Backcountry Situation Report

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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:

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.
During the early season, many of our backcountry offices are not staffed. Please allow for extra time for permits to be issued for offices that are listed as On Call.

Albright Visitor Center (Mammoth Backcountry office): Closed

Bechler Ranger Station: Closed

Bridge Bay Ranger Station: Closed

Canyon Visitor Education Center (Backcountry office): Closed

Grant Visitor Center (Backcountry office): Closed

Old Faithful Ranger Station: Closed

Snake River Ranger Station: Closed

Tower Ranger Station: Open Tuesday through Saturday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm with exception of Saturday June 4th. Closed for lunch 12-12:30. Closed Sunday and Monday

West Yellowstone Visitor Information Center: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm daily.

General Conditions:

Snow Levels:

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.

Fires:

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:

Ticks are out. After your hike check your body for ticks. Visit the CDC website for further information on tick prevention.

Fishing Season:

The fishing season is currently closed. Fishing opens May 28th, 2022. Please visit the Catch a fish page for further information.

Boating Season:

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.

Horse Use:

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.

Pets:

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.

Backcountry Access

Review the park roads page, to see which of the park's roads are open.

Backcountry Map

Click on a region of the map for current backcountry conditions in that area.

 
Index Map
Yellowstone Backcountry Map: click a region to jump to conditions for that area.
 

Northwest Region

  • Off-trail travel prohibited within the Gallatin Bear Management Area through November 10.
  • A minimum group size of four people is recommended for hiking and camping within the Gallatin Bear Management Area. BE BEAR AWARE!
  • Hikers should expect to encounter significant snow cover and be prepared for oversnow travel on all trails in the area. (5/9/22)
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Beaver Ponds/Sepulcher/Snow Pass area

  • Beaver Ponds trail open. (5/16/22)
  • Sepulcher trail is snow packed.(4/22/22)
  • Visitors should familiarize themselves with the no off trail travel restrictions of the Gallatin Bear Management Area
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock. Beaver ponds trail is not suitable for stock (year round)

Glen Creek Trailhead – Fawn Pass & Electric Pass

  • The Fawn Pass trail west of the Glen Creek trail junction is closed to all travel for a wildlife closure. See closure map. Campsites 1F1, 1F2, 1G2,and 1G5 are closed as well as a section of trail. No through traffic is possible along the Fawn Pass trail. (5/5/22)
  • Expect the entire area to have significant snow. (5/9/22)
  • Electric Pass has deep snow. Travel not advised. (5/9/22)
  • Visitors should familiarize themselves with the no off trail travel restrictions of the Gallatin Bear Management Area.
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Bunsen Peak/Osprey Falls

  • Bunsen Peak Trail has patchy snow. (5/16/22)
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock. Osprey falls trail is not suitable for stock (year round)

Bighorn Pass trail (Indian Creek)

  • Snow packed.Access road to the trailhead parking area and Indian Creek Campground is closed until June 10. Until then, hikers wishing to access the Bighorn Pass trail must park in the pullouts near the access road barricade. Do not block the access road.
  • Campsite 1B1 and trail to the site is snow covered. Expext 1-2 feet of snow along trail and at site. (5/9/22)
  • Bighorn Pass trail has deep snow and cannot be crossed. (5/9/22)
  • Visitors should familiarize themselves with the no off trail travel restrictions of the Gallatin Bear Management Area.
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Mount Holmes area

  • Grizzly Lake and Mt. Holmes trails likely to have patches of snow and wet and muddy.. Expect creek crossings to rise and become swift with warmer temperatures. (5/16/22)
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Purple Mountain

  • Likely to have some residual snow (5/16/22)
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Monument Trail

  • Completely snow covered. (5/9/22)
  • Stock Use: Not suitable for stock. (year round).

Trailheads along Hwy 191 (from north to south)

Daly Creek/Black Butte/Sky Rim Trail/Shelf Lake

  • Black Butte Trail is snow packed (5/9/22)
  • Daly Creek Trail to Sky Rim Trailhead snowy (5/9/22)
  • Sky Rim trail and Shelf Lake are completely snow covered. (5/9/22)
  • Stock use: Closed to stock

Specimen Creek/High Lake/Crescent Lake/Sportsman Lake

  • Specimen Creek Trail: Snow Packed. (5/9/22)
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Bacon Rind

  • Bacon Rind trail is snowy (5/9/22)
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Fawn Pass/Fan Creek

  • Fawn Pass is trail snow covered. (5/9/22)
  • The Fawn Pass trail on the east side of Fawn Pass is closed. See closure map. Campsites 1F1, 1F2, 1G2,and 1G5 are closed as well as a section of trail. No through traffic is possible along the Fawn Pass trail. (5/5/22)
  • Visitors should familiarize themselves with the no off trail travel restrictions of the Gallatin Bear Management Area
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock. (4/22/22)

Bighorn Pass (Hwy 191)

