Wraith Falls Trail Yellowstone National Park waterfall easy hike Wyoming

Yellowstone has lots of amazing natural features to explore, but sometimes it’s the unassuming trail that delivers the most surprising enjoyment. Wraith Falls is not one of Yellowstone’s biggest or boldest waterfalls, but the 0.8-mile round trip hike to the 100-foot streaking cascade is as pleasant as it is easy. After making a beeline across a grassy meadow to the creek below Wraith Falls, the trail turns uphill, climbing fifty feet (out of a total of 100 feet of elevation gain) in the last tenth of a mile to a viewpoint of Wraith Falls.

Wraith Falls
Wraith Falls

In late summer, raspberries bloom along the dirt trail and might be the only thing to slow you down as you walk the first 0.3 miles of the trail to a wooden footbridge. Sparse pines allow long views over the valley. Cross Lupine Creek and climb a couple short switchbacks to a clear view of Wraith Falls. The water tumbles down a slick rock slope, cutting a channel through a forest of Douglas firs.

The white bulb-shaped gusher resembled a ghost to early surveyors who named it Wraith Falls. If you get spooked, just return the way you came. Yellowstone National Park has an entrance fee, but no permit is required to hike Wraith Falls Trail. If you are in the mood to see another waterfall, head a mile down the road to an overlook for Undine Falls.

Undine Falls Yellowstone
Nearby Undine Falls

To get to the trailhead: From Mammoth Hot Springs in the northwest corner of Yellowstone National Park, drive 5 miles southeast on Grand Loop Road. The turnout for Wraith Falls is on the south side of the road just under a mile past the turnout for Undine Falls (on the north side of the road).

Trailhead address: Grand Loop Road, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
Trailhead coordinates: 44.942445, -110.623598 (44° 56′ 32.80″N 110° 37′ 24.95″W)

Trail Map
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Elevation Profile
Click or hover over any spot on this elevation profile to see the distance from the start and elevation above sea level at that location, which will be highlighted on the map.

You may also view a regional map of surrounding Wyoming trails and campgrounds.

Photos

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These photos were taken in August of 2011. Click to enlarge.
Nearby Trails
Mammoth Hot Springs Mammoth Hot Springs
This series of boardwalks explores a park highlight, a collection of colorful hot springs terraces.
Boiling River Trail Boiling River
This 1.25-mile round trip hike follows a riverbank to a natural hot tub where a stream of water cooked by nearby hydrothermal features mixes with the river.
Calcite Springs Overlook Trail Calcite Springs Overlook
This 0.25-mile loop overlooks a dramatic section of the Yellowstone River lined by bleached cliffs and steam venting hydrothermal springs.
Yellowstone Tower Fall Tower Fall
This 1-mile hike starts with a head-on view of a 132-foot waterfall. Unfortunately, the final leg of the trail to the base of Tower Fall is closed due to damage from rock and mud slides.
Artists' Paintpots Trail Artists' Paintpots
This 1.1-mile hike circles a hillside hydrothermal area, passing bursting mudpots, bubbling hot springs, and mesmerizing milky blue pools.
Monument Geyser Basin Monument Geyser Basin
This 2.8-mile hike reaches a rarely visited hydrothermal area that is boardwalk-free and fun to explore.
West Thumb Geyser Basin More trails in Yellowstone
Explore other hikes to waterfalls and hydrothermal hot spots in Yellowstone National Park.
Camping
Yellowstone Campgrounds Yellowstone National Park Campgrounds
Twelve developed campgrounds with over 2,000 total sites are spread throughout Yellowstone.
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Tagged with · National Parks · Waterfalls
Distance: 0.8 miles · Elevation change: 100 feet

One Comment on Wraith Falls in Yellowstone National Park

  1. […] Next stop was a short hike to see Wraith Falls. Interesting to check out the photo in the link – we’re lucky to be here after a record-breaking snowpack winter with the snow melt that comes with it […]

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