National Parks/Monuments Waterfalls

Little Gibbon Falls

(Last Updated On: November 1, 2018)

Little Gibbon Falls is a hidden hike in Yellowstone National Park. This hike runs a little more than a half mile to a small waterfall. The total roundtrip distance is only 1.2 miles.

Hike Info

  • Rating: Easy
  • Distance: 1.2 miles RT
  • Elevation Gain: Under 200 feet
  • Fees: National Parks Fee
  • Tips: Use bug spray if it is a wet summer. There were a lot of bugs the first summer we went and the meadow was muddy. This year it was bug free.

Little Gibbon Falls is a beautiful little cascade to visit in Yellowstone.

The trail to Little Gibbon Falls starts at the Wolf Lake trailhead (see directions below). It is relatively flat and runs through a gentle meadow. We’ve done this hike one summer where the meadow was spongy and wet, but not so wet that we couldn’t do the hike. This year the meadow was completely dry. Along the way we saw Clark’s nutcrackers, squirrels, and chipmunks, but there are occasional bears in the area.

The trail begins in the trees.

Soon it opens up so that the trail weaves along the edge of a beautiful meadow.

Then you walk across the meadow toward the waterfall.

As you near the end of the hike, the trail turns into the trees and begins to climb. You can hear the waterfall through the trees. At the top of a low hill, there is a nice overlook for Little Gibbon Falls. The trail continues down to the top of the falls as well, which allows you to see the water as it begins its cascade. No matter how far you go, this is a pleasant hike that is appropriate for all age levels.

After crossing the meadow, the trail climbs up for a bit to the overlook for the Little Gibbon Falls.

It’s hard to get a great look at the waterfall, but there are some windows between the trees to peek through.

If you are looking for other great family friendly hikes in Yellowstone, visit our Yellowstone Kid Hikes page.

Directions

This trail does not have a marked trailhead, but is part of a larger trail system. To access the trail, drive to Ice Lake on the road between Norris and Canyon. Just east of Ice Lake (exactly 3.7 miles east of Norris Junction) there is a large pullout on the south side of the road. Park at the pullout and walk to the east end. Cross the busy road, and a trailhead for Wolf Lake marks the beginning of the hike. Just follow the trail for a bit over a half mile to the falls.

From the parking area, look toward Canyon (east), and you’ll see a small sign for Wolf Lake. Cross the busy road carefully to the trailhead. (The trailhead is on the left in this photo.)

The orange marker lets you know you are on the right track.

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