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Sep 19

Hellroaring Creek Trail: Nice Going Down but Hellroaring Coming Back

Hellroaring Creek BridgeHellroaring Creek Trail is not the most scenic of hikes in Yellowstone National Park, but it does offer something the other trails can’t which is the chance to walk across a suspension bridge over the Yellowstone River.  Hellroaring Creek Trailhead is in the Northeastern section of the park and a little difficult to find because the parking area is down a short wooded road.  Around three miles west of Tower Junction start to slow your car down and look for a sign for the trailhead.  On our visit we bypassed it and had to turnaround, but that is partially due to the fact that our eyes were constantly scanning for wildlife.WildflowersThis particular trail can be done as a day hike which is what we did or as part of a multi-day trail that goes past Yellowstone’s north boundary and into the Gallatin National Forest into Montana.  My wife and I have an adventurous spirit but for now a multi-day hiking experience in the backcountry of Yellowstone is a little past our comfort zone so we stuck to the day hike portion of the trail which ends at Hellroaring Creek.on hellroaring creek trailThe Hellroaring Creek Trail immediately drops about 600 feet through a series of switchbacks as you make your way to the suspension bridge.  This is just about the exact opposite of an ideal trail for us we like to go up at the beginning and then have a nice descent at the end of the trail.  However we were not going to let that stop us from reaching that suspension bridge which is about 1.5 miles down the trail. As you are heading down the trail make sure you take the time to take in the sweeping views of Hellroaring Mountain and the Buffalo Plateau.  Depending on the season this area might be covered in wildflowers.  My wife and I hiked it in early June and little patches of wildflowers were just starting to bloom so we probably missed the wildflower bonanza by a few weeks.Yellowstone RiverOn both sides of the suspension bridge you will walk through a forested area, keep a sharp eye out for some of Yellowstone’s wildlife.  Grizzly bears can frequent the area so make sure take the proper precautions as well as the chance to see mule deer and a variety of birds.  A little way past the bridge the landscape will open up to an area covered in sagebrush as you make your way down to Hellroaring Creek.  Upon reaching the creek you will have options of fording it if the water level is low or taking trails that run along both sides of it.  Karen and I had saved those for another day but I am sure we will be back.Wide Open SpacesWhen hiking make sure you bring plenty of water and with trails with steep inclines towards the end of the hike make sure you leave plenty of energy to make it back.  On our particular visit we only ran into two other small groups so we pretty much had the trail to ourselves.  As we were making our way to the top of the switchbacks we ran across one of those groups which asked us how was it.  My wife replied it is great going down but a real “hell”roaring creek coming back up.Trail down to Hellroaring CreekRemember that you are in wild country and it can be dangerous if you do not use common sense and sound judgment.  Not only are the animals wild but so is the land and getting too close to either can make a great vacation go sour and even be deadly real quick.  Animals will protect themselves, their area, and young while the geothermal areas are fragile and dangerous so stay on assigned paths.  If you use caution and are prepared Yellowstone will be a great life experience and please leave it just as you found it so the next person can enjoy.  Happy Travels!!!At Hellroaring Creek TrailheadTo see our reviews of things to see or do in Yellowstone National Park click here

Hellroaring Creek Trail
4 Miles Roundtrip
Strenuous Level Hike
2 to 3 Hours
Trailhead is about 3.5 miles west of Tower Junction
For more information about Yellowstone National Park visit their website at http://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm

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1 comment

  1. Paul Phillips

    Sounds like quite a challenge, especially with a little hiker on your back.

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