  • Trails are snow covered. (5/9/22)
  • Bighorn Pass completely snow covered. (5/9/22)
  • Visitors should familiarize themselves with the no off trail travel restrictions of the Gallatin Bear Management Area.
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Gneiss Creek/Cougar Creek

  • Much of Gneiss creek trail closed until June 30, due to Gneiss Creek Bear Management Area .(4/22/22)
  • Gneiss creek trail is "primitive" in nature and contains areas where there is no trail tread and limited trail markers.
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Harlequin Lake Trail

  • Harlequin Lake trail is snowy. (5/9/22)
  • Stock use: Not suitable for stock (year round)

Back to Map
 

Northeast Region

Blacktail Deer Creek Trail/Yellowstone River Trail/Black Canyon

  • Yellowstone River Trail, and Blacktail Deer Creek trails are likely snowy free. (5/16/22)
  • There is a strong bear warning for travel along the Blacktail Deer Creek Trail north of campsite 1A1. Visitors should be bear aware- make lots of noise, travel in groups, avoid hiking at night, and carry bearspray.(5/16/22)
  • Ticks are out. (5/9/22)
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Wraith Falls

  • Trail is open (4/22/22)
  • Stock Use: Not suitable for stock.

Lava Creek Trail/Rescue Creek Trail

  • Rescue Creek Trail is open. Likely a mix of snow and mud. (4/22/22)
  • Lava Creek Trail is open. Expect muddy conditions. (5/16/22)
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.


Lost Lake Loop

  • The road to the Petrified Trailhead is open (5/16/22)
  • Lost Lake trail is likely muddy.(5/16/22)
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Hellroaring Creek/Coyote Creek/Buffalo Plateau

  • Helllroaring Creek Trailhead is open. . Hikers should plan to use the bridge near campsite 2H8 in order to cross Hellroaring Creek in case that water levels start to rise. (5/16/22)
  • Conditions on Bull Mountain Loop north of the park are snowy. (5/9/22)
  • Coyote Creek trail likely to be mostly snowy. (6/15/22)
  • Upper elevations of Buffalo Plateau trail are completely snow covered. Campsite 2B1 snow covered. (5/9/22)
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Buffalo Fork

  • Buffalo Fork trail is snowy. Not accessible from the Slough Creek Trailhead and Campground due to the fact that Slough Creek will not be crossable. (6/15/22).
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Garnet Hill

  • Garnet Hill likely muddy. Be sure to detour around bison herds and bison calves. (6/15/22)
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Tower Fall Trail

  • Inaccessible until May 27 (see park roads page) when the road opens for the season.
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Slough Creek

  • Expect patchy snow. Campsites may have some snow pack. (6/15/22)
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Pebble Creek

  • Pebble Creek trail is snow covered. (5/9/22)
  • Be careful of avalanche danger for that area.
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Bliss Pass (between Slough Creek and Pebble Creek)

  • Bliss Pass is snow covered and should not be crossed due to deep snow and dangerous conditions. (5/16/22)
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Trout Lake

  • Trout Lake is likely to have patchy snow. (6/15/22)
  • Stock Use: Not suitable for stock (year round)

Back to Map
 

Central Region

Specimen Ridge/Agate Creek/Yellowstone Picnic Area trailhead

  • Portions of the western side of the Specimen Ridge Trail may not have much snow, but deep snow exists on the eastern half of the trail especially around and east of Amehtyst Peak. The entire Specimen Ridge Trail can not be hiked as the Lamar River, located at the east end of the trail, is rising to levels to high to cross. (5/11/22)
  • Yellowstone Picnic Area trail is open. Expect some snow along the trail. (5/11/22)
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Lamar River Trail - Soda Butte to Mist Creek Pass

  • Lamar River Trail is mostly snow free to campsite 3L1. Travel south of 3L1 not recommended as Cache Creek will rise to uncrossable levels with warmer temperatures. (5/11/22)
  • Pelican Valley trailhead is closed until July 4 due to the Pelican Valley Bear Management Area.
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Cache Creek/Thunderer

  • Conditions unknown. Expect snow with increasing elevation. (5/11/22)
  • Republic Pass is completely snow covered and inaccessible. (5/11/22)
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Miller Creek

  • Inaccessible due to Cache Creek becoming too hight to cross. Snowy. (5/11/22)
  • Pelican Valley Trail and trailhead is closed until July 4 for the Pelican Valley Bear Management Area.
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Frost Lake

Avalanche Peak

  • Completely snow covered. Avalanche conditions may exist. Hiking not advised. (5/11/22)
  • Stock Use: Not suitable for stock (year round)

Wapiti Lake trail/ Wrangler Lake/ Broad Creek/ Howard Eaton trail

  • Area trails are snow covered. (5/11/22)
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Pelican Valley/Turbid Lake

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Canyon Region

South Rim and North Rim

  • Trails open but are snow covered. (5/11/22)
  • Artist Point is open. (5/11/22)
  • Stock Use: Not suitable for stock (year round)

Mount Washburn

  • Trails from Dunraven Pass and Chittenden Road trailheads are inaccessible due to seasonal road closure. Road between Canyon and Tower is scheduled to open May 27.

