Last Updated: May 18, 2022
This Backcountry Situation report provides the most up-to-date conditions for Yellowstone’s Backcountry. Conditions are listed by area, then trail.To avoid frustration, even if you are experienced with Yellowstone’s backcountry, please review our Camp in the backcountry webpage as the standard process has changed. Before heading out on the trail, make sure to review information about traveling safely in bear country, and familiarize yourself with our bear management areas. Depending on other activities you intend to pursue in the backcountry please reference our fishing, boating, and horse use regulations.
Backcountry Permits are required for all overnight stays in the Backcountry. Please visit our Camp in the backcountry page for information on how to obtain a backcountry permit.
Backcountry Office Hours:
Offices open 8 to 4:00 unless otherwise indicated.
The majority of the park's trails are still snow covered. Please make sure to check out current snow and river conditions before heading into the backcountry.
High Water Caution:
As the temperatures rise, streams will be at peak runoff levels and many will be too high and dangerous to cross. Streams which are crossable in the morning may rise to unsafe levels by afternoon. Don't get caught on the wrong side of a stream. If you must cross- scout out the safest location, the best crossing may not be in the exact location where the trail meets the stream. Above all use caution and be safe around all streams. Yellowstone's backcountry does not have many bridges, please evaluate planned travel routes for any potentially hazardous stream crossings. View river levels of the surrounding rivers.
Before deciding to have a campfire, check that your campsite allows for fires, and consider the current weather conditions. During the spring when campsites are still snow covered, users may only have a fire if the designated campfire ring can be located, and if visitors can find / access dead and down wood. Campfires are only allowed in the designated fire ring.
Ticks are out. After your hike check your body for ticks. Visit the CDC website for further information on tick prevention.
The fishing season is currently closed. Fishing opens May 28th, 2022. Please visit the Catch a fish page for further information.
The boating season is currently closed. Boating season begins May 28, 2022. Prepare for the upcoming season by Cleaning, Draining, and Drying your boats now.
All trails are currently closed for horse use. Overnight horse use is closed until July 1. Trails for day riding may open earlier, as condition and trail clearing process allows.Make sure to review our Ride a Horse page for further information regarding horse riding permit requirements and information.
Other than qualified service animals, pets are not allowed in the backcountry.
Bear Management Areas:
In order to reduce human related impacts on bears in high density grizzly bear habitat the park has established several bear management areas. Listed below are the current Bear Management Areas (BMAs) in effect. Some Bear Management Areas are full closures, others are no off trail travel restrictions. Please reference the Bear Management page for further details and locations of closure area.
Firehole (BMA A) Closed through May 27th. West side of Mary Mountain Trail closed through June 15.
Richards Pond (BMA B) Several restrictions in place. See Bear Management Area pages.
Gneiss Creek (BMA C) Closed through June 30
Gallatin (BMA D) No off-trail travel May 1 through November 10.
Blacktail (BMA E) Closed through June 30.
Washburn (BMA F) Open only by special permit (through July 31)
Antelope (BMA G) Closed through November 10.
Mirror Plateau (BMA H) Closed. Day use only May 15 through November 12.
Pelican Valley (BMA I) Closed through July 3rd.
Clear Creek (BMA J1) No off trail travel through August 10. See Bear Management Area pages for further details
Clear Creek (BMA J2) No off trail travel through July 14. See Bear Management Area pages for further details
Lake Spawn (BMA K) From May 15 through July 14 No off trail travel .
Two Ocean (BMA L) From May 15 through July 14 and August 22 through November 10 no-off trail travel. From July 15 through August 21 permits are required for off-trail travel.
Riddle / Solution (BMA M) Closed April 30 through July 14.
Heart Lake (BMA O) Closed through June 30.
Review the park roads page, to see which of the park's roads are open.
Click on a region of the map for current backcountry conditions in that area.
Beaver Ponds/Sepulcher/Snow Pass area
Glen Creek Trailhead – Fawn Pass & Electric Pass
Bunsen Peak/Osprey Falls
Bighorn Pass trail (Indian Creek)
Mount Holmes area
Trailheads along Hwy 191 (from north to south)
Daly Creek/Black Butte/Sky Rim Trail/Shelf Lake
Specimen Creek/High Lake/Crescent Lake/Sportsman Lake
Fawn Pass/Fan Creek
Bighorn Pass (Hwy 191)
Gneiss Creek/Cougar Creek
Harlequin Lake Trail
Back to Map
Blacktail Deer Creek Trail/Yellowstone River Trail/Black Canyon
Lava Creek Trail/Rescue Creek Trail
Hellroaring Creek/Coyote Creek/Buffalo Plateau
Tower Fall Trail
Bliss Pass (between Slough Creek and Pebble Creek)
Back to Map
Specimen Ridge/Agate Creek/Yellowstone Picnic Area trailhead
Lamar River Trail - Soda Butte to Mist Creek Pass
Wapiti Lake trail/ Wrangler Lake/ Broad Creek/ Howard Eaton trail
Pelican Valley/Turbid Lake
South Rim and North Rim
Cascade, Grebe, Wolf & Ice Lake
Mary Mountain/Hayden Valley & Cygnet Lakes
Fairy Falls/Mystic Falls/Fountain Flats
Back to Map
Shoshone Lake/Lewis Lake
Lone Star Trail & Howard Eaton Trail
Bechler Meadows and Falls River area
Bechler Canyon/Bechler River trail
Boundary Creek/Dunanda Falls
Union Falls/Mountain Ash Creek
Beula Lake/South Boundary Trail west
Please email the Central Backcountry Office if you have any questions about specific areas.
Last updated: May 19, 2022