The Sepulcher Mountain Trail is a long and rewarding dayhike that provides a unique Yellowstone experience. Sepulcher Mountain stands at 9,646 feet and features eerie rock formations that reminded early adventurers of gravestones, or sepulchers. Electric Peak, the tallest mountain in the Gallatin Range at 10,969 feet, dominates the view to the north. The beauty that is Gardiner, Mammoth, and the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness lies in full display to the east. To the south, find an impressive view of Bunsen Peak, Clagett Butte, and Terrace Mountain. A number of Gallatin peaks can be seen to the west including Quadrant Mountain, Antler Peak, and Mount Holmes.
Begin the hike in Mammoth Hot Springs, just north of the infamous Liberty Cap. Briefly enjoy the color and travertine formations of the Lower Terrace as you head onto the Sepulcher Mountain Trail. Have a map at hand as many hikes branch off this trail in the first 1.5 miles. Hike along Clematis Creek for just over a mile, then follow the trail up to an open meadow full of wildflowers. This beautiful area is recovering from Yellowstone's 1988 fire which, according to the National Park Service, burned 36% of the total park and cost an estimated $120 million to fight.
The return from Sepulcher Mountain first descends 2300 feet on a steep, switchback-ridden trail down a massive, mountainside meadow. The trail meets up with Sportsman Lake Trail and takes you to the far edge of Gardner’s Hole, a large, open basin with scenic views. Continue on the Snow Pass Trail and follow signage back to Mammoth Hot Springs.
Sepulcher Mountain Trail and nearby trails may be closed for extended periods of time due to heavy bear activity. Check Yellowstone's alerts report as well as all trailhead signage before hiking. Always stay vigilant in Yellowstone's backcountry.