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Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone National Park
Fast Facts




Lake District
Yellowstone Nat'l Park
Wyoming 82190
Boat Tours
Historic Interest
Points of Interest Nearby

Lake Yellowstone


Photo by Alfredo De Simone

Yellowstone Lake, the largest alpine lake in North America, is the domain of the cutthroat trout. And while it has long been considered a great spot to fish there is more to this freshwater pool than angling. Rent a boat at Bridge Bay. Motor, paddle and row. Take a scenic boat tour. Relax, listen and learn. Take pause at Fishing Bridge. Cutthroat trout spawn at waters meet. Hike shoreline and wetland trails and, in addition to stretching your legs, keep an eye out for grizzly, moose and trumpeter swans. Visit Lake Village, situated at the palm of Yellowstone Lake's 3-fingered hand, and take a trip in time. Not only was this spot once favored by Native Americans and mountain men the hotels at Lake Village are landmarks in Yellowstone history. Relax on the porch at Lake Lodge and take in the breathtaking grandeur of Absaroka framed blue. But don't try to do it in all one day. Yellowstone Lake is 110 miles round and 136 square miles in size.
Getting There
Yellowstone Lake is situated in the southeast quadrant of Yellowstone National Park. The nearest park gates are East Entrance and South Entrance, 27 miles (43 km) and 42 miles (69 km) respectively. The roads to Bridge Bay, Lake Village and Fishing Bridge are accessible to wheeled vehicles from early May through October and oversnow vehicles from late December to early March.
Getting Around
Yellowstone Lake is best experienced by boat or on foot. Boat rentals and scenic cruises are found at Bridge Bay marina. Popular trails include Pelican Creek, Elephant Back Mountain and Howard Eaton. Pelican Creek Trail, a 1-mile or 1.6km loop, is a great place for birding. The short but strenuous Elephant Back Mountain Trail, a 3-mile or 5 km loop, boasts a sweeping view of Yellowstone Lake. Howard Eaton Trail, 7 miles or 11.3 km roundtrip, traverses meadow, forest and sagebrush flats. And while this long but easy trail has little to do with Yellowstone Lake it provides a great opportunity to spot wildlife. NB: Yellowstone Lake trails are in grizzly country. Check the ranger station for trail closings before you set out. Maintain a safe distance from all wildlife, 100 yards (91m) from bears and wolves and 25 yards (23m) from all other animals.
Things to Keep in Mind
Bridge Bay boasts a visitor center, convenience store, campground and marina. A visitor center and convenience store are also found at Fishing Bridge. Lake Village has two hotels, Lake Yellowstone Hotel and Lake Lodge Cabins, and restaurants. Swimming in Yellowstone Lake is strongly discouraged due to the cold temperature of the water. A permit is required for boats, motorized and non. A fishing permit is required for all Yellowstone anglers. Permits are required for backcountry camping.
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