Trailhead: Entrance of Old Bunsen Peak Road, 5 miles south of Mammoth
Distance: 2 miles to the summit (up to 10 miles roundtrip, depending on route)
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
As far as mountain scenery goes, this is one of the best short hikes in Yellowstone. The climb is fairly steep, climbing some 1300 feet in the two mile ascent. The peak itself is an ancient volcano’s core. The two miles of trail winds through both forest and meadow, with a number of scenic points (including some impressive views of Mammoth Village) along the way. Attempting to hike this trail before mid-June will oftentimes involve wading through one-two feet of snow near the top. The view from the top is spectacular, as the peak juts out into the Yellowstone Valley some 3000 feet below and gives the observer an almost 360 degree view of the surrounding mountains and valleys, including the Gallatin, Madison and Absaroka ranges. If you intend on taking pictures, bring along a panoramic camera! The peak is named after Robert Bunsen, who did early research on geysers.
360 degree view from Bunsen Peak