Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
0.00 ft (0.00 m)
Trail type
0.80 mi (1.29 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.

The scenery all around the mouth of Pelican Creek, just east of Fishing Bridge Village, is gorgeous, where a marsh is home to numerous birds and other wildlife. The Pelican Valley is so attractive to grizzly bears that the trail up the creek from the East Entrance Road is usually closed until the Fourth of July due to bear activity. The trail down the creek from the road to the mouth, however, is usually open and is a great short trail to explore the Yellowstone Lake shore habitat.

From the small parking lot just west of the creek, the trail leads a short way to the loop junction. Either direction is fine for this trail as the main attraction is leaving the loop on some of the many short trails down to the shore of the lake. Great views of the Absoroka Mountains and the islands of Yellowstone Lake are available from anywhere on the shore. Elk and sometimes bison frequent this shore area.

Back at the parking area, there is another short trail that leads to a boardwalk for a quick jaunt into the marsh itself for more bird spotting and great views. Sandhill cranes and American white pelicans can sometimes be seen in the area.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass


Very short and easy. Good elk habitat. Great lake views and access.


Can be soggy in early summer.

Trailhead Elevation

7,740.00 ft (2,359.15 m)


Bird watching
Big Game Watching
Big vistas
Big Game Watching


Nearby Lodging + Camping


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