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Mount Washburn, one of the most popular and rewarding day hikes in Yellowstone National Park, offers the visitor beautiful panoramic views and is a haven for wildlife and wildflower enthusiasts.


The mountain is named after General Henry Washburn, leader of the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition in 1870 which explored the region that later became Yellowstone National Park. The mountain has a fire lookout at its summit that has been manned every summer since 1916.

How to Get There

Mount Washburn is accessible via the Chittenden Road and Dunraven Pass trailheads. Both trailheads are easily accessible by car from the Grand Loop Road, which circulates through the park. From there, it’s a moderate hike to the summit.


  • The Fire Lookout: At the 10,243-foot summit, this historic structure offers panoramic views of the park.
  • Wildlife Viewing: Common wildlife sightings include bighorn sheep, grizzly bears, and a variety of bird species.
  • Wildflower Blooms: During the summer months, the meadows on Mount Washburn explode with vibrant wildflowers.

Ticket Information

Access to Mount Washburn does not require a separate ticket; however, entry to Yellowstone National Park is subject to an entrance fee. Basic entrance fees for vehicles and individuals can be found on the official National Park Service website. National Park Annual Passes are also accepted.

Tips for Visiting

  • Start Early: To avoid crowds and enjoy a peaceful hike, start early in the morning.
  • Bring Binoculars: For the best wildlife viewing experiences, binoculars are a must.
  • Stay on Trail: For safety and to preserve the environment, always stay on designated trails.
  • Dress in Layers: Weather can change rapidly, so be prepared with layered clothing and rain gear.
  • Stay Hydrated: Bring plenty of water as high altitudes can cause dehydration.

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