Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
155.00 ft (47.24 m)
Trail type
1.00 mi (1.61 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.

With the driving distances required to visit the various areas of Yellowstone National Park, it is inevitable that visitors spend a lot of time in the car. A great way to unwind is to take a short hike that won’t take too much time but gives the body and mind a break. Harlequin Lake makes a perfect destination for such a hike.

Conveniently located right on the west entrance road and not far from Madison Junction, the trailhead has a large parking area. Much of the hike traverses through a young lodgepole pine forest that is an excellent example of recovery from fire. This area was burned to stumps in the 1988 fire. The high temperatures of the fire primed the seeds for germination and they germinated by the millions. Today the forest around Harlequin Lake is densely packed with young pines, obscuring a maze of downed, burned trunks.

The trail climbs gently through an impenetrable maze of small trees until it reaches the pretty lilypad-covered lake. The trail follows the shore to the west until it disappears at the inlet of the lake.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass


Easy hike. Beautiful lake.


No views until the lake.

Trailhead Elevation

6,840.00 ft (2,084.83 m)




Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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