Parked for a Day is a user-submitted feature that lets readers share favorite activities in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. Parked for a Day activities require parking the car, and can be done in a single day. Share your favorite Parked for a Day activity and we’ll feature it on Yellowstone Gate.
By Wes Allen
Tucked away in the far northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park, the upper basin of Pebble Creek provides beautiful vistas in return for a little work.
There are two ways to get to this spot. You can start at the Pebble Creek campground in Yellowstone, but the approach that gives the most bang for your buck is the trail in from Warm Creek. To reach the trailhead, drive the northeast entrance road past Pebble Creek campground and toward Silver Gate. The Warm Creek trailhead is on the left (north) side of the highway.
Once you park, take the obvious trail that heads immediately uphill. Take your time. The trail maintains a steady grade up for a little under two miles to the top of the ridge. Feel free to take a few breaks on the way up, which will give you an opportunity to enjoy the fantastic views of The Thunderer, and the other rugged peaks to the south that form the edge of the Cache Creek drainage.
The trail will eventually top out on the ridge and then descend gently to an easy crossing of Pebble Creek. The broad valley itself is very easy hiking as the trail heads downstream towards Pebble Creek campground, 11 miles away. There are spectacular wildflowers in these expansive meadows in June and July. Meanwhile, enjoy the views of several surrounding peaks, including the north aspect of Abiathar and Wolverine. Wander as far as you want, and then return on the much easier downhill grade to the Warm Creek trailhead.
This is definitely bear country, so make sure that you take your bear spray and make noise, especially close to the creek.
Wes and his wife Melissa own the Sunlight Sports outdoor store in Cody, Wyo.