Howard Eaton Trail, located near Canyon Village, offers a moderately easy 3-12 mile hike depending on destination. This hike, with little vertical rise, will take 2-8 hours. It passes through forest, meadow, and marshland to Cascade Lake (3 miles; 4.8 km), Grebe Lake (4.25 miles; 6.8 km), Wolf Lake (6.25 miles; 10 km), Ice Lake (8.25 miles; 13.7 km), and Norris Campground (12 miles; 19.3 km). Most years, this trail remains very wet and muddy through July. Insects can be very annoying.
Howard Eaton Trail, located near Lake Village on the Yellowstone River, offers an easy 7 mile roundtrip hike. From the east side of Fishing Bridge, the trail follows the Yellowstone River for a short distance before joining a service road; the trail continues on the road for 1/4 mile (0.4 km). Leaving the road, the trail meanders for three miles (5 km) through meadow, forest, and sagebrush flats with frequent views of the river. Wildlife and waterfowl are commonly seen here. The last mile (1.5 km) passes through a dense lodgepole pine forest before reaching an overview of LeHardy Rapids.
To return, follow the same trail back to the trailhead. The trail does continue on for another 12 miles (19 km) to the South Rim Drive at Canyon, but is not well maintained. This trip would require planning for a full day's hike and a return ride to the trailhead. This area is good grizzly bear habitat, and the trail is closed when bears are known to be in the area. Inquire at the Visitor Center before hiking.
Directions from The Canyon Junction: Travel 0.5 miles (0.8 km) west on the Norris-Canyon Road.
Directions from The Fishing Bridge Campground: Park in the parking lot on east side.
Mid-May through Late September
(NOTE: Most years, this trail remains very wet and muddy through July.)