Canoe Lake Trail
ElevationAscent: 1,638' 499 m
Descent: -10' -3 m
High: 9,210' 2,807 m
Low: 7,583' 2,311 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (4°)
Max Grade: 27% (15°)
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“The Canoe Lake spur trail climbs 4 miles to a small, scenic lake on the park's eastern boundary.”— Tom Carter
From the trailhead on the Miller Creek Trail, the Canoe Lake Trail climbs steeply up an open ridge, gaining 700 feet in the first mile. After that, it levels a bit and enters the forest for several miles. The trail parallels the Calfee Creek as it leads to Canoe Lake, but is well above the water for most of the way and there are infrequent views. The last mile, the trail begins to break out of the trees and affords nice views of the surrounding area.
The trail to Canoe Lake follows one part of the old Bannock Trail. From 1840 to 1878 this 200-mile trail was used by Bannock, Shoshone and Nez Perce Indians to traverse Yellowstone and reach the rich buffalo hunting grounds to the east, in Montana and Wyoming. The trail used a number of passes through the rugged Absaroka Range. Historians believe that a pass near this area may have been used by the Nez Perce in 1877 in their fighting retreat from the US Cavalry. Native American's use of the trail may have had a role in the naming of Canoe Lake.
At the 3.75 mile mark Canoe Lake is reached. The lake itself is quite small, but scenic. The trail continues another 1/4 mile and ends at the park boundary.
Thanks to guidebook author, Tom Carter, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about visiting Yellowstone, check out his book, Day Hiking Yellowstone.
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Land Manager: National Park Service - Yellowstone National Park