Yellowstone National Park: Terrace Mountain Loop via Glen Creek

Beat the crowds and enjoy the company of distant mountains and wildlife on this moderate, 7-mile loop in the northwest region of Yellowstone National Park.
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Beat the crowds and enjoy the company of distant mountains and wildlife on this moderate, 7-mile loop in the northwest region of Yellowstone National Park.

Views along this 7-mile loop are impressive right from the parking lot. Take in majestic meadows rimmed by the distant Gallatin Range before starting your hike from the Glen Creek Trailhead. The first few miles of this easy-to-follow path run along the base of Terrace Mountain, paralleling the curves of the Glen Creek. Watch for elk and bison while meandering along a wildflower-lined path en route to the northern flank of Terrace Mountain.
After 2.3 miles, the route turns east at a 3-way junction and climbs to the top of Snow Pass, a narrow saddle pinched between Terrace Mountain and Clagett Butte. After cresting the pass, the trail drops into an unnamed creek valley above Pinyon Terrace, then rounds to the south along Terrace Mountain's eastern edge.
Finish the hike by taking in more views of the surrounding mountains and checking out the Hoodoos, a wonderland of boulders and rock pillars. After the Hoodoos, pass through a burned section of forest and close the loop at Waypoint 2. Turn left for the 0.2-mile trip back to the trailhead.

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

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 11.3

Waypoints

GLE001

Location: 44.9312849, -110.7294792

Glen Creek Trailhead: Head northwest on the trail as it follows Glen Creek.

GLE002

Location: 44.9335825, -110.7318288

Turn left at 3-way junction with Howard Eaton Trail. Snow-covered Electric Peak, the tallest mountain in the Gallatin Range, can be seen in the distance.

GLE003

Location: 44.9443205, -110.7417104

The trail climbs to a grassy bench with excellent views to the northwest of the Gallatin Range.

GLE004

Location: 44.9476243, -110.7431531

Enters a creek valley surrounded by rolling grass and forest-covered slopes. Watch for signs of elk and bison.

GLE005

Location: 44.9561738, -110.7452774

Bear left at Y-junction.

GLE006

Location: 44.9575328, -110.7464147

Continue straight @ 3-way junction toward the opposite side of the large grassy meadow.

GLE007

Location: 44.9595447, -110.748024

Turn right (east) at Y-junction, and follow the edge of the slope to Snow Pass.

GLE008

Location: 44.9594308, -110.7371128

Trail crests Snow Pass and begins to drop into an unnamed creek valley. Clagett Butte rises on the left (this butte was named for Montana Congressman William Clagett, who introduced legislation in 1871 to make Yellowstone the country's first national park).

GLE009

Location: 44.9599981, -110.7301643

Hike through a dense forest of aspen and mixed conifers.

GLE010

Location: 44.9606986, -110.7280576

Veer right at the Y-junction.

GLE011

Location: 44.9592116, -110.7150468

Take a hard right at Y-junction. Begin a gradual climb back to the Glen Creek Trailhead.

GLE012

Location: 44.9583801, -110.71613

Cut across a small meadow ringed by lovely aspen trees; a perfect spot for lunch.

GLE013

Location: 44.9491733, -110.7192707

Admire the five-star views of Bunsen Peak's rocky slopes and the surrounding mountains. Pace yourself along this steeper section of trail that leads southwest toward The Hoodoos.

GLE014

Location: 44.9447637, -110.7239072

Skirt the western edge of The Hoodoos, a fantastic wonderland of boulders and large rock pillars.

GLE015

Location: 44.9376534, -110.7233691

Trail passes through forest burned by wildfire. Look for the signs of how quickly the forest is regenerating.

View of Glen Creek

Location: 44.931995, -110.7286692

Near Glen Creek Trailhead

Location: 44.9332824, -110.7314372

Meadow Vallley

Location: 44.951922, -110.744977

Trail enters a lovely meadow valley hidden from the highway.

Aspen Grove

Location: 44.9591878, -110.7149041

Mount Evert and Blacktail Plateau

Location: 44.9518005, -110.7171249

Views of Bunsen Peak

Location: 44.9486418, -110.7194102