7-Mile Hole

  • Snowy conditions, there are some steep areas of the trail. Visitors should bring hiking poles. (4/22/22)
  • Washburn Spur trail and the Washburn Meadow campsite 4E1 has limited access due to Dunraven Pass road closure. (4/22/22)
  • Stock Use: Not suitable for stock (year round)

Cascade, Grebe, Wolf & Ice Lake

  • Trails and campsites are 100% covered with approximately 1 1/2 feet of snow. (5/12/22)
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock

Mary Mountain/Hayden Valley & Cygnet Lakes

  • The Crater Hills area near the road through Hayden Valley is closed for wildlife protection. See Map. (5/5/22)

  • The east half of the Mary Mountain trail is open to Mary Lake. The Mary Mountain trail west of Mary Lake is closed until June 15 for the Firehole Bear Management Area.
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Solfatara

  • Solfatara Trail is mostly snow covered. (5/11/22)
  • Hikers wishing to access to the Solfatara Creek Trailhead at Norris Campground must park at a pullout nearby the entrance to Norris Campground and hike through the campground 1/2 mile to the trailhead.
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.
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Old Faithful Region

Fairy Falls/Mystic Falls/Fountain Flats

  • Mystic Falls, Fairy Falls, Fairy Creek, Imperial Geyser, Sentinel Meadow, and are all closed until May 28. Bear Management Area.
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Mallard Lake

  • Trail and campsites are snow covered. (5/11/22)
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Mary Mountain

  • The Mary Mountain trail from the Nez Perce trailhead to Mary Lake (western half) is closed until June 15. Bear Management Areas.
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Summit Lake


Back to Map

 

Southeastern Region

Elephant Back, Natural Bridge, Storm Point
  • Storm Point Trail is mostly snow covered. Snow depths less than 1 foot. (5/11/22)
  • Elephant Back Trail is mostly snow covered. Snow depths 1-2 feet. (5/12/22)
  • Natural Bridge Trail is closed. (5/11/22)
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock
Nine Mile Trailhead: Thorofare Trail / Mountain Creek
  • Trails are snow covered. Streams are on the rise and will become uncrossable.(5/16/22)
  • Review Clear Creek and Lake Spawn Bear Management Area restrictions. No off-trail travel restrictions are in effect in the backcountry areas surrounding Yellowstone Lake.
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock
Yellowstone Lake
  • Yellowstone Lake is still frozen. (5/16/22)
  • Area trails are all snow covered. (5/16/22)
  • Boating Season does not begin until May 28.
  • Review Clear Creek and Lake Spawn Bear Management Area restrictions. No off-trail travel restrictions are in effect in the backcountry areas surrounding Yellowstone Lake.
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock
Heart Lake South Boundary Area/Snake River/Two Ocean Plateau
  • All trails are snow covered or inaccessible due to high water stream crossings. (5/16/22)
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock
Riddle Lake Back to Map
 

Southwest

Shoshone Lake/Lewis Lake

  • Trails leading into Shoshone lake are completely snow covered (5/16/22)
  • Shoshone and Lewis Lake are currently frozen. (5/16/22)
  • Boating season is closed. Boating opens May 28 conditions permitting.

Lone Star Trail & Howard Eaton Trail

  • Lone Star and Howard Eaton Trails are snow covered. (5/16/22)
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Bechler Area

  • Grassy Lake Road is closed to motorized traffic until June 1.
  • The road to the Cave Falls and the Bechler Ranger station is inaccessible. (5/11/22)
  • The Forest Service campground at Cave Falls is closed for maintenance in 2022.
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Bechler Meadows and Falls River area

  • Road to Cave Falls is inaccessible. Likely snow covered. (5/16/22)
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Bechler Canyon/Bechler River trail

  • Snow covered and/or flooded. Rivers will likely soon become uncrossable. (5/16/22)
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Boundary Creek/Dunanda Falls

  • Snow covered and/or Flooded. (5/11/22)
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Robinson Creek

  • Snow covered. (5/11/22)
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Union Falls/Mountain Ash Creek

  • Union Falls is inaccessible. Grassy Lake Road is closed to motorized traffic until June 1.
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Pitchstone Plateau

  • Completely snow covered. (5/16/22)
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.

Beula Lake/South Boundary Trail west

  • Inaccessible. Grassy Lake Road is closed to motorized traffic until June 1.
  • Stock Use: Closed to stock.
Back to Map
 

Contact Us

Please email the Central Backcountry Office if you have any questions about specific areas.

 

More Information

Last updated: May 19, 2022

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park , WY 82190-0168

Phone:

307-344-7381

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