With little preparation for our Yellowstone trip, we decided to climb to the top of Mt. Washburn, which is one of the highest points within Yellowstone and a great break from riding around the park in the car. If the views do not take your breath away, then the altitude will.
Located in the northeast portion of the park, it provides views one cannot see by driving through the park. We did the hike early in the day, starting at 8:45 am when the snow was still firm. We started from the Dunraven Pass trail head, which had a map and information on the hike. We put on our hiking boots, filled our camel-backs, and started the 1,400 foot climb. The hike one way was roughly 3.1 miles to the Fire Lookout, so 6.2 miles round trip. Fire Lookout is a residence and has great illustrations of the surrounding features. It is also equipped with restroom facilities and cell service.
Hiking the Mt. Washburn Trail with the Fire Lookout in the Distance
The hike offered views of snow-capped mountains on the horizon, Yellowstone Lake, and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. It took us 2 hours on the way up and 1.5 hours on the way down as we traversed over snow-covered switchbacks to get to the summit. There were few people attempting the hike at this time of year. I suspect it gets frequented more once the snow melts.
Views of Dunraven Peak
The trail was only exposed at some points to wind and drop offs, and I was only scared a couple of times crossing snow with hundreds of feet of drop-offs to my side. The snow became slushy on the way down, but fortunately, we wore waterproof boots and gaiters.
TripAdvisor ranks Mt Washburn as attraction #15 out of 66. We did not see any wildlife during out hike, but I suppose it is extremely possible depending on the season and weather conditions. Read more about my trip in my Where’s Yogi? – Yellowstone National Park post.
Summit of Mt Washburn
What is your favorite hike in Yellowstone?
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