Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Valentine's Day Hike around Trout Lake in Yellowstone National Park

          Grizzly bears—as well as hordes of people—have been reported to frequent the area around Trout Lake in Yellowstone National Park.  But that's during the summer months.  Visit Trout Lake for a snowshoe hike on Valentine's Day, as Tim and I did several years ago, and you won't be sharing the lake with either bears or humans.

These bison are lounging and foraging along the road on the way to Trout Lake.
No Grizzly Bears to be found in February.

          The trail ascends a steep hill into a forest of Douglas Fir trees, then breaks into the open where the lake and surrounding mountains come into view.  The short one-mile "lollipop" hike loops around the lake, crosses two bridges and rejoins itself in the woods for the return to the trailhead.  We completed the trail in a little over an hour and had the trees, the lake and the view all to ourselves.

Under one of the large Douglas Fir trees
along the trail.

Rita and Tim pose in the meadow where the trail leaves
the big woods.

Trout Lake is in the depression to the right.  The trail
continues around the lake and back into the forest.

         A Valentine's Day dinner at Pedalino's Restaurant in Gardiner, Montana is a fitting way to end the perfect winter day.  Pedalino's is open only one day during the winter season—February 14th.  Enjoy their superb Alaskan salmon entree while reflecting on your day of solitude in Yellowstone National Park.

        Trout Lake Trail is accessed from the park's north entrance in Gardiner, Montana.  For a description of the Trout Lake Hike, and other hiking destinations in Yellowstone's northern section visit this website:

       Click here to read about another of our winter adventures in Yellowstone National Park.

Time for some post-hike fun.  Tim creates the "Yellowstone
Snowshoe Snow Angel".  (Getting back on his feet was another matter...)


  1. What a truly beautiful setting for Valentine's Day, or any day for that matter!

    Those Douglas Fir trees are huge.

    I followed your link to your post from January 2012 "Cross-Country Skiing in Yellowstone National Park". That was another awesome adventure. When first reading it over a year ago, I now recall how impressed I was with the Travertine Terraces.

    Thanks for sharing another of your interesting adventures!


    1. Trout Lake is a beautiful setting for any day of the year. During summer the fishing is reportedly "amazing" and that probably accounts for some of the crowding during that season.
      The day we visited was overcast with snow threatening, and that probably explains why we were the only ones there. It was a great outing though!

      Thanks for re-reading the old post, and thanks for commenting on this one, John!

  2. Happy Valentine's Day! What a lovely, romantic sojourn you and Tim had a few years ago. And that salmon sounds especially delicious after a day of snowshoeing!

    I love your photo of the bison and their trails through the deep snow. It must be amazing to see such majestic animals in a group like that.

    Hope you and Tim have equally fun times planned for this year's Valentine's celebration!

    1. Part of the fun of visiting Yellowstone's north-section trails during winter is seeing the wildlife along the road on the way to the trailheads. It is truly awe-inspiring to see the large herds of bison congregating in meadows and on hillsides.

      Happy Valentine's Day to you too, Vickie! Thanks for your comments.