day hiking in yellowstone national park

Day Hiking in Yellowstone National Park

A great way to explore Yellowstone National Park is on foot! Yellowstone is so vast, you could hike the over 1000 miles of designated trail and still only cover a small part of the National Park! BrushBuck Wildlife Tours holds a day hiking permit for Yellowstone and can incorporate day hikes into any private tour of Yellowstone National Park. Our Yellowstone tour guides will suggest trails based on your groups’ hiking experience and desired exertion level.

Preparation for your Hike


hiking gear to bring to yellowstone national park

It is critical for the entire hiking party to be prepared for any day hike into the wilderness, especially Yellowstone. You will want good, sturdy, and broken-in hiking boots that are at least ankle high with wool socks, rain gear, sun hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, a full water bottle (64oz or larger) and you will want to dress in layers that can easily be added and removed to stow in your pack.

Rain gear is important as afternoon thundershowers in Yellowstone is common from time to time throughout the summer. BrushBuck tour guides will go over safety procedures on what to do in case of an incoming lightning storm.

Cotton clothing is not recommended as cotton wicks heat away from the body when wet. Cotton is hydroscopic, so the fabric takes a long time to dry. Your BrushBuck tour guide will bring bear repellent and a first aid kit with him or her. Bringing these two items, and knowing how to use them properly if hiking on your own, is essential.

Prepare for Bear Encounters

encountering bears in yellowstone national park

We take every precaution to avoid bear encounters, however, it is possible to run into a bear while on a day tour of Yellowstone. Precautions to avoid bear encounters include hiking in large groups, making noises, and talking loud. Bear repellent (similar to mace, but far more concentrated) is effective out to 30’ and is designed to deter or completely incapacitate a bear for a few hours. This non-lethal method is preferred and has proven to be far more effective than the use of a firearm. The Grizzly bear is still protected under the Endangered Species Act, so it is important to protect these magnificent animals.

[RELATED] What to do if you Encounter a Bear

Be Physically Prepared

view from hiking in yellowstone

The lowest point in Yellowstone is still over 5000’ above sea level, and some guided hikes travel over 10,000’ so it is important to adjust your exertion level to cope with the altitude. Staying hydrated and avoiding diuretics like coffee, tea, soda, and alcohol will greatly help you acclimate.

Yellowstone is a phenomenal park to visit and explore on foot. With the proper precautions and planning, you will enjoy the park on a completely different level and you will have explored portions of the park that the majority travelers have not witnessed! Over 95% of Yellowstone’s 3.3 million annual visitors never leave the roads or geyser boardwalks.

If you are interested in going on a day hike in Yellowstone, or booking a complete guided tour, contact BrushBuck Wildlife Tours today to learn more details and book your next trip.

Adam Lackner
Adam Lackner
The backcountry is a place of enjoyment for this outdoorsman. Adam spent five years in the Marine Corps before heading for seasonal guiding positions in Alaska, Montana, Colorado, Idaho, Arizona, Mexico, and now Wyoming. “Being where the mountains are big keeps the complaints small!”
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