Hiking to Ice Lake is an easy 0.25-1.3 mile (one way) hike in Yellowstone National Park, depending on how much of the lake you want to see. The lake features three backcountry campsites, which, at such short mileage, would make for an excellent intro to backpacking for both kids and adults. Beyond Ice Lake, the trail continues eastward to connect with the Wolf Lake Trail.
Ice Lake Trail Description
From the trailhead, make an easy ascent through the forest after crossing a small footbridge. Heading straight through the peaceful woods, you’ll reach a junction with the the first of three backcountry campsites. Head left to continue to Ice Lake.
Soon you’ll begin to see some sporadic but beautiful views of Ice Lake cutting through the forest and into the distance. The trail will continue through the trees, the shore visible just beyond. At xx miles in you’ll reach a junction. To stay on the Ice Lake Trail head right.
Shortly after the junction, you’ll reach a second backcountry campsite which provides a gorgeous view of the lake (if not already occupied). This makes for a great place to turn around, or you can continue on to the third backcountry campsite found on the northeastern shore.
To get to the third and final campsite, continue up the trail where you’ll climb a bit above the lake through the woods before descending back down. It’s shortly after that small hill that you reach the final campsite. Want to see Ice Lake and get a bit more mileage in? Consider including Little Gibbon Falls over on the Wolf Lake Trail as well!
From Canyon Village, head west on Norris Canyon Road for 8.2 miles. Look for the trailhead on your right.
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