natural bridge yellowstone national park

Natural Bridge Yellowstone National Park

Natural Bridge is a small natural bridge in Yellowstone National Park. The feature can be accessed by hiking a short trail (around 2.5 miles) from the marina at Yellowstone Lake.

The hike starts out heading north out of the parking lot for the marina. After just a few dozen meters it reaches the campground and forks. The trail to the left leads to the arch. For awhile, the trail parallels the parking lot for the marina, but the trail winds through some beautiful lodgepole pines. We saw a family of squirrels jumping from tree to tree as we hiked along. It was shady and very pleasant.

Look for this sign and head up the trail.
The Natural Bridge trail begins in the woods.
You walk around the marina for the beginning of the trail.
The trail is wide an easy to follow.

After three-quarters of a mile, a new trail joins the Natural Bridge bike trail. This one is wider and paved and used by bicyclists and some hikers. From where the trails converge it is only about a third of a mile to Natural Bridge. This trail is wider and paved and wheel friendly.

Here is where the trail joins the bike trail which is paved.
It’s not as pretty on the paved trail, but it’s easy to hike.

Eventually, the trail turns to the right and Natural Bridge comes into view. There is a display sign that compares Natural Bridge to a few of Utah’s arches (Spoiler: it’s much smaller!). You can follow the trail up around to get slightly closer to the bridge, but it’s pretty steep and not recommended for kids.

There are signs along the way pointing toward Natural Bridge.
Once you see this sign, the Natural Bridge is just a few steps away.
It is so neat to see something like this right in the middle of Yellowstone.

The trail to Natural Bridge is flat and family friendly. We had kids all the way down to age two on this hike, and they did fine. It’s a beautiful little arch which is fun to see, especially if you’re not from Utah where they are much more common.


Natural Bridge trail begins at the Bridge Bay Marina. The trailhead is over by the campground. You can also just hike the bike trail which is slightly shorter, and is recommended more for bikers than hikers. But if you want to use wheels, this is the trail to take. The parking lot for the bike trail is just south of the Bridge Bay Marina turnoff.

You can read more about family-friendly hikes in Yellowstone by using the link. We’ve written about finding animals, scenic drives, waterfalls, and geothermal features in Yellowstone, too. Be sure to use those posts to help you plan the perfect Yellowstone vacation!

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