Best Hikes in the Parks: Trail Maps

Yellowstone National Park, Idaho/Wyoming/Montana

Bechler to Old Faithful

When to Go: Late August or September

One Way: 27 Miles, 4 Days

Level: Moderate Backpacking Trip

A traverse of the remote southwest corner of Yellowstone unspools a highlight reel of the park’s wonders—the vast, wildflower-strewn Bechler Meadows, wildlife (moose and black bears), geysers, and a dazzling abundance of waterfalls. Above all else, of course, is a sense of immensity and remoteness. The four-day, three-night hike over rolling terrain traces the Bechler River through a spruce-forested canyon as it tumbles over Ouzel, Colonnade, and Iris Falls. After the Great Divide comes Lone Star Geyser (pictured, showtime every three hours), and more spouts are brewing in a geyser basin near Shoshone Lake, worth a two-mile side trip.

Insider Tip: Do this trip with a car shuttle. And don’t miss a soak in the hot spring known as Mr. Bubble—take the short side trail along Ferris Fork River at Three Rivers Junction.

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