Stay at Slough Creek. It is available first come first served starting at 11 am.http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/ca…
For back country hiking go to:http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/ba…
Good hikes according to http://www.uwm.edu/People/zjen/hikes.htm…
Elephant Back (4mi)
The two mile hike to the top of the Elephant back is quite a hike. You pretty much go straight up for two miles. Once on the top, the view is breathtaking in more ways than one. When you rest, catch your breath and take in the view, it is amazing. You can see out over Yellowstone Lake, Pelican Valley and the Absaroka Mountain Range. You almost feel like you are on top of the world. The hike starts near Lake Village, and is known for bear activity. Because of this, the trail is often closed due to bears. Check at the Fishing Bridge Visitor center for details. The view is worth the strenuous hike.
Pebble Creek (12mi one way)
The Pebble Creek hike, located in the Northeast corner of the park was so beautiful we did this 12 mile hike both summers in Yellowstone. To complete the whole hike, you will need two cars, one at the trailhead and one at Pebble Creek campground. Starting from the picnic area, the first mile of the hike climbs over 1,000 feet. A seemingly endless and breathless mile, once you reach the plateau, it is relatively smooth sailing from there. The view from this vantage point is spectacular. This point in the hike is a good time to rest, get something to eat and take in the view. From there you veer away from the road and into an open valley. Surrounded on both sides by high ground, this area is beautiful, especially when the flowers are in bloom. This hike gave us our first experience at stream crossings in Yellowstone. My brother showed us the proper technique and, although some fords were high, we got through them no problem. From the open meadows you finish the hike in lodgepole pine forests until you reach the camp ground. The scenery is great and the solitude you find on this scarcely used trail is unimaginable.
Grand View Point 2.2
Preview: A short, steep hike with a view to dream for. This is a wonderful, short hike, but you have a serious hill to climb to earn the spectacular view from Grand View Point.
Pelican Valley (16mi)
The Pelican Valley hike, a 16 mile loop trail, showed us a lot about our hiking abilities. This hike starts off the Fishing Bridge-east entrance road, a few miles east of Fishing Bridge. A notorious bear frequenting area, this hike has many restrictions. You can only do the hike between 9 am and 7 pm and this restriction is heavily enforced. It is also recommended that you hike in groups of four or more. Although the hike has no big ascents or descents, it is not totally flat. Hiking through sparse forest in the beginning, most of the hike is a circle around a huge open valley. The scenery is very pretty. About the half way point on the loop you come to a ranger cabin. Although there wasn't a lot of wildlife along the trail, we were warned by rangers that a sow grizzly and two cubs were in the area. We also encountered a couple buffalo, and an aggressive elk. Sixteen miles in one day for us proved to be a struggle but the hike is pretty no matter how far you take it.
Mount Washburn (6mi)
This six mile round-trip hike is very popular. There are two ways to take this hike. You can either start from the Chittenden Road which is shorter and steeper or from the Dunraven picnic area, which we did, that is longer but not as steep. Although we have never seen them, they say there is a chance to see bighorn sheep on the hike. When the flowers are in bloom this hike is spectacular. Even without these two things, this hike is worth it. Hiking along an old road, the trail is nice but steep. When you reach the top, there is a tower in which you can go into. There, they have a sign-in book and a map of the major attractions of Yellowstone. You can see pretty much everything from there. It is a spectacular view. Often quite windy on top, take a jacket along even in the warmest of weather. The hike down is pleasant, especially after the rewarding view.
Osprey Falls (8mi???)
Osprey falls was one of my favorite trails of the summer. It starts at the Bunsen Peak trailhead just south of Mammoth. The trail itself is not all that interesting but the end result is. The trail gets very steep for about a mile. Here you drop over 800 feet into the canyon below on a series of switchbacks. Taken slowly these are okay, but the trail is often slippery and with very loose rock, it can be very dangerous. You can't see the falls until you are right there and what an awesome sight it is. At the bottom, take a rest, enjoy the falls, and relax before thinking about climbing back up the canyon. This tough hike is definitely worth seeing the beautiful and powerful falls. The question marks on the milage means that there are numerous discrepancies about the actual miles of the hike.
Slough Creek (4mi)
This trail starts from the Slough Creek Campground in the Lamar Valley. Not a flat hike, it can be difficult at times, especially in the beginning. In about two miles you reach a flat area called the "first meadows" and it is absolutely beautiful. There are tall cliffs and open meadows as far as you can see. A stream meanders through the area, making it picture perfect. We took in the view for a while and then turned around. This short hike was very rewarding.
Artists Paintpots Trail
Preview: The Artists Paintpots Trail tours a variety of hot pots and pools of various colors (blue, red, brown and green), steam vents and a hypnotizing boiling mud pot. The paintpots are located on the south edge of Gibbon Meadows. The trail does not get heavy foot traffic, which allows an opportunity to savor these thermal treats privately. Part of the trail follows a boardwalk. 1.2
Union Falls (15mi)
This hike is located on the edge of the southern border of Yellowstone. To reach the trailhead, you have to take a very narrow dirt road starting at Flagg Ranch just south of the park for ten miles. From experience, I want to warn people to be very careful driving this road. On the far end of Grassy Lake Resevoir, you will find the trailhead for Union Falls. For the first mile the trail travels through a densely forested area until you reach the Falls river. This river ford is often high and dangerous, most of the time impassible before August. With sandals on and walking stick in hand, we crossed the river cautiously. From here, the trail travels up and down, crossing more streams over fallen logs. The last stretch of the hike before the falls is a climb but it is worth it. Union Falls is the most impressive waterfall I have ever seen. Although you have to hike 15 miles round-trip to see it, it is definitely worth the effort. Two rivers join at this single spot and plunge to the earth below. The sight is almost indescribable. Seeing the falls is well worth the miles you have hiked but there is also a side attraction. About a half a mile before you reach the falls, there is a well worn trail off to your left that goes about 3/4 of a mile and ends up at a swimming hole. This hole, containing a small waterfall, is heated by thermal runoff. Not too hot and not too cold, a dip in the water is a refreshing and relaxing way to work up energy for the long hike back. This is another hike we did both summers in Yellowstone and it is my favorite hike in the park.
Black Canyon of the Yellowstone (Backpacking)
Preview: An unusual trip along the majestic Yellowstone River nearly the entire route. The Black Canyon of the Yellowstone is one of the classic backpacking trips of the northern Rockies. It seems to offer everything a hiker might want. It’s downhill all the way on an excellent trail with a wide choice of 4 and 5 campsites. Wildlife is abundant; the fishing is fantastic, and the scenery rivals almost any other hike in the park. The trail closely follows the mighty Yellowstone River most of the way. Special attractions: Snow gives up this area early in the year providing a rare opportunity for early season backpacking. 18 mileshttp://www.trails.com/tcatalog_trail.asp…