Wolf Lake Trail
ElevationAscent: 226' 69 m
Descent: -43' -13 m
High: 7,999' 2,438 m
Low: 7,798' 2,377 m
GradeAvg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 18% (10°)
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“A nice trail used to view 25-foot Little Gibbon Falls and to access trails to Wolf Lake & Ice Lake.”— Tom Carter
For the first 1/2 mile, the Wolf Lake Trail is fairly level and closely follows the Gibbon River as it meanders through lovely meadows. This impressive stream was named for General John Gibbon, veteran of the Civil War and later Indian wars, who was one of the first to explore this river in 1872.
In the next 1/4 mile, the trail climbs up 80 feet through fire-burned forests as the river flows below it in a small canyon to the right of the trail. At the .8-mile mark the trail passes beautiful Little Gibbon Falls as it cascades 25 feet over a hard Yellowstone rhyolite lava flow. The Little Gibbon is strikingly similar to its larger cousin, 84-foot Gibbon Falls located 10 miles down stream.
Shortly past the falls, the trail crosses the Gibbon River (look for good crossing logs) and continues through the forest to its terminus at the 1.4-mile mark. From there, it's another 2.2 miles to Wolf Lake (to the right) or .8 miles to Ice Lake (to the left).
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