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Mount Washburn (Yellowstone National Park)

Mount Washburn - Yellowstone national park
Mount Washburn - Yellowstone national park
Mount Washburn - Yellowstone national park
Mountain goats on Mount Washburn - Yellowstone national park
Mount Washburn trail - Yellowstone national park
map: Mount Washburn - Yellowstone national park
elevation plot: Headed up Mount Washburn - Yellowstone national park
Elevation plot: headed down Mount Washburn - Yellowstone national park


How to Get There
This hike is located in Yellowstone National Park, North Western Wyoming.

To get to the Chittenden trailhead: Drive South from Tower junction about 8.7 miles and turn onto the signed Chittenden road. Take this well graded dirt road one mile to the trailhead. There is ample parking here and a bathroom.

To get to the Dunraven trailhead: Drive South from Tower junction about 13.3 miles and park at the signed trailhead. There is a bathroom here.
Yellowstone National Park

Hike details

6.00 [Miles] Total
Hike Distance- Details
from Dunraven trailhead it is 3.5 miles to the top.
from Chittenden trailhead it is 2.5 miles to the top.
3.25 [Hours]
It took us about 3.25 hours to go from the Dunraven trailhead to the Chittenden trailhead, with about 30 minutes spent at the top enjoying the views (and lunch).
Elevation Gain
1,500 Total Elevation Gain [Feet]
Elevation Details
1500 ft elevation gain.
Hike Trail Type
One way - Shuttle
Special Features
  • Wild Flowers
  • Wild Animals


Best Season
  • July
  • August
  • September
Worst Season
  • January
  • February
  • December
Season Details
Summer to Fall. This is not a good early season hike, as it is likely covered in snow until at least June.
Date Hike completed
August 05, 2009


Solitude Details
Forget about solitude on either trail to the top of Mount Washburn. This is one of the more popular hikes in the park.


Difficulty Rating
difficulty detail
35 yr old Recommendation: gradual climbing to great views. This is an Easy hike.


Be Aware of
Entrance fee to get into Yellowstone National Park, bear area, lightning strike area during inclement weather.

Hike up Mount Washburn in Yellowstone National park

At an elevation of 10,243 ft, Mount Washburn dominates the Eastern part of Yellowstone National park. As you can imagine, there are fantastic views of the park from the top of this mountain. The views are well worth the climb, even though you have to share it with many other people, as this is a very popular hike in Yellowstone National Park.

There are also several methods to get to the top of Mount Washburn. The Chittenden road is still in use to service the lookout at the top of the mountain. However, it is closed to all but official park service traffic and hikers. This trail/road has the advantage of being graded for vehicles and is relatively devoid of trees that would block the views of the park. There are also lovely wildflowers all around you as you hike.

Given a choice, I preferred the Dunraven pass trail to the top of Washburn. You still get the wildflowers, but you also have more of a feel of hiking up a trail. The trail from Dunraven was also a road once, but since it predated the Chittenden road, it has since closed to vehicles, to the benefit of hikers. There are more trees, a smaller trail, and less parking at this trailhead... all of which lead to a more enjoyable hiking experience for my tastes.

Karen and I hiked up the Dunraven pass trail and then she returned to the car as I continued down the other side to the Chittenden road trailhead. Either way you go, you'll be rewarded with the views of the park from the top of Mount Washburn. The top of the mountain has a small visitor center with several lookout levels and a working fire lookout tower. Either fortunately or unfortunately, there is a cell tower here, so you can send and receive cell phone signals.

After you've finished calling your friends back home to tell them what a wonderful Yellowstone trip you're having, return the way you came.


Swap Start/End
Adding markers to the map ...