Uncle Tom's Trail, Yellowstone National Park

4.7
Enjoy some of the greatest views of Lower Yellowstone Falls by hiking Uncle Tom's Trail. One of Yellowstone National Park's more famous trails, the trek takes you 150 m (500 ft) down the canyon to the viewing platform, which affords unmatched views of the base of the waterfall and the chance to grasp its full might. More than 300 stairs cover the majority of the trail, which makes the descent much easier. However the steep incline and the altitude of 2,400 m (8,000 ft) can make climbing back up quite strenuous for inexperienced hikers and people with serious health conditions. Make sure to bring adequate clothing and footwear, and pace yourself carefully so you don't get exhausted. With our world travel planner, Yellowstone National Park attractions like Uncle Tom's Trail can be center stage of your vacation plans, and you can find out about other attractions like it, unlike it, near it, and miles away.
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Uncle Tom's Trail Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
522 reviews
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4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Check to see if it's open. It was closed summer 2017. Lots of stairs but an impressive view of Lower Falls.  more »
  • Be sure to check for road closures and park closures. This area of the park along the canyon was closed along with some other highlights on the north rim such as inspiration point.  more »
  • Wow, Just Wow. It is breath taking and amazing. It is like a painting on canvas. So worth the climb. It can be a hard climb for anyone with health issues so just be warned. This is a must see/ do when...  more »
Google
  • Okay, you decide to do this trail, despite warning signs of the stairs. Take it slow. It's a great trail, but be prepared to take some time coming up. There are a few benches to sit on if you can find room. Make sure you have water with you. It's well worth the effort to do this trail if you're able. Seeing the rainbow below you is amazing. Feeling the power of the falls in front of you, exhilarating! Completely out of breath, difficult. Completing this trail, bragging rights to friends, really great!
  • Quite a steep stairway, but you can rest on the benches and you will be rewarded with a wonderful view of the lower Yellowstone Falls.
  • There were 352 or 356 stairs. Depending on when you counted as there were a few stairs leading down to the main Metal Stairs of fun. It's not a 10 out of 10 on intensity but it's definitely a feet you'll be winded from if you're not use to going up and down stairs daily (which, who is? There's a lot of stairs here) so be prepared and take your time at bottom which bolsters a beautiful view of a gorgeous waterfall and of the valley.
  • A must do !!!!! We went in on a cloudy morning and we were practically the only ones there. It was still breath taking. The stairs aren't that bad. Just don't walk and take pics at the same time. And for gods sake, don't text while you are on the stairs. That's a long way down! We did it again the next day in the sunshine and the rainbows were GORGEOUS!!
  • Beautiful view of the falls. Heed the signs that warn about the difficultly of coming back up due to the incline and elevation. We made the ascension at dusk, and it took a lot longer than going down did. I thought myself and my 2 young kids might have to sleep on the trail!

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Where to stay in Yellowstone National Park

As one of the U.S.'s most popular national parks, Yellowstone provides plenty of options for sleeping within its boundaries. Choose from lodges, inns, cabins, hotels, motels, and campgrounds throughout the park. Most of the structured accommodations lie in the park's most-visited areas, such as Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower Falls, Old Faithful Geyser, and Yellowstone Lake. Staying on the northern side of the lake puts you right in the heart of the park, making it relatively convenient to visit other areas. Resorts, lodges, and guest ranches line the road just outside the park's east entrance, and a cluster of motels and hotels fills the town of West Yellowstone near the west entrance. You can also opt for lodges and inns to the north in Gardiner, Montana, or find nearly every type of accommodation to the south in Jackson, Wyoming. Staying outside the park is fine if you plan to drive through in a day and catch the highlights, but you'll want to spend at least one night inside the park if you plan to explore it more thoroughly.
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