Trout Lake Hike (Yellowstone National Park)

One of the hikes that we had an opportunity to do while in Yellowstone National Park was the hike to trout lake. Trout Lake is a fun short hike to a beautiful 12 acre mountain lake that is located within Yellowstone National Park. This is a fun hike for the whole family. For more pictures make sure to check out our Facebook Page.

Directions to Trailhead: To get to the trailhead to hike to Trout Lake, from Tower Junction, drive 17 miles east on the Northeast Entrance Road. The trailhead will be on your left hand side and is clearly marked. There is parking for roughly 9  - 10 cars. The trailhead is 11.4 miles away from the Northeast Entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Click Here for an interactive map of Yellowstone National Park. There is an entrance fee for Yellowstone National Park, but no permit is required to hike to Trout Lake.

Description of Trail: The Trout Lake Trail is well maintained by the people at the National Parks Service. This hike is just over 1.2 miles roundtrip with an elevation gain of about 200 feet. From the trailhead, the trail climbs steadily up to trout lake. The hike getting to the lake is not that long and once you get there, the trail continues all the way around the 12 acre lake. The trail around the lake is relatively flat and the views along this section of the trail are amazing. This hiking trail is not only a popular one for hikers, but it is also popular with anglers who fish for the trout that are present in the lake. Trout Lake is a catch and release lake. A;so any fishing on Trout Lake is not permitted until June 15th and all anglers must purchase a special fishing license from the park service.

Further Thoughts: The hike to Trout Lake was a fun short hike in Yellowstone National Park. The views once you arrive at Trout Lake are spectacular and truly provide a wilderness feel. When you go hiking here, you have a great chance of seeing local wildlife. Specifically, these lakes have resident otters that make their home here and feed off of the rainbow - cutthroat hybrid types of trout that reside here. This hike is a popular hike for Yellowstone visitors, so expect to see others while out hiking on this trail.

There are many good areas to sit around Trout Lake and just soak in the views. This area is the perfect location to sit an enjoy a lunch while taking in the beauty of this short fun hike. However, remember this is bear country, and you always want to be bear aware when hiking in Yellowstone. We would recommend carrying bear spray while on any hike in Yellowstone National Park.

RatingElevation Gain: 200 ft. (Easy), Distance: 1.2 Miles Roundtrip (Easy).

Time to Complete Hike: 1 hour.



  1. Very informative blog for the hikers! Definitely! The Trout Lake Trail is an amazing attraction for hikers at Yellowstone Park. I had a chance to enjoy hiking on Trout Lake Trail during my recent Yellowstone mount rushmore tours with my family. It was truly a nice chance to see the local wildlife during hiking and enjoy the lunch. Every moment that we spend at this stunning place is unforgettable for me and my son.


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