Our Favorite Wildflower Hikes in Montana's Yellowstone Country

Wildflowers, Yellowstone National Park Lupine Cooke City, Photo by Enchanted Forest

Right now, Montana's Yellowstone Country is so beautiful. We say this every year, but this season never fails to amaze. The bright shades of green as the grass, fields and trees come to life, contrasting against the snowcapped peaks and the brilliant blue sky, create breathtaking views. Mother Nature puts on a showstopper during these early summer days.

Lower-elevation trails have started to dry out, and the higher elevations will soon be ready, too — just in time for wildflower season!

Yellowstone National Park

If you're visiting Yellowstone National Park, two areas known for their wildflowers are Mount Washburn and Cascade Lake Trail. Mount Washburn is a six-mile, 1,400 vertical foot hike that takes you through the forest, then above the tree line. The varying landscapes mean you'll see different types of wildflowers as you move through various sections of the hike. Cascade Lake Trail is five miles round-trip, but it's a much easier hike that meanders through meadows and streams.

Hyalite Canyon

Another excellent wildflower hike is the trail to Blackmore Peak in Hyalite Canyon outside Bozeman. You'll find bunches and bunches of Indian Paintbrush in hues of red and pink you may not have seen! Here, the meadows look like carefully cultivated gardens, and the flowers are very dense. Also, in Bozeman, the Bridger Mountain Range has several excellent hiking options on both the mountains' east and west sides. Early in the season, these foothills are covered in yellow balsamroot, an edible bulb.

Yellowstone National Park Yellowstone National Park, photo by Audrey Hall

Beartooth Plateau

We would be remiss if we didn't include the Beartooth Plateau at the top of the Beartooth Highway. This alpine tundra is covered with wildflowers. (That is, once the snow melts.) The highway officially opened, but our weather has been a bit fussy, as Montana weather is, and they've had to close a couple of times due to dangerous driving conditions.

Big Sky

Beehive Basin in Big Sky is a glacial cirque with amazing alpine meadows filled with wildflowers for miles. While you are there, keep an eye out for ferns, horsetails and various types of lichen. It's a 6.9-mile out-and-back hike and takes around four hours, depending on how fast you hike.

Drinking Horse Mountain Trail, Custer Gallatin National Forest Drinking Horse Mountain TraiL, Custer Gallatin National Forest, photo by Andy Austin

Custer Gallatin National Forest

Around Hebgen Lake, in the Custer Gallatin National Forest, you'll find a plethora of wildflowers. It's one of the most diverse forests in the system, and you won't be disappointed wherever you explore. If you're a lake-lover, Hebgen is a spectacular place to spend a few days.

I hope you'll get out before the temperatures get too hot! We're already making a list of trails we would like to hit this summer.

Happy hiking!