ElevationAscent: 258' 79 m
Descent: -266' -81 m
High: 8,010' 2,441 m
Low: 7,799' 2,377 m
GradeAvg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 10% (6°)
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“From Shoshone Lake’s southeast corner, the 4.8-mile Dogshead Trail is the shortest route to the road”— Tom Carter
The Dogshead Trail travels southeast from Shoshone Lake, climbing 200 feet through forests burned in 1988 to the trails high point at the 1.3-mile mark. Along the way, enjoy nice views to the west of Shoshone Lake and to the southwest of the northern terminus of the Pitchstone Plateau.
This trail is named Dogshead after the beautiful Glacier Lily, sometimes called Dogtooth Violets, that pop up in the spring, as the snow cover melts. This shade and moisture-loving flower has 6 curved yellow petals and 6 brown stamens that hang from the center. Its leafless stems are curved at the top giving the flower a nodding or drooping look.
From the high point, the trail begins a gradual 200-foot descent over the next 3 miles to the trails end on the West Thumb to South Entrance road, just north of Lewis Lake (at the Lewis River Channel Trailhead). As you descend, enjoy intermittent views of Lewis Lake and Mount Sheridan beyond. At the 3.5-mile mark the trail levels and crosses a small creek. From here it's 1.5 miles of easy running through the forest to the highway.
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