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Undine Falls Via Lava Creek Trailhead

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone, Wyoming

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Undine Falls Via Lava Creek Trailhead

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  • Looking at Mount Everts and into the Garden Canyon.- Undine Falls Via Lava Creek Trailhead
  • The trailhead of Lava Creek.- Undine Falls Via Lava Creek Trailhead
  • Hiking the arid Gardner Canyon.- Undine Falls Via Lava Creek Trailhead
  • Large Views in the Gardner Canyon.- Undine Falls Via Lava Creek Trailhead
  • Taking in Mount Everts.- Undine Falls Via Lava Creek Trailhead
  • Crossing the suspension bridge over Lava Creek.- Undine Falls Via Lava Creek Trailhead
  • Observing foraging elk.- Undine Falls Via Lava Creek Trailhead
  • Be loud hiking through tall sagebrush! A bear was sighted moments after this photo was taken.- Undine Falls Via Lava Creek Trailhead
  • The trail is heavily used by large game in the winter, making it very uneven.- Undine Falls Via Lava Creek Trailhead
  • Lava creek offers many wide open areas to take breaks.- Undine Falls Via Lava Creek Trailhead
  • A lone old-growth juniper.- Undine Falls Via Lava Creek Trailhead
  • Undine Falls.- Undine Falls Via Lava Creek Trailhead
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Big game watching. Beautiful falls.
Cons: 
Gets hot early in the season.
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Region:
Yellowstone, WY
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
825.00 ft (251.46 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
8.85 mi (14.24 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
6,552.00 ft (1,997.05 m)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Undine Falls in Yellowstone National Park is easily and often viewed from the road, but the 8.85-mile round-trip hike up Lava Creek Trail is a great way to view not only the falls but the beautiful Gardner River and Lava Creek canyons as well.

The hike starts out by heading into Gardner Canyon. After crossing a suspension bridge over Lava Creek the trail heads east through tall sagebrush. The hike contours under the broad Mount Everts. Mount Everts was once the basin of a valley, but rapid lifting and erosion from the Gardiner River have created the impressive mountain you see today. The multiple layers of ridge tuff, shale and sea bed sediments are an impressive visual example of the rich geologic history of Yellowstone. Wildflowers often fill the floodplain of the creek and offer nice opportunities for a creekside snack or a cool dip.  Lava Creek is a clear cold creek, providing great fish habitat, while lush islands provide forage for large game like elk, bison and bears. Remember to give all these animals plenty of space if you encounter them on the trails. The trail provides great views of Undinde Falls. Once you reach the falls, simply return to the trailhead on the Lava Creek Trail.

Lava Creek flows over Undine Falls in three steps for about 65 feet. Flows are highest in the spring due to snowmelt, making Undine Falls a popular place for early season visitors. It can also be viewed in the winter because it is on one of the few roads that is open in the park during the winter months.

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Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(8 within a 30 mile radius)

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(46 within a 30 mile radius)

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