Hike: Ferris Fork and Dunanda Falls

Yellowstone is home to a few natural spas the mix with creeks, making them worthy of a post-hike dip. Your best option? Ferris Fork and Dunanda Falls.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
Dunanda Falls in Yellowstone

Dunanda Falls in Yellowstone

While soaking in Old Faithful’s 244°F waters would spell a certain death, Yellowstone—which sits above a 300-mile-wide ocean of magma—is home to a few natural spas the mix with creeks, making them worthy of a post-hike dip. Your best option? Ferris Fork and Dunanda Falls.

Located in the southeast corner of the park, Ferris Fork and Dunanda Falls requires a 15-mile approach from the Bechler trailhead. You’ll follow the Bechler through dense stands of lodgepole pine that give way to the sheer walls of Bechler Canyon. Look out for Ragged Falls, named for its spaghetti-like 5-foot cascade, and Twister Falls, which coils 55 feet downward from its flume. Detour through Bechler Meadows to 150-foot Dunanda Falls, which spills into a basin, creating several soakable pools (averaging 110°F). Find a designated campsite back of the banks.

Thirsty for more? Back on the main trail, continue 6 miles northeast to Three Rivers Junction (where the Phillips, Gregg, and Ferris Forks converge). Follow the worn user trail to a steaming pool hidden along the bank of the river. After simmering, continue upstream to cool off below Gwinna and Sluiceway Falls. (Option: Camp below 260-foot Albright Falls).

Do it Find the trailhead at the end of unpaved Cave Falls Rd., 26 miles outside Ashton, ID.

Season Year-round

Permits Reserve campsites at the Yellowstone Backcountry Office (307-344-2160) or go on a guided trip.

Related

Black Canyon of Yellowstone River off Rescue Creek Trail

Blacktail Creek Trail Hike in Yellowstone

Start near Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone and end in Gardiner, Mont. Excerpted from Tom Carter's Day Hiking Yellowstone Park

Bunsen Peak from Mammoth winter

Bunsen Peak Hike

This hike provides an excellent opportunity to view the effects of the 1988 fires. Also, Bunsen Peak affords a commanding view of the Mammoth area, as well as the Gallatin and Washburn Mountains.

Fairy Falls. Photo by C. Sagan

Fairy Falls Trail to Imperial Geyser in Yellowstone

See an incredible waterfall and two geysers along this hike starting near the Grand Prismatic Hot Spring off the Grand Loop Road.

Bunsen Peak Trail in Yellowstone

Hike Yellowstone National Park's Bunsen Peak Trail

See evidence of Yellowstone's 1988 fires on a hike that starts and ends just south of Rustic Falls near Mammoth. Excerpted from Tom Carter's Day Hiking Yellowstone Park.

Ascending the stairs on Uncle Tom's Trail in Yellowstone

Uncle Tom's Trail Hike to Lower Falls in Yellowstone

This steep but wonderful trail takes you from the top of Yellowstone's Grand Canyon to the base of the 308-foot-high Lower Falls. It's strenuous going down 500 feet, but less so than in 1905 when Uncle Tom lowered you by rope.

A hiker headed up Avalanche Peak Trail in Yellowstone

Which Yellowstone Trail Should I Hike?

Do you want to see lakes, waterfalls, thermal features, or peaks? Find your perfect day hike with our personalized guide.

Petrified trees

Hike Yellowstone National Park's Fossil Forest

See what the climate was like in Yellowstone Country 50 million years ago and view the fascinating petrified trees in Yellowstone's world-class fossil forests.

yellowstone-hiker-on-trail

Hike to the Middle of Nowhere in Yellowstone

There are moments where Yellowstone can feel positively crowded.

Yellowstone-caldera

Yellowstone Volcano Caldera Rises, Falls and Rises Again

Deep beneath Yellowstone, forces of heat and pressure cause the surface to rise and fall much like the breathing of a gigantic, slumbering beast.