On our last day in Gardiner, we hiked Mt. Washburn. I heard great things about this “must-do” hike from a couple of different bloggers including this one: The Best Hike in Yellowstone. I’m glad we took his advice. It was a beautiful hike! It is a little over 3 miles to the summit making it a little over 6 miles round trip. The uphill climb was hard work, but the views were so amazing it was worth it!
A ranger lives at the top during the summer in the fire watchtower. Below the ranger’s living quarters is a type of small visitor center that you can go in and look at maps and information about what you are seeing off in the distance. You can even see Grand Teton from up there on a clear day!
We got a very early start that morning to make sure we could find parking at the trailhead. The beginning of the hike is through meadows and you’ll see lots of wildflowers.
As you get closer to the top it becomes more rocky and barren. In the picture below you can see the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.
This is the view from the watchtower. So beautiful!
I actually thought hiking back down was even more stunning, probably because on the way up I forgot to occasionally look behind me at where we had been. When I remember to do that, I realize sometimes the view behind us is even better! Since this was an up and down hike, hiking back down I saw all the views I missed on the way up.
This certainly was one of the “best hikes in Yellowstone”! I have one more post from our time in Yellowstone about our visit to the Fishing Bridge section on the east side. Stay tuned!