Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
215.00 ft (65.53 m)
Trail type
4.80 mi (7.72 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.

There is some great hiking in the Yellowstone Canyon area of Yellowstone National Park that offers views of the canyon such as Ribbon Lake Trail, Uncle Tom’s, and North Rim Trail. For a change of pace, the Cascade Lake Trail is a wonderful hike that is easy and beautiful, but it can pose some challenges early in the season.

The trailhead for Cascade Lake is just north of Canyon Village and has a large parking area. First curving through dense lodgepole pine forest, the trail soon emerges into beautiful rolling meadows with small stands of trees. There are several small creek crossings, some with foot bridges and some with rocks and logs. These meadows are a wonderful place to spot wildlife, especially elk and occasionally bear. However, early in the season there can be immense amounts of water, even on the small drainages, and the trail is often flooded. Most of the time there are ways around the water, but as the trail gets close to Cascade Lake the flat area around the lake outlet can be almost completely flooded. Shoes dry out; the beauty of this hike makes it worthwhile.

The 4-mile round-trip hike can be made longer by continuing on to Grebe Lake, Wold Lake, and Ice Lake. With a car shuttle to the Ice Lake Trailhead, this becomes an 11-mile trek through stunningly beautiful country.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Open Year-round



Beautiful meadows. Great wildlife area.


Very wet in early summer. Grizzly habitat.

Trailhead Elevation

7,943.00 ft (2,421.03 m)

Highest point

8,031.00 ft (2,447.85 m)


Backcountry camping
Bird watching
Big Game Watching
Old-growth forest

Typically multi-day



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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