Hiking the Terraced Falls Trail
Terraced Falls Trail, Yellowstone National Park
Hike #7, Terraced Falls Trail
Cascade Creek Trailhead 9K5
Southwest Section - Minimal Traffic
Yellowstone National Park

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Location: Southwest Section (See map to the right)
Difficulty: Easy
Type of hike: Out-and-back
Distance: 3.6 mi/5.7 km round-trip
Elevation Gain: 430 ft.
Best time to visit: July-October (Road to trailhead is impassable during the spring)

Backcountry Camping: None

Full Description: Read the full description or view photos of this hike
Trail Maps: Beartooth Publishing - Yellowstone National Park

Finding the Trailhead - Cascade Creek (9K5)
From Flagg Ranch:
Drive west approximately 12.7 miles along the Ashton-Flagg Ranch Road (dirt road). The Cascade Creek Trailhead will be on the right 1.6 miles past the Grassy Lake Reservoir.
Get Directions from the Flagg Ranch

Terraced Falls Trailhead Location

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Terraced Falls Overview Map
Terraced Falls Topo Map
Terraced Falls Trail Stats

Trail Details
Trail Condition: Excellent
Difficulty: Easy
Total Mileage: 3.6 mi /5.7 km round-trip
Type of Hike: Out-and-back
Wow Factor: Spectacular waterfalls
Elevation Gain: 430 ft.

Nearest Facilities: Flagg Ranch Resort
12.7 miles west of Flagg Ranch - Get Directions
Trailhead Coordinates
Latitude: 44.128880
Longitude: -110.847588

Terraced Falls Coordinates
Latitude: 44.147635
Longitude: -110.865794

Approx. Elevations
Trailhead Elevation = 7,250 ft.
Terraced Falls = 6,820 ft.
Elevation Gain = 430 ft.
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Yellowstone Backcountry Info

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Terraced Falls Photo Gallery
Union Falls Trail Description

Terraced Falls Trail Description (Trailhead 9K5) - Minimal Traffic

The Terraced Falls Trail is located in the remote southwest region of Yellowstone. After hiking this trail you'll understand why this area was given the nickname the "Cascade Corner."

From the Cascade Creek parking lot the trail descends steeply before reaching the junction with the Terraced Falls Trail at 0.4 miles. From this intersection head northwest (left) and follow Cascade Creek toward the Falls River. The trail continues descending at an easy grade making this a very relaxing hike that could be easily combined with a day of fly fishing if you're in search of a secluded stretch of water to wet a line. The Falls River is a major waterway that drains the southwest region of the park. The river begins its journey westward from Beula Lake and is generally wide and shallow with populations of cutthroats, brookies and rainbows.

As you hike this 1.4 mile section of the trail you'll come across numerous waterfalls along both Cascade Creek and the Falls River, each one ranging in size from just a few feet high to 140 feet at Terraced Falls. A handful carve deep notches in the volcanic rock while others are much shallower, extending across the entire width of the river before cascading into bubbling pools of whitewater at their base.

At the end of the trail (1.8 miles one-way) you'll reach Terraced Falls, the largest waterfall on this hike. The Falls River passes through volcanic spires that rise high above the riverbed on both sides. Terraced Falls consists of a series of six plateaus, each one varying in size with a combined height of about 140 feet. The soft rocks on either side of the falls are deeply striated due to erosion and a number of trees have taken root in these narrow cracks, in some instances they cling to the vertical walls as if by magic, their tangled root systems fully exposed.

This hike is well worth the drive if you're looking for a unique experience that's located well off the beaten path. If you have the time and the energy we would highly recommend combining the Terraced Falls Trail with a trip to Union Falls. Together these two hikes make for a long day (18+ miles) but it's well worth the effort.

NOTE: Many of the trailheads along the Ashton-Flagg Road begin in the Targhee National Forest just outside of Yellowstone's southern borders. Trailheads are often unmarked and may be difficult to locate so a good map is imperative. The Ashton-Flagg Road (Grassy Lake Road) runs east and west for about 50 miles between the South Entrance of Yellowstone and Ashton, Idaho. Approximately 32.0 miles of the road is unpaved and can be difficult to travel during the spring. The road is closed during the winter. There are no services along this route. Click to view this route.

Click here to download your FREE Yellowstone Backcountry Trip Planner - Contains backcountry campsite information, backcountry permit information, park service phone numbers, bear management information and hiking/backpacking checklists.

WARNING: YOU MUST BE WELL PREPARED and carry the necessary equipment to make your hike a safe one. You are responsible for your own well-being while trekking in these remote wilderness locations. Help or rescue can be hours or even days away.

Read more about obtaining Yellowstone Backcountry Permits.

Nearby Hiking Trails
South Boundary Trail West (Trailhead 8K5)
South Boundary Trail (Trailhead 8K7)
Beula Lake (Trailhead 8K6) - A peaceful lake located at the southern end of the massive Pitchstone Plateau.
Fish Lake (Trailhead 9K3)
Cascade Creek (Trailhead 9K5) - Provides access to Union Falls and the Pitchstone Plateau Trail.
Grassy Lake (Trailhead 9K6)

Nearby Campgrounds
Headwaters Campground -
Headwaters Campground is located at Flagg Ranch Resort approximately 12.7 miles east of the Cascade Creek Trail. The campground has 24 hour showers, laundry facilities tent sites, and pull through RV sites with full hook-ups. Each site has a fire pit and picnic table. Click here to make online reservations or call: 1-800-443-2311. A general store, restaurant, gift shop, visitor center and gas station (seasonal) are located nearby. Get directions from the Cascade Creek Trailhead to the Headwaters Campground/Flagg Ranch.

Grant Village Campground - Grant Village Campground is located approximately 36.8 miles northeast of the Cascade Creek Trailhead and has 430 sites and full amenities. Sites are $29.00 + per night. Includes 2 showers per day. Reservations accepted. Generators are permitted from 8am - 8pm. Click here to make online reservations or call: 1-866-439-7375. A general store, restaurant, gift shop, visitor center and gas station (seasonal) are located nearby - Get directions from the Cascade Creek Trailhead to the Grant Village Campground.

Lewis Lake Campground - Lewis Lake Campground is located approximately 26.0 miles northeast of the Cascade Creek Trailhead and has 85 sites. Campsites are $15.00 per night. Reservations are not accepted. Generators are not permitted. Not recommended for motorhomes or trailers over 25' - Get directions from the Cascade Creek Trailhead to the Lewis Lake Campground.

Post Hike Meals
There is a restaurant, general store, campground, lodge, gas station, visitor center and gift shop located at Flagg Ranch and the South Entrance.

Directions to the Terraced Falls Trailhead
Beartooth Publishing Outdoor Recreational Maps
The following map from Beartooth Publishing covers all of the hiking trails located in Yellowstone National Park. For more information about these maps click here.

Directions to the Terraced Falls Trailhead

Click the map to launch directions
from the Flagg Ranch to the
Cascade Creek Trail.


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