Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
2,078.00 ft (633.37 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
15.00 mi (24.14 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Bliss Pass is an extraordinary trek through striking wildflower meadows and up to a mountain pass with unique vantage points of upper Slough Creek and Pebble Creek. The meadows are also a prime area to view Yellowstone National Park’s wildlife, including mule deer, elk, moose, and black and grizzly bears. Non-native mountain goats can often be seen on rocky mountainsides as well.

From the Warm Creek Trailhead there is an immediate uphill climb to a forested ridge. The elevation gain tops off at just over 1,000 feet before cresting the ridge and heading steeply down to the meadows by Pebble Creek. There are two fords across Pebble Creek; these are usually manageable by July, but check with your nearest backcountry ranger to confirm conditions. The stretch here winds through lush open meadows with rugged and steep mountains on the northern and southern sides of the trail — truly some of Yellowstone’s best mountain and meadow scenery.

The elevation gain from the Pebble Creek junction to the pass is about 1,300 feet, and it mostly consists of a long series of steep switchbacks. After the junction there is an immediate ford across Pebble Creek. Once you’re across, catch site of the large orange blaze slightly northwest across the meadow to hook back onto trail.

Quickly enter the open mountainside where evidence of the famous 1988 Yellowstone fires still lingers. Enjoy views on the way up, and even some delicious huckleberries (mostly on the lower stretch) if you’re hiking late July and early August. However, be bear aware – where there are plentiful berries, there are usually bears.

Once at Bliss Pass you’ll find the area surprisingly flat. There are even two small lakes on the pass that make for an excellent turn-around location. The pass also has a fair amount of pines and firs, making it difficult to catch a good view of the area. If you briefly head off-trail before you reach the first lake, there’s easy access to the lowest part of the northern ridge. Here, you can overlook the upper Slough Creek valley. Enjoy the views at the pass, and when you head back down, the views of upper Pebble Creek and peaks of the Beartooth Mountains.

Situated near the junction with Bliss Pass, 3P2 and 3P3 are ideal backcountry sites to make this a one-night backcountry trip. Both sites have spur trails off the main trail for privacy and also have easy access to water from Pebble Creek. If those sites are taken, which is likely in the summer months, there are three other sites along Pebble Creek (3P1, 3P4, 3P5) that you can make your home base for the night. This trip can also be done as a shuttle from Warm Creek trailhead to Slough Creek, just note that Slough Creek backcountry sites are the park’s most highly sought after.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Park entrance fee

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Wildlife. Wildflowers. Remote.

Cons

Several fords. Trails can be very muddy.

Trailhead Elevation

7,322.00 ft (2,231.75 m)

Highest point

9,400.00 ft (2,865.12 m)

Features

Backcountry camping
Wildlife
Fishing
Big vistas
Big Game Watching
Wildflowers

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Horseback

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

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