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Grizzly Lake Trail

Intermediate
 3.7 (3)

Steep trail goes up and over a ridge to gorgeous Grizzly Lake and continues along its outlet stream.


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Map Key

4.3

Miles

6.9

KM

Point to Point

7,843' 2,391 m

High

7,428' 2,264 m

Low

600' 183 m

Up

476' 145 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

25%

Max Grade (14°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers

Description

This 4.3-mile trail begins on the Norris to Mammoth road north of Roaring Mountain and ends at a junction with the Mount Holmes-Winter Creek Trail (2.6 miles from the road). The trail climbs steeply up and over a narrow ridge to Grizzly Lake and continues along Straight Creek to the junction.

From the trailhead, the trail immediately fords Obsidian Creek and crosses a marshy meadow. At the .4-mile mark, the trail enters a series of switchbacks and steeply climbs 300 feet in the next .2 miles, levels a bit, then climbs another 200 feet, reaching the trail highpoint at the 1.6-mile mark. As you climb the hill think about this – following the 1988 forest fires, pictures of this hill were splashed across newspapers and TV screens. A previous forest fire had left this area with a lot of dead snags and fallen logs. When the 1988 fires ripped through here, there was plenty of dry, dead fuel to burn. This “twice-burned” hill had a devastated, moon-scape appearance. The news media had a feeding frenzy, combing the hill for best angle to make the fires look as destructive as possible. Their pictures, together with fire-burned acreage totals, gave many Americans the false impression that Yellowstone had been completely torched.

From the top of the ridge, the trail steeply switchbacks 300 feet back down the ridge and reaches beautiful Grizzly Lake at 2.1 miles. Grizzly is a gorgeous 135 acre narrow lake tucked tightly between two ridges. It has a maximum depth of 36 feet and sports a healthy population of brook trout. The trail rounds the lake's northern tip and crosses its outlet, Straight Creek (look for a spot to cross on the logjam if you don’t want to get your feet wet). From there the trail rolls up and down over hilly terrain paralleling Straight Creek to a junction with Mount Holmes-Winter Creek Trail at the 4.3-mile mark, along the way passing two nice backcountry campsites. From the trail's end its 4.3 steep miles back to the trailhead or 2.6 miles ahead over flat terrain on the Mount Holmes-Winter Creek Trail to the highway.

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

Contacts

Shared By:

Tom Carter

Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 3 votes

#6

in Norris

#21675

Overall
  3.7 from 3 votes
5 Star
0%
4 Star
67%
3 Star
33%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#6

in Norris

#415

in Wyoming

#21,675

Overall
15 Views Last Month
892 Since Sep 9, 2015
Intermediate

33%
0%
0%
33%
33%
0%

Photos

Campsite 1C2 on Grizzly Lake trail.
Jul 22, 2021 near Norris…, WY
View looking out on Straight Creek at campsite 1C2.
Jul 22, 2021 near Norris…, WY

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Check-Ins

Jul 2, 2021
Matt Dougan
Nice hike with some intense inclines. Beautiful meadows. I think this is the place where Forrest Fenn's treasure was left. — 2h 30m
Jun 27, 2020
Jinger Burton