yellowstone easy hikes with kids
Image by Shawna Swisher from Pixabay

Top 7 easy hikes to do with kids in Yellowstone National Park

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Yellowstone is an amazing gem of USA, it is a super volcano with many interesting geothermal features. This park also has miles and miles of cool trails to explore. After driving all day with kids to get to the must visit places in Yellowstone, we would have little to no time to really get down and explore the park.

We have got you covered. Here are the best and easy hikes you can do with kids at Yellowstone.

Don’t forget to carry these things for your hikes: Bear spray, water, snacks, layers and a hat for open hikes, sturdy hiking shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses, camera, binocularsspotting scope.

Here is a curated list of the best easy hikes at Yellowstone National Park.

1. Biscuit Basin

Sapphire Pool Yellowstone
Photo by James Ian

James Ian from Parks Collecting blog says: Biscuit Basin is a short 0.6-mile/ 15-minute hike with one of the most stunning colored hot springs in Yellowstone that kids of all ages will love seeing.   

The trail, which is completely on a boardwalk, is a lollipop shape. From the parking lot, the trail heads over a footbridge across the Firehole River.  Immediately after, on the right, are three beautiful milky pools, including Black Opal Pool.  

Just before you get to the loop, you’ll come to the star attraction, the stunning Sapphire Pool. The brilliant blue color has to be seen to be believed. Up until a huge 1959 earthquake, the pool was surrounded by strange biscuit-shaped mineral deposits, which gave the basin its name. These were all unfortunately blown away in the earthquake, but the beautiful Sapphire Pool remains.  

At the loop section of the trail, you can go in either direction.  If you go left, you’ll soon pass Jewel Geyser, named after the pearl-like ‘beads’ around the vent. It erupts every 7-10 minutes. Other highlights include Mustard Spring, Shell Geyser, Silver Globe Spring and Avoca Spring. 

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2. Fountain Paint Pot

Clepsydra Geyser
Photo by James Ian

James Ian from Travel Collecting blog says: The Lower Geyser Basin is the largest basin in Yellowstone, though the accessible area is much smaller.  A 1.1-mile lollipop trail on a boardwalk takes you past numerous geothermal features that kids will love seeing.  There is a steep grade in one section, plus some steps, so it’s not great for strollers. 

Just before the loop starts, you’ll pass the beautiful deep blue Celestine Pool on your left.  Turning left, the boardwalk passes dead lodgepole pine trees that were growing in the area until hot springs moved in.   

You’ll soon come to the main geyser area on this trail.  Clepsydra Geyser is almost constantly sputtering and blowing, so you’ll almost certainly see some kind of show here.  Next up is Fountain Geyser, which may be little more than a pool of blue water.  If you’re lucky, though, you’ll see it erupt in a 10-15-feet, 20-minute show.  

Leaving the geysers behind, the next section has fumaroles and the mud pot that gives the trail its name.  What you’ll see here changes with the seasons and rainfall.  Red Spouter has pools of reddish splashing muddy water in the spring and early summer, but in later summer and fall it becomes a hissing fumarole. 

The eponymous Fountain Paint Pot is a thin and watery bubbling mudpot in spring and early summer, turning into thick bubbling mud as things dry out.  

This short trail is a great way for kids to learn about several different types of geothermal features. 

3. Storm Point

Yellowstone Lake
Photo by CS Ginger

CS Ginger from CS Ginger blog says: One of the best hikes in Yellowstone with kids is Storm Point. This trail is 2.5 miles long with very little elevation gain. It is considered an easy hike.

However, if you don’t think you will make it the entire 2.5 miles, you can turn back whenever you’d like. There is a loop towards the end of the trail. If you aren’t going on the entire hike, the fork to the left will go by the lake and the fork to the right will take you through a lodgepole forest.

There are really pretty views of the lake and nearby valleys and pine trees. This trail is a common place to see bison, deer, elk, and wildlife on the lake like ducks and bald eagles. You can also see some of the Teton mountains at certain places on the trail.

This is a great trail for kids because the varied terrain will keep them entertained and overall it is a very easy hike. It is also a great place to pack a picnic and enjoy Yellowstone Lake.

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4. Mud Volcano

mudpot yellowstone
Photo by CS Ginger

CS Ginger from CS Ginger blog says: Another fun hike in Yellowstone to do with kids is the Mud Volcano Trail. If you are coming into Yellowstone from Salt Lake City or the Tetons this is one of the first trails you will come to near Yellowstone Lake.

It is a short 0.8-mile loop and takes about 20 minutes to walk. There is about 120 feet of elevation gain. The trail is a nice boardwalk that is stroller friendly. This is a great little hike for everyone in your family and the kids will enjoy seeing the boiling mud. It is one of the unique things to see in Yellowstone. There is a strong sulfur smell on this hike.

5. Lost Lake

Lost lake
Photo by Erin Nicole

Erin Nicole from Super Simple Salty Life blog says: An easy but exciting hike with kids of any age is the Lost Lake Loop hike inside Yellowstone. Beginning right behind the Roosevelt Lodge, the hike is less than 3 miles long and takes 1.5 to 2 hours to complete (including a short snack break). The trail climbs 300 feet in elevation almost immediately and then flattens out, following along a meandering footpath towards Lost Lake.

Parts of the hike give you glimpses of the Lamar Valley and the mountains beyond. Because this is a lesser-known hike it is very peaceful and quiet, so keep your eyes open for wildlife! Bears, deer, elk, foxes, and even bison have been spotted in the meadows along the trail.

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6. Grand Prismatic Spring

Best things to do in Yellowstone national park
Image by Mike Goad from Pixabay

Jessica from Uprooted Traveler blog says: The Grand Prismatic Spring, the largest hot spring in the United States (and the third largest in the world!), is one of the most iconic sites in Yellowstone National Park. The spring is iconic for its vibrant hues of yellow, orange, and turquoise, caused by the thermophilic bacteria and algae that flourish in its waters.

There’s a flat, 0.8 mile wooden boardwalk that winds around- and over- the spring, allowing a close-up look of the bacterial mats that create the spring’s dazzling colors. Not only is the boardwalk stroller-accessible, but kids will be in awe at the spring’s colors and its steam (which has no discernable sulfur or “rotten eggs” smell for kiddos with sensitive noses). Plus, educational signs explaining the organisms that live in the spring and create its beautiful colors line the boardwalk, making this an excellent opportunity for kids to learn about science in an engaging way.

7. The Brink of the Lower Falls

brink of lower falls
Photo by Jessica Schmit

Jessica from Uprooted Traveler blog says: The Brink of the Lower Falls trail takes you through a wooded forest near Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon to a platform right next to the brink of the Lower Falls, where you can watch (and be sprayed!) as the water dramatically drops 308 feet down into the canyon below.

The trail is short- only about 0.5 miles roundtrip- but is fairly steep, dropping more than 300 feet to the lookout. Given the elevation gain on the way back up and some of the steep drop offs along the way, this hike is best suited for kids that can either be carried, if needed, or who can make the strenuous climb back up on their own. But the tough climb uphill will be worth it- kids will delight in the mist and the roar of the waterfall and beyond the powerful cascade, the mesmerizing colors of the Grand Canyon.

Have fun!

Also read: Best things to do in Yellowstone National Park!

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About Priyadarshini Rajendran 210 Articles
Priyadarshini Rajendran is a travel enthusiast, avid reader and a passionate writer. She has a few of her books published and is writing more books. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked as a software consultant taking breaks for her travels. Her blog is her passion and she writes about travel, books and food on the blog. She offers customized itineraries for South Indian destinations.

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