Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
1,300.00 ft (396.24 m)
Trail type
2.80 mi (4.51 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.

Like many great national parks, Yellowstone National Park has highly-congested areas as well as vast, remote wilderness areas. Places like the Upper Geyser Basin and Mammoth Village can feel a bit like the local mall during the holidays. The good news is that one doesn’t have to hike for hours to find solitude and wide, empty spaces in Yellowstone. Lost Lake is one such is easily reached, but it is very lightly traveled by visitors.

The trailhead for the Lost Lake Loop is right behind the historic Roosevelt Lodge. After crossing Lost Creek, the trail climbs steadily across a few long switchbacks to reach a broad meadow that stretches far into the distance. From here the hike becomes very flat, and it soon reaches the shore of Lost Lake and follows it the length of the lake and along the outlet creek through a pristine and beautiful narrow valley. This is about the halfway point for the loop. At the end of the valley the trail touches the parking area for the Petrified Tree. This is an alternate starting/ending point for the loop. From here the trail climbs gradually up to a saddle, which offers great views of the Yellowstone River Valley below. The hike down from the saddle is a long downhill through masses of wildflowers in June, and way too quickly this marvelous hike is completed.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Open Year-round



Marvelous scenery. Possible wildlife. Few other hikers.



Trailhead Elevation

6,270.00 ft (1,911.10 m)

Highest point

6,872.00 ft (2,094.59 m)


Big Game Watching
Big vistas

Typically multi-day



Nearby Lodging + Camping


A potential con for hikers is that the trail is traveled by horse parties coming from the Roosevelt Corrals. Be prepared to wait if you encounter one so the procession can pass.
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