Find Serenity at Trout Lake

Hiking up to Trout Lake

If you'd like to get away from it all, but aren't in the mood to hike for hours, I've got the place for you. I've been on this trail many times, and it never disappoints with it's beauty and serenity. I've seen bison on this trail, so be alert, and I've seen bald eagles in this area often.

The best part about the lake for me, is the otters. They are so fun to watch. And, the water is so clear you can see the trout swimming. Let me tell you more about this area...

Trout Lake, formerly known as Fish Lake and Soda Butte Lake, is very popular with back-country hikers and dedicated anglers. It's also a popular spot to view river otters.

The lake covers about 12 acres and is located approximately .33 miles north of the Northeast Entrance Road near the convergence of Pebble Creek and Soda Butte Creek. A steep trail through a Douglas fir forest leads to the lake. The trailhead is located at: 44°53′57″N 110°7′21″W.

The lake contains large (14-20") Yellowstone cutthroat trout and very large (20-30") rainbow trout and rainbow/cutthroat hybrids. Most people fish from the shore, but you can usually spot one or two folks who carry in float tubes to access the deeper parts of the lake. Using a float tube on Yellowstone lakes requires a park service boating permit though, so be aware of that.

The lake opens for fishing in mid-June, but a section of the lake near the inlet stream is closed until mid-July to protect spawning Yellowstone cutthroat trout. All cutthroat trout and hybrids caught in Trout Lake must be released.

For those of you who would like to try hiking to Trout lake, here are some directions:

If you are starting from Mammoth Hot Springs: Drive about 35.8 miles east on route 212 towards the town of Cooke City, MT. The Trout Lake trailhead is located 3 miles past the Soda Butte Trailhead (3K1) along the NE Entrance Road. The trailhead will be on the left if you are heading east.

If you're starting from Cooke City: The Trout Lake trailhead is approximately 14.5 miles west of Cooke City on US 212 and 10.4 miles past the NE Entrance Station to Yellowstone.

It's a nice .9 mi hike as a loop, and it's a fairly easy hike so a good one if you just want a lighter trek. If you try this one, please let me know and have a great time. Don't forget your bear spray! =]:)

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