Lost Lake is tucked in behind Roosevelt Lodge and Cabins in the Tower Roosevelt area of Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA.
From park headquarters at Mammoth Hot Springs a left turn east leads along the Black-tail Deer Plateau into the Tower-Roosevelt area. A roadside turnout provides the opportunity to appreciate and photograph Undine Falls.
Continuing along the road passes the trail-head for Wraith Falls. Brief investigation at the trail-head reveals past vandalism requires the one remaining petrified tree stump to be protected by a locked and steel fenced enclosure. The trail to Wraith Falls will be left for another time in the pursuit of variety.
Arrival at Tower Junction reveals Roosevelt Lodge and Cabins has recently closed for the season. The gate and parking lot are open so access to the adjacent Lost Lake trail is available.
The trail to Lost Lake winds up 360 ft (115 M) in ⅝ of a mile (1 KM) through a series of switchbacks. A beautiful buck deer provides safe distance companionship for most of the ascent. The traverse at the top leads us into beautiful, pristine marshland at the near end of the lake.
The ambiance of this small, pristine sub-alpine lake shares it's solitude with a variety of birds and deer. This is a very special place. As the sun struggles to break through cloud cover, the silence is deafening and the awesome beauty of the mirrored-surface, water-lily padded shoreline of the lake is a magnificent sight. Valuable time is taken to visit awhile before returning by the same route taken in to the trail-head.
Roosevelt Lodge and Cabins is a quaint place with common areas supplemented by tiny, quaint cabins tucked into the surrounding wilderness. There are large stables and extensive trail systems in the area so horseback riding is obviously very popular.
The decision to travel south on the road to Canyon Village provides the opportunity to view Calcite Springs and Tower Fall. Calcite Springs shows thermal activity in a beaver-lodge lined canyon area with the columnar structure indicative of major volcanic flow. On the cliff outcrops there are nesting eagles.
At Tower Fall a distant view of the waterfall is available from the lookout but the hiking trail to the base of the falls is closed for repair and maintenance on this day. The massive hoodoo towers above the falls are impressive on this misty, overcast day.
The next segment requires returning north to Tower Junction and then east for lunch in quaint Cooke City just outside the north-east entrance to Yellowstone National Park.
Cooke City is a tiny village with a distinctively western flavor. The village is surrounded by the dramatic Bear-tooth Mountains in the impressive 11,000 foot (3,600 M) range of mountains providing an impressive backdrop. The 1988 fire is clearly evident and one wonders how the little town survived the massive burn.
Fishing is obviously very popular on the drive through Lamar Valley along Lamar River and Soda Butte Creek. It is worth the time to stop at road-side Soda Butte Mound, a travertine (calcium carbonate) mound formed more than a century ago by a hot spring. Only small amounts of hydro-thermal water and hydrogen sulphide gas currently flow from the once prolific hot spring.
Lamar Valley contains a buffalo ranch and huge herds of buffalo roam in these expansive grass lands.
There is time in the day to hike into Wraith Falls to witness the delicate and very beautiful waterfall in fall-colored wilderness surroundings before returning to Gardiner, Montana for end-of-day dining and relaxation.
The hike into Wraith Falls completes another fantastic hiking day in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA.