The Bunsen Peak Loop

4 Hours


Bunsen Peak, elevation 8,564 feet, is a classic Yellowstone hike and is a fantastic introduction to more serious hikes in the region. While the majority of hikers will summit and then return down the same trail, my tour takes you beyond the beaten path, showing off the Gardner River Canyon, Osprey Falls, Swan Lake Flats, and the breathtaking peaks of the Gallatin mountains to the west. With just 1,600 feet of elevation gain in ~8 miles, this trail delivers amazing experiences year-round. This hike also is known for having bison, elk, foxes, coyotes, and even bear sightings! What isn’t to love?

This is an iconic hike and one that is sure to become a favorite for many. Close to Mammoth, this hike is a great way to start or end your day if you are staying in the area, or a great way to experience the region if you are staying in another part of the park. The views here are truly spectacular and I do this loop multiple times a year because I love it so much. I have a feeling you will too.

The trip is a bit of everything you’d want on a hike. You get to stand on top of a mountain with commanding, panoramic views in every direction. You get to see a stunning waterfall that few of the park’s millions of visitors even know exists. You get unique views of some of the impressive engineering feats of Yellowstone. You’ll potentially see amazing wildlife away from the crowds along the road. You’ll get all of this and more while hiking with an expert, knowledgeable guide who will keep you in awe of the region’s history and views.

Be aware that hikes in May and October may be in the snow with less-than-ideal conditions.



Along this hike, we will summit an 8,564 foot tall mountain, pass by the incredible architecture of Yellowstone’s Golden Gate road, see a 150ft tall waterfall, follow an old stagecoach road, and potentially see quite a lot of wildlife. All of that in just seven miles and a half miles with ~1,500ft of elevation gain. While other tours will just take you up and back, this trip will get you into the more rugged and wild stretches, giving you a better feel and appreciation for Swan Lake Flats and the Gardner River. We may also see wildlife on this tour, from elk and bison, to coyotes and bears!


Day 1:
What The Hike Will Be Like

We will start by meeting in the Bunsen Peak parking lot at the arranged time. After a quick safety talk and gear check, we will begin the hike to the summit of the mountain. Along the way, historic spots will be pointed out, as well as the natural wonders in every direction. After reaching the summit, we will take a short break, appreciate the views, snack and rehydrate before continuing on along the ridge before dropping down to the old road. The summit is about 2.5 miles from the parking lot with around 1,300 feet of elevation gain. Multiple breaks will be taken, if and when desired.

Once we reach the old road, we will walk down the old road a bit to reach the viewpoint for Osprey Falls and the Gardner River. We will then hike along the old road, around Bunsen Peak. On this stretch of the trail, we will take in views of the Gardner River, scan for wildlife around the small ponds and take in the beauty of the other features of Swan Lake Flats. This trail will lead us back to the parking area, completing our adventure.



  • Bear spray, use of binoculars, access to prepackaged trail snacks (nuts, jerky, etc...), gallons of water before the hike to fill your water bottles, and a backpack to use, if needed.

Does Not Include

  • Transportation to the trailhead, water bottles, hiking shoes, sunscreen or bug spray.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

The Bunsen Peak Loop
From $ 175
/ Adult
From $ 75 $ 50
/ Child