Last Updated: October 13, 2021
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 process for obtaining a permit has changed for 2021. 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. Backcountry Permit Offices are closed to in-person visits. Starting October 10th, Permits are only available Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Permitting staff is not available on the weekends or holidays. Please plan accordingly. Please visit our Camp in the Backcountry page for specific information on how to obtain a backcountry permit.
A winter storm on October 11 deposited 3-12 inches of snow across the park. Backcountry travellers should be prepared for winter conditions and difficult travel. Snow covered trails may be difficult to follow. You can view snowpack information at this link.
Fire danger is LOW. Campfires are permitted in backcountry campsites that allow fires. Campfires must always be attended and cold to the touch before abandoning. Soak, stir, feel and repeat until cold.
The fishing season is currently open. Please visit the Catch a fish page for further information.
The boating season is open. All boats entering the water must have a Yellowstone National Park Boat permit and Aquatic Invasive Species Inspection. Boat inspections are available 8-4:30 at Grant Visitor Center, Bridge Bay Ranger Station, and the Lewis Lake Ranger Station. Please visit our boating pages for more information. Prepare for the upcoming season by Cleaning, Draining, and Drying your boats now.
Most trails are open for overnight and day horse use. Please refer to the specific area/trail below to see if it is open for stock. Day ride permits are required for all day rides. Click here to request a day ride permit.Starting October 10th, Permits are only available Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Permitting staff is not available on the weekends or holidays. Please plan accordingly. Review our Ride a Horse page for further information regarding horse riding 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 or Bear Management Area Map for further details and locations of closure area .
Richards Pond (BMA B) Several restrictions in place. See Bear Management Area pages.
Gallatin (BMA D) No off-trail travel May 1 through November 10.
Washburn (BMA F) Closed through November 10.
Antelope (BMA G) Closed through November 10.
Mirror Plateau (BMA H) Day use only May 15 through November 12.
Pelican Valley (BMA I) Open 9:00 am to 7:00 pm only.
Two Ocean (BMA L) From March 10 through July 14th, and August 22 - November 10, travel is allowed only on designated trails. From July 15- August 22 a permit is required for off trail travel.
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.
Sepulcher/Beaver Ponds/Snow Pass area (1N4, 1K1, 1K2)
Glen Creek Trailhead – Fawn Pass & Electric Pass (1K3)
Bunsen Peak/Osprey Falls (1K4)
Bighorn Pass trail (Indian Creek, 1K5)
Mount Holmes area (1K6, 1K8)
Trailheads along Hwy 191 (from north to south)
Daly Creek/Black Butte/Sky Rim Trail/Shelf Lake (WK1, WK2)
Specimen Creek/High Lake/Crescent Lake/Sportsman Lake (WK3)
Bacon Rind (WK4)
Fawn Pass/Fan Creek (WK5)
Bighorn Pass (Hwy 191 - WK6)
Gneiss Creek/Cougar Creek (WK7/WK8)
Harlequin Lake Trail
Back to Map
Blacktail Deer Creek Trail/Yellowstone River Trail/Black Canyon (1N5)
Lava Creek Trail/Rescue Creek Trail (1N2, 1N3, 1N6)
Hellroaring Creek/Coyote Creek/Buffalo Plateau (2K8, 2N1, 2N5, 2N2)
Buffalo Fork (2N3)
Garnet Hill (2K2)
Tower Fall Trail
Slough Creek (2K5, 2N4)
Pebble Creek (3K2, 3K4)
Bliss Pass (between Slough Creek and Pebble Creek)
Back to Map
Specimen Ridge/Agate Creek/Yellowstone Picnic Area trailhead (2K4, 2K7)
Lamar River Trail - Soda Butte to Mist Creek Pass (3K1)
Cache Creek/Thunderer (3K1, 3K3)
Wapiti Lake trail/ Wrangler Lake/ Broad Creek/ Howard Eaton trail (4K7, 4N2, 4K8,5K2)
Pelican Valley/Turbid Lake (5K3)
South Rim and North Rim and Wrangler Lake
Broad Creek/ Astringent Creek Area
Mount Washburn (4K9, 2K6)
7-Mile Hole (4K6)
Cascade, Grebe, Wolf & Ice Lake (4K2, 4K3, 4K4, 4K5, 4N4)
Mary Mountain/Hayden Valley & Cygnet Lakes (4N1, 4N3)
Solfatara (1K7, 4K1)
Fairy Falls/Mystic Falls/Fountain Flats (OK4, OK5, OK6)
Mallard Creek/Mallard Lake (OK9, OK3)
Mary Mountain (OK7)
Summit Lake (9K9,OK4)
Shoshone Lake/Lewis Lake (8K1, 7K2)
Lone Star Trail (OK1) & Howard Eaton Trail (OK2)
Bechler Meadows and Falls River area
Bechler Canyon/Bechler River trail
Boundary Creek/Dunanda Falls
Union Falls/Mountain Ash Creek
Fish Lake (9K3)
Pitchstone Plateau (8K4)
Beula Lake/South Boundary Trail west (8K5, 8K6)
Please email the Central Backcountry Office if you have any questions about specific areas.
Last updated: October 20, 2021