Hikes Yellowstone

Pelican Creek Nature Trail (Yellowstone)

(Last Updated On: May 22, 2016)
This is the point of Yellowstone lake where you arrive after walking the Pelican Creek Nature Trail.

This is the point of Yellowstone lake where you arrive after walking the Pelican Creek Nature Trail.

Pelican Creek is technically a nature trail east of Fishing Bridge and north of Yellowstone Lake. The trailhead is found by driving west across Fishing Bridge and continuing for about a mile. There is a large pullout and a sign marking the trailhead right before the large area where the lake approaches the road.

Take the trail to the right to end up at the lake. You can head to the left, and look at birds, but you will end up in mud pretty quickly.

Take the trail to the right to end up at the lake. You can head to the left, and look at birds, but you will end up in mud pretty quickly.

The trail goes south along the lake and splits not far into the woods. The path is nicely shaded even during the hottest part of the day, which is nice. We’ve tried the trail that heads down to the lakeside twice, and both times the boardwalk has disappeared into the water when we were there in early summer (June). So we’ve headed the other direction, which turns the trail into a lollipop. The total distance is close to 1 mile round trip, and the trail is flat and easy. It turns back to the lakeshore and runs along the beach for a little ways before looping around back into the woods.

IMG_1390

The trail is through the woods, so it’s shady and peaceful.

IMG_1391

The trail leads right out to Yellowstone Lake.

Waterfowl are plentiful in the sloughs where the lake approaches the road, but the grass is thick, and it is difficult to pick them out of the thick cover. We’ve seen squirrels, chipmunks and marmots along the trail, but never any big game. And although the trail has pelican in its name, we have only seen pelicans here once and that was before we had children, so it’s obviously been awhile.

 

This trail would be a great introductory walk as you enter through the eastern entrance from Cody. The distance is just right to stretch your legs and get you moving.

IMG_1393

It is a beautiful spot!

To read about other friendly kid hikes in Yellowstone, click here.