“A nice mix of beautiful meadows, hydrothermal features, and lodgepole pine forests.”
— Jake Bramante
Birding · Hot Spring · Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Bring bear spray.
The trail breaks away from the Wapiti Lake Trail
in broad, beautiful meadows. It enters a forest where the Clear Lake Trail
joins from the north. The trail drops down to the edge of the hydrothermal, emerald green Clear Lake and follows its shores to its eastern shore. From there, it wanders through trees to a white, lunar landscape of steam vents and white boulders.
It then enters a hall of trees where the Ribbon Lake - Artist Point Connector
breaks off to the left. (Follow that for a short distance for a peek at a lily-pad covered pond.) Continuing on the Clear Lake - Ribbon Lake Trail as it wanders through a pretty mundane lodgepole forest that gradually works its way up a hill, then steeply descends right before the trail junction with the trail heading to Ribbon Lake.
The trail switchbacks and follows along another lily-pad pond surrounded by a meadow with a brief glimpse of Ribbon Lake. The trail doesn't follow right along the meadows, so the views through here are filtered. It passes one more little pond before joining back up with the Wapiti Lake Trail
which can be followed back of create a nice loop.
The section of trail from the Clear Lake Trail
junction to the Ribbon Lake - Artist Point Connector
junction is frequently paired together for a nice loop involving the South Rim Trail
This content was created by Jake Bramante of Hike 734. Visit hike734.com
for more expert Yellowstone content and maps that help you decide which trail to hike.
Flora & Fauna
Meadows are covered with wildflowers in spring and early summer. Forest birds such as chickadees are common as are small mammals such as squirrels and chipmunk. Waterfowl can be seen at the ponds and Clear Lake. Bears frequent the area, so be alert.