Hiking Project Logo

Cygnet Lakes Trail

 1.0 (1)

Length


4.3 Miles 6.9 Kilometers


265' 81 m

Ascent

-170' -52 m

Descent

2%

Avg Grade (1°)

6%

Max Grade (4°)

8,410' 2,563 m

High

8,199' 2,499 m

Low

Shared By Tom Carter

Conditions


Unknown

Getting forecast...

A 4.3-mile trek through the woods to Cygnet Lakes and meadow.

Tom Carter

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Lake

No campsites exist on this trail. Dead snags left from the 1988 forest fires occasionally blow down across the trail, so expect to climb over a few logs along the way.

Description

The Cygnet Lakes Trail, formerly known at the Plateau Trail, once led all the way to Mary Lake. The later half of the trail to Mary Lake is no longer maintained (and the first half may not be cleared that well either).

The trail leaves the Norris to Canyon Road and disappears into the woods. The first 2.7 miles gently rise through lodgepole pine forests and an occasional small meadow. This forest was partially burned in 1988. These lodgepole pine trees have an unusual way of coping with fire. Besides their annual seed cones, they produce a special "serotinous cone," which only opens at temperatures that exceed 113° F. Following the 1988 fires, up to a million seeds per acre were found on the ground. Some seeds survived the appetites of birds and rodents to produce an abundance of lodgepole saplings.

The trail continues through the forest, now gradually descending, another 1.6 miles to the southeastern end of Cygnet Lakes meadow. To your right, across the marshy meadow, lie the 5 small, shallow Cygnet Lakes. You may be lucky enough to see one of the rare trumpeter swans, which give the lake its name. A cygnet is a baby swan. These graceful birds grow to thirty pounds and have a wingspan of eight feet. Watch for their long neck to pop up like a periscope. If you see one, there is a good chance you'll see another. They often mate for life and are usually seen in pairs.

Thanks to guidebook author, Tom Carter, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about visiting Yellowstone, check out his book, Day Hiking Yellowstone.

Flora & Fauna

The lakes have no fish, but provide prime moose and waterfowl habitat. Rest a while and watch for white pelican, osprey, blue heron, and sandhill crane. On rare occasions, swans may also be seen.

Contacts

You & This Trail


Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Trail

Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

none

Trail Ratings

  1.0 from 1 vote

#34755

Overall
  1.0 from 1 vote
5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
100%
Rankings

#505

in Wyoming

#34,755

Overall
2 Views Last Month
215 Since Sep 9, 2015
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate

0%
100%
0%
0%
0%
0%

0 Comments

Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking