Wyoming has so many options when it comes to hiking. If you don’t have much time and are looking for some short day hikes, then here are 10 scenic hikes 5 miles or under that everyone in Wyoming or those who are visiting should experience.
1. Trout Lake
Trout Lake is located above the Soda Butte Creek Canyon which is south of Cooke City. It's a .9-mile trail that goes through a forest before reaching the lake. The hike may be short, but it is somewhat steep and strenuous.
2. Red Beds Trail
Red Beds Trail is a 2.8-mile trail that loops around Devils Tower. The trail starts out in a pine forest so this portion of the trail is shaded. The trail then heads into open meadow with some switchbacks which allows for great views of the tower. The meadow then heads into an area with deep red clay. The end of the trail is the steepest part made up of switchbacks which then lead you back to the parking lot and visitor center.
3. Uncle Tom's Trail
Uncle Tom's Trail takes you from the top of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone to the base of the Lower Falls. The trail consists of 328 steps that you go down and come back up. Park in the lot at Artist Point in the Yellowstone Canyon area to access the trail.
4. Bunsen Peak
Bunsen Peak is located south of Mammoth Hot Springs. It's a 4-mile hike to the summit and back. From the summit you can enjoy views of Swan Lake Flat, Gardners Hole, and the Gallatin Range.
5. Beauty Lake
Beauty Lake Trail is a 5-mile out and back trail located in the Shoshone National Forest. On this trail you get to experience Beartooth Lake, Beauty Lake, and Crane Lake. The trail is somewhat challenging.
6. Paint Rock Canyon Trail
The Paint Rock Canyon Trail runs up the canyon along Paint Rock Creek. The trail consists of steep canyon walls and massive rocks. The trail follows along the west slope of the Bighorn Mountains. To get to the trailhead, go 1/2-mile to Cold Springs Road from Hyattville and then continue 4 miles to the trailhead.
7. Turtle Rock Trail
Turtle Rock Trail is a 3.2-mile trail in the Medicine Bow National Forest. The trail consists of small hills lined with fir and pine trees and of course the rock boulders. The trailhead is located on Vedauwoo Road inside the campground area.
8. Medicine Wheel Trail
This is a 1.5 mile hike to Medicine Wheel from the ranger station. There are beautiful views of the Bighorn Mountains along with the intriguing visit to the Medicine Wheel.
9. Beaver Pond Loop Trail
The Beaver Pond Loop Trail can be accessed near the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel. This trail actually starts in Wyoming, crosses over into Montana, and then back into Wyoming. Views include the Gardner River Valley and the Absaroka Mountain Range.
10. Avalanche Peak
Avalanche Peak is a 4.5-mile moderate out and back trail. This is a windy hike through forests, meadows and finally a barren peak with views of Yellowstone. If you drive from Cody to Yellowstone, the trailhead is at the top of the pass.