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Yellowstone National Park: Mount Washburn

You’ll find wildflowers, bighorn sheep, and a lookout tower on the easy-going climb up to a 10,243-foot peak formed by ancient volcanic eruptions.

Rating

This mellow 5.7-miler climbs a quiet access road to a lookout tower at the top of the 10,243-foot Mount Washburn. From the trailhead, head south on Chittenden Road for a steady climb up Washburn’s north ridge. As you hike, scan the surrounding slopes for bighorn sheep and vibrant wildflowers. At mile 0.9, crest a ridge and head southeast toward an unnamed 9,664-foot summit. From here, the trail leaves the ridge and cuts across the mountain’s open slopes. One mile later, the road switchbacks to left, heading east for a 300-yard stretch, then turns to the south for the final 0.8-mile stretch to the summit and lookout tower. At the top, take time to visit the interpretive center and the observation deck (both located in the tower), before retracing your route to the trailhead.

MORE PARK INFO: Yellowstone National Park, (307) 344-7381; nps.gov/yell/.
-Mapped by the National Park Service

To Trailhead

From Canyon Junction, head north on Grand Loop Rd. In 7.1 miles, bear right toward Chittendon Rd. In 1 mile, turn left onto Chittendon Rd. Go 0.1 mile to the trailhead. Note: These roads may be closed seasonally.

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