Lamar River Trail (Yellowstone National Park)

The Lamar River Trail is a great hiking trail that runs through the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park. This hiking trail is an entrance into the vast wilderness in Yellowstone's back country. We were unable to go very far on this trail because one of the large Buffalo herds in the area was blocking the trail, but we hope to explore more of the Lamar River Hiking Trail sometime soon. The Lamar Valley is very scenic and  is a great place to see wildlife.

Directions to Trailhead: To get to the trailhead to hike the Lamar River Trail in Yellowstone National Park, coming from the mammoth hot springs area, head toward the Roosevelt Lodge. At the Roosevelt Lodge make a left onto the Northeast Entrance road going toward the Lamar Valley. You are going to go a ways on the Northeast Entrance road. There are two trailhead options to hike on the trail. Both are located a couple miles past the lamar valley ranger station (buffalo ranch) on your left, but a couple of miles before pebble creek campground. Click Here to find an interactive map for Yellowstone National Park.

Description of Trail: The Lamar River Trail was in great shape when we went hiking here in Yellowstone. This is an out and back hiking trail that goes through a spectacular place, with stunning scenic vistas. We only did a small portion of the trail because the trail literally goes for miles and because our progress was blocked by a herd of several hundred buffalo. This trail eventually connects with the specimen ridge trail, which connects to the Yellowstone River Picnic Area Trail, although it will take you over 14 miles to reach the Yellowstone River Picnic Area Trail. This is truly a hiking trail that opens up lots of opportunities for back country exploration. You can go as far on the trail as you would like, we only ventured about a mile onto the trail and then returned because we didn't want to deal with the herds of buffalo on the trails in that section on the Lamar Valley.

Further Thoughts: This was a fun hike because of the amazing scenery that the hike traverses. It is also an area this known to have a lot of wildlife. Even though we did not hike very far on this trail, it was fun to get out of the car and explore a little. The trail is in the heart of the Lamar valley, which is full of wildlife. This area is home to the druid peak wolf pack. Make sure to have your cameras ready while hiking in this area because buffalo, wolfs, elk, prong horn, and bears and regularly seen in the valley.

Rating: Elevation Gain: 250 ft. (Easy), Distance: 1 Mile Roundtrip (Easy). Note: you can make this hike much more strenuous by exploring further into the wilderness. Remember for any back country camping you need a permit from the park service.

Time to Complete Hike: Variable depends on how far you go on the trail.

View Lamar River Valley Trail in a larger map


  1. I saw an entire documentary on PBS about the Druid wolves of Lamar Valley in Yellowstone - glad you didn't run into any of them on the short hike.


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