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Storm Point

Easy
 4.3 (19) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Dazzling views of Yellowstone Lake and opportunities to observe buffalo, marmots, & waterfowl.


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Map Key

2.4

Miles

3.8

KM

Loop

7,779' 2,371 m

High

7,754' 2,363 m

Low

42' 13 m

Up

42' 13 m

Down

1%

Avg Grade (0°)

3%

Max Grade (2°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly This is one of the best family-friendly trails in the Park. The trail is short and easy, and rewards hikers with awesome views!

This is in prime grizzly habitat especially early in the season, so check for closures or restrictions before you begin. You' may also see buffalo on this trail; stay at least 25 yards away. Buffalo are always dangerous, but by August, rutting season begins and the bulls become extra feisty.

Overview

This wonderful loop takes you by historic Indian Pond, along Yellowstone Lake to spectacular Storm Point, then along the lakeshore, before looping back to the trailhead. It affords excellent opportunities to observe buffalo, marmots, waterfowl, and even grizzly. For the effort, its the best hike in the Park!

Description

The trail travels south and rounds the edge of Indian Pond. Native American artifacts found here in 1880, including corrals and wickiups, are responsible for the lake's name. An early geologist noted, "Indian Pond . . . appears to have been a favorite camping ground for manufacturing implements, being convenient to quarries, and nearby the hunting grounds of Pelican Valley and the fishing resorts of Yellowstone Lake."

Look for buffalo resting near Indian Pond or grazing nearby. Native Americans and early settlers used dried buffalo dung, or "buffalo chips," as fuel for fires. Once an estimated 60 million buffalo roamed the American West. By 1890 they were nearly exterminated. Yellowstone is the only place where wild buffalo have persisted since white man arrived in the new world. If you encounter these magnificent animals, give them a wide berth. Although peaceful in appearance, they are very dangerous.

The trail continues to Yellowstone Lake, then turns right and parallels the shore. Near Storm Point the trail passes an area teaming with yellow-bellied marmots (western woodchucks). These golden brown rodents easily attain a length of two feet, counting their short bushy tail. Listen for their distinctive shrill, chirping voice. These animals are true hibernators. During the winter they burrow into the ground and "power down" their metabolism. Their body temperature drops to almost freezing, their heart beats only four times each minute and they enter a deep coma-like sleep. In this way they conserve energy and can survive until spring.

Storm Point is also a good area to spot a variety of waterfowl, including mallard, lesser scamp, Barrow's goldeneye, and common merganser. With a little luck you may see a flock of Canada geese or even a white pelican.

Storm Point is well named. During the afternoons, particularly during storms, the prevailing southwest wind blows across the lake and builds large waves that are dashed against the rocky shore below. Marveling at the lake's power and beauty, the 1869 Cook-Folsom-Peterson party saw the lake as having "crystal waves dancing and sparkling in the sunlight as if laughing for joy for their wild freedom."

From Storm Point, the trail continues along the lake shore a short distance before looping back to the right and entering the forest. It eventually breaks out of the forest and rejoins the trail near the trailhead.

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

  4.3 from 19 votes

#876

Overall
  4.3 from 19 votes
5 Star
47%
4 Star
37%
3 Star
11%
2 Star
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1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#27

in Wyoming

#876

Overall
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1,763 Since Sep 10, 2015
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Photos

Trip video of Storm Point Nature Trail
May 10, 2016 near Lake Vi…, WY
Hikers bundle up as they leave Storm Point on a stormy September afternoon.
Jan 29, 2016 near Lake Vi…, WY
Looking west from Storm Point on a stormy afternoon.
Jan 29, 2016 near Lake Vi…, WY
Storm Point looking towards Mary's Bay with permission from walkaboutwest *No Commercial Use
May 2, 2016 near Lake Vi…, WY

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Check-Ins

Jul 12, 2020
Brian L
2.4mi
Jul 10, 2020
Brina Whogetslost
Jun 5, 2020
Nicole Brainard
Took a short walk to the lake for a pretty view. Best part was getting close to the buffalo. Wanted to see grizzlys but settled for a bunch of elk. 1mi
Sep 9, 2019
Joe Zerbe
2.4mi — 12h 12m
Aug 12, 2019
Laura Linville
8h 30m
Jul 30, 2019
Kyra Muller
Jul 4, 2019
Ashley Hanson
Jun 30, 2019
Kelsey Kimble