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Holiday Travel Guide
Hayden Valley

Once home to a lake, this is now one of Yellowstone National Park’s premier places to see herds of buffalo, grizzly bears, coyotes, wolves and other wildlife.

Hayden Valley is a place where some of the Wild West’s most iconic wildlife still roams free. Drive through this beloved region of Yellowstone National Park to see bison grazing, coyotes slinking through the grasses or grizzly bears catching fish in the Yellowstone River.

Drive along the Yellowstone River and keep watch for wildlife on either side of you. Stop at the many overlooks and pullouts located on the park road and enjoy sweeping vistas of the Wyoming wilderness before you.

Animals of all shapes and sizes live in Hayden Valley. The area is known for its huge bison populations and is also home to coyotes, grizzly bears, wolves, waterfowl and more.

Hike the Mary Mountain Trail, which meanders for 21 miles (33.8 kilometers) from the Hayden Valley to the Madison area. Because the area is popular with grizzly bears, it is advisable for experienced hikers only.

The broad valley, which stretches about 7 miles (11 kilometers) long and wide, is located just north of Mud Volcano. Stop by Dragon's Mouth Spring, one of the thermal area’s most popular features. A bit further south, relax on the shores of Yellowstone Lake or climb aboard the Lake Queen for a guided tour the lake’s waters.

If you visit Hayden Valley, be prepared to get stuck in a buffalo jam. Considered a rite of passage of sorts within Yellowstone National Park, this happens when a group of buffalo takes over the road for their own purposes, sometimes backing up vehicles for miles. It can be frustrating for some motorists, but try to appreciate this once-in-a-lifetime traffic jam.

Animals are most active at dawn and dusk, so time your visit accordingly if your goal is to see as much wildlife as possible. Arriving in the valley before sunrise often yields the best wildlife viewing. Visit Hayden Valley in spring through fall, when the park roads are open.

Top things to do in Hayden Valley

Top Trending Hotels Near Hayden Valley

Canyon Lodge & Cabins - Inside the Park
Canyon Lodge & Cabins - Inside the Park
3 out of 5
41 Clover Ln, Yellowstone National Park, WY
Situated in a national park, this lodge is 0.4 mi (0.7 km) from Canyon Visitor Education Center and 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Lower Yellowstone ...
3.6/5 Good! (374 reviews)
"Too much noise from buses dropping off tourists, backing up etc."

Reviewed on 1 Oct 2021

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Canyon Lodge & Cabins - Inside the Park
Lake Lodge Cabins - Inside the Park
Lake Lodge Cabins - Inside the Park
2.5 out of 5
459 Lake Village Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY
Situated on a lake, this hotel is 2.7 mi (4.4 km) from Fishing Bridge and within 6 miles (10 km) of Fishing Bridge Visitor Center and Pelican Creek Nature Trail ...
3.9/5 Very Good! (12 reviews)
Beautiful lake views
"Nice cabin, right in the park. Close to the restaurant and beautiful views of the lake!"

Reviewed on 13 Oct 2020

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Lake Lodge Cabins - Inside the Park
Lake Hotel and Cottages - Inside the Park
Lake Hotel and Cottages - Inside the Park
3 out of 5
235 Yellowstone Lake Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY
Situated on the waterfront, this historic hotel is 2.6 mi (4.1 km) from Fishing Bridge and 2.9 mi (4.7 km) from Fishing Bridge Visitor Center. Pelican Creek ...
3.4/5 Good! (153 reviews)
"Loved the lake view. Couple of buffalo and elk hang around the area. Staff was friendly and helpful."

Reviewed on 6 Sep 2021

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Lake Hotel and Cottages - Inside the Park
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Hayden Valley

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Top Hotel Deals

Canyon Lodge & Cabins - Inside the Park
Canyon Lodge & Cabins - Inside the Park
3 out of 5
41 Clover Ln, Yellowstone National Park, WY
Canyon Lodge & Cabins - Inside the Park
Lake Lodge Cabins - Inside the Park
Lake Lodge Cabins - Inside the Park
2.5 out of 5
459 Lake Village Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY
Lake Lodge Cabins - Inside the Park
Lake Hotel and Cottages - Inside the Park
Lake Hotel and Cottages - Inside the Park
3 out of 5
235 Yellowstone Lake Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY
Lake Hotel and Cottages - Inside the Park
Lake Yellowstone Hotel And Cabins - Inside the Park
Lake Yellowstone Hotel And Cabins - Inside the Park
2 out of 5
1 Grand Loop Road, PO Box 165, Yellowstone National Park, WY
Lake Yellowstone Hotel And Cabins - Inside the Park
Roosevelt Lodge & Cabins - Inside the Park
Roosevelt Lodge & Cabins - Inside the Park
2 out of 5
100 Roosevelt Lodge Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY
Roosevelt Lodge & Cabins - Inside the Park
Grant Village - Inside the Park
Grant Village - Inside the Park
2.5 out of 5
24 Rainbow Loop, Yellowstone National Park, WY
Grant Village - Inside the Park
Old Faithful Inn - Inside the Park
Old Faithful Inn - Inside the Park
2.5 out of 5
3200 Old Faithful Inn Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY
Old Faithful Inn - Inside the Park
Old Faithful Snow Lodge & Cabins - Inside the Park
Old Faithful Snow Lodge & Cabins - Inside the Park
2.5 out of 5
2051 Snow Lodge Ave, Yellowstone National Park, WY
Old Faithful Snow Lodge & Cabins - Inside the Park
Old Faithful Lodge & Cabins
Old Faithful Lodge & Cabins
725 Old Faithful Lodge Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY
Old Faithful Lodge & Cabins
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.