Roosevelt is located at the northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park. The key thing to know about this corner of the park is that it is the best place to see animals. We’ve seen more wolves, bears, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, badgers, foxes, and coyotes in this area than anywhere else in the park. If you go to Yellowstone National Park to see animals, Tower-Roosevelt is your main destination. There are lots of other great things to do near Tower-Roosevelt in Yellowstone, too.
There is lodging at Roosevelt, and it is among the cheapest in the park. This is because the cabins are tiny and they have a communal bathroom. It is a short walk to the facilities, which include showers, toilets, and sinks. The cabins are cozy enough, and we are only ever in the cabins from about 10 pm until dawn anyway, so this is actually one of our favorite places to stay. If you get on the road early, you will almost certainly see some bears and wolves. We’ve never failed on the bears, and we are usually successful with wolves near Roosevelt.
Old Western Adventures
The Roosevelt junction has a couple of great features, too. There is a nice restaurant that has great food, though it can be hard to get a table during the busy hours. Just a few minutes down the road there is a large giftshop at Tower. You can even take a horseback ride or a wagon ride in this area of the park, which is a great Western experience. We enjoyed the stagecoach ride with our extended family.
Some of our favorite trails are located in this section of the park, but be bear aware, especially in this area. Our Essential Hike in this area is Trout Lake. It is short, a little steep, rife with safe animals, and great for all ages. Make sure to check out Lost Lake Trail behind the cabins, too. This hike climbs up and around and ends up at the Petrified Tree. Make sure to take the short side trail to Lost Falls. It’s a beautiful waterfall hidden behind some large trees, but worth a visit. Petrified Tree is an easy little walk if you’d like to visit at the end of a separate road just past Roosevelt toward Mammoth. You can drive to a small parking lot and then walk the ¼ mile to see the petrified tree.
One place for a short stop is the Tower Fall overlook. This is at the Tower Falls store area. There is a large parking lot and a very short trail to the top of a great waterfall. It is wheelchair friendly and just behind the building. The trail used to descend to the base of the waterfall, but it no longer does. It is now a steep trail to the bottom of the canyon that does not view the fall, so we don’t recommend venturing down to the bottom. Stick to the overlook.
Calcite Springs Overlook
A great stop in this area is the Calcite Springs Overlook. A short walk along a boardwalk takes you to an overlook of the canyon and a calcite spring. We’ve seen bighorn sheep in this area a few times, but more often we spot birds. Clark’s Nutcracker, American goldfinches, and even a great horned owl frequent this area. The walk is short and easy, though there are stairs, so it is impossible for wheels.
Of course, the main reason to stay at Roosevelt is the animals. Pretty much any time of day, you may come across a convoy of cars between Tower Falls and the Petrified Tree turnoff. If you pay attention, there are always black bears in this area. We’ve seen dozens of bears, many with cubs right along the main road in this section of the park.
We also make the drive out through Lamar Valley to the east. Keep an eye out for badgers, foxes, and big horn sheep over the first few miles. A short drive out Slough Creek is a good place to spot wolves and bears. As you continue out to the wider parts of the valley, buffalo are plentiful, but we’ve also seen moose, wolves, bears, and coyotes. High on the cliffs toward the northeast entrance you can even spot mountain goats. Lamar Valley is our favorite place in Yellowstone because of the animals that are easily seen!
Must-Do Things to do near Tower-Roosevelt area:
Here is our must-do list of things to do near Tower-Roosevelt, Yellowstone. Use these stops to enjoy this area of the park and to spot lots of animals.
- Drive through Lamar Valley
- Trout Lake Hike
- Lost Lake Hike (including Lost Falls)
- Tower Fall Overlook
- Calcite Springs Overlook
- Cruising for Bears
- Roosevelt Lodge & Cabins
- Campgrounds: Tower Fall, Slough Creek and Pebble Creek campgrounds. All three of these campgrounds are first-come, first-served
- Roosevelt Lodge Dining room
- Roosevelt General Store
- Tower General Store
Located at Roosevelt
Located at Roosevelt Lodge area and Tower Falls area. Vault toilets at some picnic areas.
Visit our Yellowstone page to find information about seven other areas in the park and to find helpful tips for visiting. Some posts you might be interested in: