DISTANCE: 7+ miles
Trail Type: Out and Back/Loop
Start Location: 2K8 (Hellroaring), 44.949014, -110.450606
Total Hiking Time:
Crowd: About 10-15 people
Animal Sightings: Ground Squirrels, Bison, Pronghorn, Mountain Bluebirds, Yellow-Bellied Marmot
Fishing Report: N/A
The Buffalo Plateau Trail is a fantastic spring hike with great views of the northern area of the park and the Yellowstone River. This trail shares the same trailhead as the Hellroaring Trail so parking can become crowded as you enter May. For much of April, the lower parking lot is closed off – find a few parking spots just above the gate on the gravel road.
Prepare for an early set of switchbacks down to the Yellowstone River. En route enjoy an impressive view of Garnet Hill to the east. Continue on toward the suspension bridge, a large sturdy structure shared by stock users. The Yellowstone River rages below, roaring as it winds it way through a steep rocky canyon. After crossing the bridge, walk through a section of thick forest before entering a stunning field of sagebrush.
A long uphill climb will take you to Buffalo Plateau. In the spring, find abundant wildflowers on your hike. Mountain bluebirds and bison are also common sightings. For those seeking an easy dayhike, turn around early on the trail. My group made it a 7-mile hike. For groups looking for a longer adventure, hike up to the Buffalo Plateau Patrol Cabin or camp at the backcountry site, 2B1.
A great spring hike complete with sweeping landscape views, wildlife, wildflowers, and a unique view of the Yellowstone River.