Length: 10 miles
Trail Begins: Slough Creek Trailhead
Trail Ends: Yellowstone National Park's North Boundary with Gallatin National Forest
The Slough Creek Trail travels from Slough Creek Campground to the park's north boundary, following Slough Creek through broad, grassy valley most of the way. The best time to see wildlife along this trail is during the fall (late September and October) when the elk gather in the valley and the surrounding low ridges for the mating season and the coming winter. On fall mornings and evenings the bugling of bull elk can be heard as they challenge a far off rival. During the summer, moose are occasionally seen in the valley, as are trumpeter swans. The Slough Creek Trail starts from the gravel road leading to Slough Creek Campground and is reached about 0.5 mile before the campground. From the trailhead, the Slough Creek Trail climbs gradually through stands of Douglas fir up to an open area where there is a good view of Cutoff Mountain to the northeast. The trail then descends to the broad open valley of Slough Creek. This area is known as the First Meadow and here the Buffalo Plateau Trail turns off to the north. From this junction, McBride Lake is located across the creek to the northeast in a rocky forested area. From the junction the Slough Creek Trail continues up the valley, leaving the creek as it climbs a 200 foot ridge and then descends the other side to what is known as the Second Meadows. The trail again nears the creek at the junction with the Bliss Pass Trail. The Slough Creek Trail continues north through grassy meadows and forest to the park's north boundary. The Silvetip Ranch (privately owned) is just north of the boundary in the Gallatin National Forest. You may see the horse drawn wagons of the ranch operating on the Slough Creek Trail. There are many trails branching off the Slough Creek Trail north of the park which provide opportunities for long loop hikes. For trails in this area consult the 15 minute topographic maps of Mt. Wallace and Cutoff Mountain or a USFS map.