The Coyote Creek Trail travels through some of Yellowstone's best open landscapes and offers a unique opportunity for wildlife sightings.
It begins by winding briefly through sagebrush and forest. Steep switchbacks lead you down toward the Yellowstone River. On the way down, Garnet Hill looms impressively to the east. Cross a large, steel suspension bridge over the roaring Yellowstone River.
The trail soon opens up for a wide view of the valley. Pass through a large and fragrant field of sagebrush. The grade steepens on the Coyote Creek Trail, and soon you'll enjoy panoramic vistas of the valley. Soak in the view of Hellroaring Mountain to the west. Three backcountry sites are available along Coyote Creek if you are planning an overnight. The trail does wind out of the park’s boundary and into the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. Easily make this an extended loop by hooking onto Poacher’s Trail and returning on the Buffalo Plateau Trail.
There is a good chance you will find ungulates along the trail. Unsurprisingly, antler sheds are also a common sight. Protect these natural resources by not disturbing or removing sheds and reporting any violations to 911 or a ranger. If you’re lucky, you may even hear the yips and howls of coyotes or bellowing of a mighty male bison.
Hikers and horse packers share the parking at the popular Hellroaring Trailhead. If the main parking lot is full, some additional spots are available on the same gravel road you came in on (near the access gate by the main road).