There are so many great hikes in Yellowstone. The great thing is that you can find a hike for any skill level, from the 30 mile three day trek, to the 30 minute nature trail. Best of all, in Yellowstone, all hikes lead to amazing scenery and the opportunity to spot animals in their habitat. Today, we are featuring a short easy walk that is appropriate for wheels. Some might not call it a hike, because the Two Ribbons Trail is just right for those with limited hiking capability.
Two Ribbons Trail starts just inside the gate from West Yellowstone. Since we are usually travelling from outside the park, and we’ve been in the car for awhile, we like to get out and stretch our legs as soon as we get in the gate. Two Ribbons Trail serves this purpose really well. The distance for Two Ribbons Trail is very short at only about a half-mile roundtrip
Just a few miles in, there are two large pullouts on the left (north) side of the road. Two Ribbons Trail loops between the two. Very few vehicles stop, though these aren’t technically pullouts, but rather short drives along the river with a parking area in each.
We parked in the second parking area (3.0 miles from the West Entrance) and walked back toward the entrance gate. The Two Ribbons trail walks near the river, and we spotted geese and mallards with their ducklings near the trail. We also spotted a bald eagle sitting in a tree out over the river. No doubt it was watching for fish in the water below.
The Two Ribbons Trail is a boardwalk which keeps you up off the ground. There are squirrels or chipmunks that play in the shade under the trail. Both wheelchairs and strollers would do very well on the boardwalk between the parking areas. There are a few interpretive signs along the boardwalk, too. We love trails that have spots to learn more about the surrounding area.
As you get to the parking area nearer the west entrance, you have a choice. You can either turn back and parallel the road, which is slightly more direct, or you can turn around and come back the way you came. The trail along the road goes through thick coniferous trees, so there is not a lot to see. The second option is more beautiful and scenic as it walks along the river, but of course, it is the view you just walked.
If you’ve waited in line at the west entrance, and the kids are ready to get out of the car, take the short Two Ribbons Trail. It’s a great way to spend 30 minutes in Yellowstone National Park. And we hope that you’ll see a bald eagle. For more ideas about hiking Yellowstone, check this link with all of our favorite Yellowstone Kid Hikes.