Features: River/Creek — Views
Dogs: No Dogs
This 3.9 mile (one way) ski trail is a great leg-stretch. It can be taken as an out-and-back or as a one-way trip with a car shuttle. If taken one way, start at the Barronette Trail-Upper Trailhead and get a net down-hill glide of 200 feet. It is not groomed, but is usually skier tracked (check at the Ski Hut in front of the Mammoth Hotel for current conditions). It's an easy ski, but has two gullies that may present challenges for beginners. It can also be snowshoed, but try to stay out of the skier tracks.
When starting at the Barronette Trail-Upper Trailhead parking area you'll need to head north along the road and cross the highway bridge over Soda Butte Creek to access the trail on the left side of the road. The trail travels parallel to Soda Butte Creek but rarely affords views of it. The trail glides through stands of Engelmann Spruce and Subalpine Fir with occasional views ahead of towering Barronette Peak (10,442'). The peak, though misspelled, was named for "Yellowstone Jack" Baronett, gold prospector, builder of the park's first bridge across the Yellowstone River, early park guide and discoverer of Truman Everts, the famous lost member of the 1870 Washburn Expedition.
At the 2.5-mile mark the trail breaks into a nice meadow with good views of Barronette Peak to the north and a shoulder of Abiathar Peak to the east (across the highway).
At the end of the trail, to access the parking area for the Barronette Trail-Lower Trailhead you'll need to turn left and cross Soda Butte Creek on the highway bridge.
Thanks to guidebook author, Tom Carter, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about visiting Yellowstone, check out his book, Day Hiking Yellowstone
The trees here are mostly Engelmann Spruce and Subalpine Fir, intermixed with a few lodgepole pines. Forest succession is taking place here. The sun-loving lodgepoles grew first, providing a shady, moist environment for the spruce and fir to grow. However, as these trees matured their branches began to choke out young lodgepoles. Eventually, unless forest fire or disease clear the forest canopy, only spruce, fir and other shade-loving trees will remain.