“A pleasant trail up Tower Creek through meadows, burned forests, and a nice canyon.”
— Tom Carter
Birding · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers
The trail does not lie in a Bear Management Area, but it bisects two BMAs, so off-trail travel is restricted March 10 through November 10.
The trail, which is not shown on all maps, begins at the rear of the Tower Falls
Campground. It is used primarily by fisherman and campers looking for a nice evening outing.
From the campground office, the trail quickly passes a junction with the Tower Fall-Roosevelt Lodge Trail
(to the right) then drops to a crossing of Tower Creek. The remains of the former bridge can no longer be used to cross, so you'll have to ford Tower Creek. It’s a tricky ford and, because of strong currents, it is not recommended before mid-July. If you want to keep your feet dry, look for a log jam to cross, or follow the Tower Fall-Roosevelt Lodge Trail
.2 miles downstream to a bridged crossing of the creek, then bushwhack back up the creek.
After crossing, the trail continues along the creek for the next 4 miles through forests charred by the 1988 fires. Tower Creek was named for Tower Fall. The 1870 Washburn Expedition named it "Tower" Fall for its prominent pinnacles. In Washburn's words, it looked "like some old castle with its turrets dismantled but still standing." The name "Minaret" Fall was the party's first choice. However, they reconsidered after the proposer of that name was accused of cleverly duping the party into naming the fall after his girlfriend back home, Miss Minnie Rhett.
Fishermen enjoy catching 8-to-9 inch brook and rainbow trout in the stream. The trail follows the creek through an ever tightening canyon and ends at its confluence with Carnelian Creek.
Thanks to guidebook author, Tom Carter, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about visiting Yellowstone, check out his book, Day Hiking Yellowstone