Heart Lake, and hiked the mountain on the middle day.

One other long day hike, to a mountaintop, with a trail the entire way, is the Specimen Ridge trail, which summits Amethyst Peak. This is a classic all day Yellowstone trek.

If you are interested in great mountains to do in a day that don't have trails to the top, there are a bunch, and we have done many of them. Post back if you want some of those recommendations.


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