Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone NP

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Yellowstone Lake

The largest lake in Yellowstone, the Yellowstone Lake offers some spectacular scenery as well as plenty to see and do on any western vacation to West Yellowstone or surrounding areas.

  • Lodging Reservations: Call 307-344-7311 or Book Online
  • Explore Yellowstone Lake on a canoe, kayak, motorboat or sailboat
  • Fish for cutthroat or lake trout on the lake
  • Find services at a number of places around the lake, including Lake Village, Bridge Bay, West Thumb, Fishing Bridge and Grant Village


Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park is a must-see when touring the sights of the park. There are numerous activities for the whole family in the area as well as many attractions close by.


Yellowstone Lake is southeast of the center of Yellowstone, about 56 miles from West Yellowstone, on Grand Loop Road (US 89). This is about a one-hour and 14-minute drive.


You can easily visit Yellowstone Lake during the summer via the main park road. During the winter months, the roads to the lake are not plowed. The only way to see the lake during the winter is via snowmobile or snowcoach tour.


Boating is popular, with motorboats being preferable to tubing or sailing, as strong winds often occur. However, you will still find sailboats, kayaks and canoes traversing these pristine waters. You’ll find two marinas on the lake, and you can rent a boat or take a special cruise.

Sea Kayaking
If you have a few days during the heat of the summer, rent a sea kayak and plan a multi-day sea kayaking excursion along the lake, stopping at numerous backcountry camping spots on the waters edge.

Lake and cutthroat trout can be caught by throwing in a line, fishing either the shores or out further on a watercraft. The lake is open for anglers from mid-June to the first Sunday of November. Any cutthroat trout you catch must released, but not so for the lake trout.

Water Sports
The only water activity you can’t take pleasure in on Yellowstone Lake is swimming, due the low temperatures of the water. However, all other water sports are enjoyable in summer months.

Hiking near and around parts of the lake is great fun, and scenic too. Take the Nine Mile Post trail, Trail Creek Trail and the Heart Lake Trail around the lake.

Geysers and Hot Springs
Experience the geothermal features of the West Thumb area, with hot springs and fumaroles and geysers on the shore and in the lake itself.

Additional Info

You’ll find services available at Lake Village, Bridge Bay, West Thumb, Fishing Bridge and Grant Village. There’s lodging, food and much more.