Things got real when we stopped by Canyon Village in Yellowstone National Park and rented bear spray for our hike up Mt. Washburn from Dunraven Pass.
Check out the gorgeous video of our hike on our YouTube Channel!
We got up early (shocker) to get to the trailhead early. The night before we read that the parking lot fills up by 9am, so it’s good to get there prior to the crowd. We pulled in almost exactly at 9am and there were only a couple of spots left. Success!
After getting our packs ready, and bear spray properly attached, we were OFF! The first quarter-ish of a mile was a bit exhausting, but the incline really wasn’t too bad. It levels off and the grade increases gently for most of the hike. And the trail stays wide enough for probably four people across. Although, please don’t be that group that stomps in a horizontal line down the trail. Please.
Can I just say that the views and the wildflowers were OUTRAGEOUS!? A number of people stopped off at the switchbacks to take pictures of the sweeping valley views. We made it to the top before we took pictures! But once you get to the top there’s an enclosed visitor’s center, bathrooms, and an elevation sign.
Check. It. Out.
The trip back down was also nice. Since the grade wasn’t too bad going up, it wasn’t too bad heading down. We didn’t encounter any wildlife, but some folks stopped less than a quarter mile from the trailhead and were using binoculars to see some potential wildlife (sheep) on the hill across the way. We couldn’t pinpoint what they were seeing and don’t count it as part of our wildlife experience.
Also important: we didn’t need to use the bear spray.
…as a note: you can also use Chittendon Road as your trail, which follows a service road to the top of Mt. Washburn. The trailhead is in a different spot, the road is ACTIVELY used by vehicles, and you might encounter some mountain bikers.
Happy Hiking, friends!