Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
950.00 ft (289.56 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
8.00 mi (12.87 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.

Hellroaring Creek is an excellent short backpacking trip with many of Yellowstone National Park's classic elements all within a few miles of the trailhead. Don't let the short mileage deter you from exploring this area; the scenery is grand, and the options to explore the surrounding areas are vast. Day hikes on Hellroaring Mountain offer opportunities to find elk sheds, observe wild game, climb Hellroaring Mountain's many Class 5 trad routes, or just take in all the unique geologic rock formations in the area. Hikes from camp up Hellroaring Creek Trail or into the Black Canyon of the Yellowstone are also a great options to extend your trip in the Hellroaring Creek area.

Nine backcountry camp sites exist in the Hellroaring Creek area, and they are all in great locations along the creek. The stream provides easy access to water for all sites. If fishing is of interest to you, try reserving site 2H1 or 2H2 at the confluence of Hellroaring Creek and the Yellowstone River. For great views of Hellroaring Mountain and a good opportunity to view large game, reserve 2H3. Bison, elk, antelope, wolves, and bear all frequent this area.

The hike is a lollipop loop and begins at Hellroaring Trailhead. The trail quickly descends through fir forest to the suspension bridge crossing of the Yellowstone River. The trail leaves the river and heads north toward Hellroaring Creek. In about a mile, Hellroaring Creek Trail heads northeast to the footbridge that crosses the creek. The trail to the bridge is about 2 miles and follows the creek on the east and west side. If you want to skip this section of trail you can ford the creek instead of turning north up the trail. The hike is short and easy, so it is well worth the added views of Hellroaring Creek. A patrol cabin on the west side of the creek is a great place to take a break in the shade under fir and spruce trees as well as check in with a ranger about recent wildlife sightings.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Pros

Big views. Abundant wildlife. Great beginner backpacking.

Cons

Bugs. Bison may inhabit campsites.

Trailhead Elevation

6,492.00 ft (1,978.76 m)

Net Elevation Gain

700.00 ft (213.36 m)

Features

Backcountry camping
Mountaineering
Wildlife
Bird watching
Big Game Watching
Big vistas
Old-growth forest
Wildflowers
Geologically significant

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Horseback

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide + Map

Comments

Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.