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This out-and-back hike accesses the massive and remote Union Falls. The falls are formed as two rivers meet and plunge 250 feet over Pitchstone Plateau.

The trail is well maintained and heavily used. The first section is flat and easy. After fording Cascade Creek there is a junction with the trail to Pitchstone Plateau, it takes off to the right (east). To follow the Union Falls trail stay to the left (north). After about 4 miles you will ford Proposition Creek. From the creek crossing it is about a mile to the junction with Mountain Ash Creek Trail, which goes off to the left (west). Turn right (north). The trail passes a an A-frame patrol cabin. The final two miles of trail before the falls have been heavily impacted by heavy equestrian traffic. There is a hot spring heated swimming hole off of a spur trail marked "North Fork Trail".

Yellowstone has a designated backcountry campsite system, and a Backcountry Use Permit is required for all overnight stays. Each designated campsite has a maximum limit for the number of people and stock allowed per night. The maximum stay per campsite varies from 1 to 3 nights per trip. Campfires are permitted only in established fire pits. Wood fires are not allowed in some backcountry campsites. A food storage pole is provided at most designated campsites so that food and attractants may be secured from bears. Neither hunting nor firearms are allowed in Yellowstone's backcountry.

Permits may be obtained only in person and no more than 48 hours in advance of your trip.Permits are available from most ranger stations and visitor centers. In order to obtain the best information on trail conditions, permits should be obtained from the ranger station or visitor center nearest to the area where your trip is to begin. The Backcountry Use Permit is valid
only for the itinerary and dates specified. Backcountry travelers must have their permits in possession while in the backcountry.

Directions: From US 287, About 2 miles south of the park, just before Flagg Ranch, take a right on the Ashton-Flagg Road. Turn right (west) about 1/4 mile, the left side of this fork goes to the campground. The pavement continues about 2 more miles before gradually giving way to a badly gravel road. The trailhead is just after the spillway at the end of Grassy Lake Reservoir. Two wheel drive vehicle are advised to park at the top of the dam. Getting back up the hill can be tough without 4-wheel drive.

Elevation: 7,800 feet

Elevation Gain: Minimal

Distance: 15.6 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

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Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Visitor Information

The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

Review by Wildernet Copyright © 2010 all rights reserved.