Rescue Creek is the ideal early season or late fall hike in Yellowstone National Park because the area gets less precipitation and snowfall than the rest of park. Often overlooked during Yellowstone’s hot and busy summer months, Rescue Creek is one of the few locations in the park where you can find rattlesnakes. Pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, elk, and bison also love this area for its plentiful grasses, which become snow free earlier in the year.
This trail makes an excellent point-to-point hike. Find parking at the Rescue Creek Trailhead just a skip away from the Gardiner entrance. Almost immediately, cross the Gardner River on a sturdy footbridge. The trail goes up to an open grassland, frequented by numerous ungulates in the spring and late fall. Views of Gardiner, Electric Peak, and Sepulcher Mountain are fantastic.
Hike around the base of Mount Everts and between Rattlesnake Butte, aptly named for its venomous inhabitants. This draw collects moisture, so be prepared for muddy conditions if you'll be hiking in the off season.
Over the next few miles, catch sight of the Absaroka peaks to the north. See the trail’s only backcountry site (1A2) at the edge of a long meadow. The meadow is lush, being fed by the trail’s namesake, Rescue Creek. The trail slowly curves around the south side of Mount Everts, revealing a great view of Blacktail Deer Plateau.
Yellowstone’s wildlife is just that – wild. Never approach an animal, and aloways maintain safe distances from bears and wolves (100 yards) and all other wildlife (25 yards). Read more information from Yellowstone National Park on safe wildlife viewing.