Saturday, September 2, 2017

Mt. Washburn Hike at Yellowstone National Park 7/21/17

Mt. Washburn Hike at Yellowstone National Park
I am a big fan of hiking to fire lookouts so when Hubby saw that Yellowstone National Park had one, we knew we didn't want to skip out on it. We actually attempted this hike twice as the first time we started the weather turned sour so we turned back. A hike isn't fun when it rains and there is nothing to see but clouds at the top. We were glad we turned around because on our second attempt, the weather was perfect. The hike did not disappoint as we got great views and even saw some cool wildlife along the way.

There are two ways to get up to the Mt. Washburn lookout. We parked at the Dunraven Pass parking lot and took the route from there up. The other route is from Chittenden road but it was further from our campsite. I believe mountain bikers are allowed on that route unlike the route we took. At the Dunraven pass parking lot there are bathrooms and the lot is decent sized although can fill up quickly due to being a popular hike. We got there early, around 8:30am and had no problem. 
Mt. Washburn Hike trailhead
Within a half mile from the trailhead we reached these pretty wildflowers. The slopes were filled with them.
Wildflowers along the Mt. Washburn trail
The hike up wasn't bad. The trail is wide, seems to be an old dirt road to the top. 
hiking the Mt. Washburn trail
There are lots of great views all along the hike.
hiking the Mt. Washburn trail
Check out this chipmunk posing for us with the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone behind him.
Chipmunk with Grand Canyon of Yellowstone behind him
We were also lucky enough to see a herd of bighorn sheep on the way up. It was really cute to see the baby sheep.
Bighorn sheep on trail up to Mt. Washburn
Can you see the lookout?
Fire Lookout in view on Mt. Washburn trail
A lot of Yellowstone National Park does not have cell service but once we got closer, I could tell there was service because a bunch of notifications on my phone went off. 
Fire Lookout on Mt. Washburn trail
The elevation at the top is 10,219 feet. The hike up is about 3.1 miles with elevation gain of 1393 feet. 
Mt. Washburn sign family pic
The fire lookout is still in service and there is a volunteer ranger that lives in it over the summer. You are allowed inside. There is a nice setup and even a viewing scope inside for people to use. There are even bathrooms inside for the public to use which is really nice. 
Fire lookout on Mt. Washburn
Family pic on the balcony of the lookout. The views were amazing! We could even see some of the Teton range way in the distance. 
So proud of these two! This is the highest they have climbed so far! 
It's a bit windy and cooler at the top so make sure you bring a hoodie or extra coat to stay warm. We had lunch at the top before heading down. We actually saw a trail go off from the main trail and followed it for a bit.
Going on side trail from Mt. Washburn trail
We soaked in more beautiful views then headed back to the main trail.
Going on side trail from Mt. Washburn trail
On the way down, we saw this marmot. I love seeing them and am excited whenever I get a view of one on the trail. They are so cute! :)

I had to get a shot with this great view!
The hike down was nice and easy. 
Hiking down Mt. Washburn trail
We did about 8.21 miles according to my Garmin. Longer only because we did the extra part as we headed down from the lookout. 
I really enjoyed this hike because of the amazing views at the top. It was neat checking out the fire lookout and seeing chipmunks, bighorn sheep, and a marmot just made the hike one of my favorite parts while visiting Yellowstone National Park. I will now leave you with some video footage I took on the hike. 

Happy hiking!

No comments:

Post a Comment