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 Dennis and Lisa Schappell
A hike up to Midway Bluff in Yellowstone National Park requires finding this well-hidden gem of a trail, which is strenuous, but well worth the effort, offering a view you’ll never forget!
Across from Midway Geyser Basin, just south of the Midway geyser basin parking lot and on the east side of the Grand Loop Road, is an easy-to-miss pull-off where we parked and headed up the trail to Midway Bluff. (Because this “social trail” is not officially maintained by the National Park Service, it isn’t marked.)
If you take your time, have good hiking footwear and pause frequently, you will be rewarded at the top of this trail with a spectacular view of the entire Midway Geyser Basin. Grand Prismatic Spring and Excelsior Geyser Crater will be visible in all their colorful glory! And you’ll get a view of them that few visitors ever get to see first-hand.
When you are walking along the boardwalk, you lose the colors of these amazing thermal features in the mist and steam. And being so close to them, you can’t fully take in the depth and range of their vibrant colors. But on a clear day, the view from Midway Bluff will take your breath away.
If you’re worried about a tough, uphill hike, just remember to take it slow. The hike is not that long — you can often see your car from the top. My 70-year-old father navigated this climb. But we did not hurry, and we were all blown away by the view. Please don’t miss this experience if you are up to the challenge, and take your camera. It is unforgettable!
Dennis and Lisa are diehard Yellowstone fans from Pennsylvania.