This quiet mountain lake in northwest Yellowstone is oftentimes overlooked by park visitors. Located roughly 20 minutes south of the North Entrance, the gentle, 6.7-mile shuttle hike winds through golden grasslands and the charred relics of trees burned in the 1988 forest fires. Drop a shuttle car at the Mount Holmes Trailhead before starting the hike at the Grizzly Lake Trailhead.
The trail reaches the grassy banks of Grizzly Lake after 2 miles. Take in the sparkling blue waters tucked between two ridges and scan the far hillsides for wildlife. From here, the path winds to the north, paralleling Straight Creek and Winter Creek. (Hikers can turn the trip into an overnight by camping at one of two idyllic campsites along these two creeks.) The route ends at the Mount Holmes Trailhead. Pick up your shuttle car and return to Grizzly Lake Trailhead.
PERMIT: Overnight camping in Yellowstone National Park requires a backcountry permit. Check out the latest fees and more details at nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/backcountryhiking.htm.
MORE PARK INFO: Yellowstone National Park, (307) 344-7381; nps.gov/yell/.
-Mapped by Jeff Chow