Top 4 hikes a la summer- #4 Specimen Ridge, Yellowstone

Welcome to Lamar Valley in Yellowstone. One of my favorite areas in this vast park.

I know I mentioned earlier that I would talk about my top 3 hikes this summer, but I just had to include my #4 pick.

At a starting elevation of 8864 feet (end 9600 feet), it’s very surprising if you happen to see anyone else on the trail (aside from a herd of pronghorn).

As the name states, it is one of the ridges of Amethyst Mountain, starting just past the Yellowstone River.  And you basically have this place to yourself. Not many people set out to hike this trail, that, as we discovered, had many paths.

And, as the name also states, you may see some fine specimen on this trail, including: pronghorn, grizzly bear, elk, bison, and rarely, moose.

Which path to take? Umm, we decided uphill was the way to go – the steeper, the better.

What my boyfriend and I found amazing about this hike, aside from the lack of people on the trail, was the glimpse we got of Yellowstone ‘behind the scenes’.

We could see, to our right, the Tower Falls area. A place where we spent countless hours watching two sets of black bears with cubs. We had no idea how enormous the area was behind the ridge. Imagine all the wildlife we would be able to spot if we could have seen into this area!! It just blew my mind.

To our left, we could see the entrance to the Lamar Valley, and again, our mouths were dropped at the areas we would never have be able to see from the road.

Difficulty? I would say moderate. It’s a high elevation hike, little shade, and steep hills. Make sure you have good hiking boots, or you might end up downhill skiing as I did on the way back.

7 thoughts on “Top 4 hikes a la summer- #4 Specimen Ridge, Yellowstone

  1. Looks like tonnes of fun! I prefer a little more shade when I hike, especially in the summer but I’m sure it was a bit cooler because of the elevation?

    • It was so much fun! And I agree, about the shade. I much prefer hiking when it is a bit cooler. Alas, it was a very hot day, and the elevation did little to mask the heat wave. So I do recommend this hike on a cooler/overcast day!

  2. Pingback: #3 hike a la summer – Sulphur Skyline, Jasper. | Wistfully Wandering

  3. That’s neat …I had been to yellowstone first time there…and love it..!
    We took a drive through Lamar Valley in the morning and it was beautiful…wish I had the time to hike too…!

    • You will have to go back and do a few of the hikes, it’s peaceful and gorgeous. Lamar Valley is my favorite area, along with Mammoth! Ohhh, now you have me homesick for Yellowstone!! So happy you enjoyed Yellowstone.

  4. Pingback: #2 Hike of the Summer: Avalanche Peak, Yellowstone | Wistfully Wandering

  5. Pingback: Hike #1 this summer: Carthew-Alderson – Waterton, Alberta | Wistfully Wandering

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