Thing to Do

Pelican Valley Trail

Hikers crossing a wooden bridge in the wide-open Pelican Valley.

You are entering some of the best grizzly country in the lower 48 states. The trail heads north, crosses a few bridges through a meadow, then enters the forest. After it leaves the forest, it ascends a small hill to a nice overlook of the valley, with the creek below and the Absaroka Mountains to the east. From here, the trail turns slightly to the right (east) and passes through a small hydrothermal area. Stay on the trail through this fragile and hazardous area. Soon, the trail veers north (left), crosses a small creek, and climbs up a cut bank. This is a good place to enjoy the views of Pelican Creek. The trail continues one mile further to a washed-out bridge.

Safety notes: Many restrictions apply to this trail because it is in prime grizzly bear habitat: Closed until July 4th (Bear Management Area closure), day-use only from 9 am–7 pm, groups of four or more hikers recommended, and off-trail travel prohibited on the first 2.1 miles (3.4 km). Check the Backcountry Situation Report for current information.

Trailheads: Turn onto the gravel road 3 miles (4.8 km) east of Fishing Bridge Visitor Center; park at end of road.

This is a 6.2-mile (9.9-kilometer) there-and-back trail that begins and ends at the same trailhead.
Moderate hike
Pets Allowed
Entrance fees may apply, see Fees & Passes information.
This trail is located in the central part of the park, with the trailhead east of Indian Pond.
Summer, Fall
Day-use only from 9 am–7 pm.
Accessibility Information
This is a fairly level, single-wide, bare ground trail that heads through a valley. There is no bridge crossing the creek.

Yellowstone National Park

Hikers crossing a bridge in Pelican Valley
Historic image of hikers crossing a bridge in Pelican Valley (bridge no longer exists).

NPS/J. Schmidt

More on Day Hikes in Yellowstone

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Yellowstone Day Hikes

Lace up your boots and explore some of the over 1,000 miles of trails in Yellowstone National Park.

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Lake Area Day Hikes

Explore trails that traverse a variety of Yellowstone ecosystems and provide stunning views of Yellowstone Lake.

Last updated: June 5, 2019