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Slough Creek Out-and-Back

Yellowstone National Park

A 14 mile out-and-back following a historic wagon trail into the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, which lies just next to Yellowstone’s northern boundary.

Trail Running Moderate

23 km
419 m
419 m
2-3 hrs
Low Point
1.9 km
High Point
2.1 km
Slough Creek Out-and-Back Map

This trail is characterised by wide sweeping meadows and views of Slough Creek, surrounding valleys and distant mountains.


Find the trailhead on the dirt road headed towards Slough Creek Campground. You can park next to the vault toilet, where the road bears left. The path begins with a short but relatively steep climb before descending into Slough Creek’s lush “First Meadow” at the 2-mile mark. Enjoy the sweeping views across Slough Creek’s meadows, which are alive with wildflowers during summertime, and the surrounding mountains. Follow the trail around the creek and along the edge of the valley. Eventually you hit the NPS patrol cabin, which is around 7 miles from the trailhead and a great turn-around point.

Along the way you may be lucky enough to spot moose, bison, elk, and sandhill crane. Be aware that this is also grizzly country, and mosquitos are also highly prevalent in early summer.



Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.


1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

between March and October