Mammoth to Tower Section of Grand Loop Road
The Grand Loop Road in Yellowstone is the main method of travel through the park. It is shaped like a giant figure eight. Sections of this road are usually referred to by the two “junctions” that the section runs between. Below is the description of the road between Mammoth Junction and Tower Junction. For an index of all road sections in the park, see the Yellowstone Roads index.
Mile 0 – Mammoth Junction
The Grand Loop Road goes three ways at Mammoth Junction. The North Entrance Road heads north to the town of Gardiner, Montana. The Grand Loop Road heads to the south on the Norris to Mammoth section and east to Tower Junction, as described below.
Mile 4.1 – Undine Falls
On the left is a good sized parking area for Undine Falls. This is a 60 foot waterfall on Lava Creek that falls in three sections.
Mile 4.5 – Lava Creek Picnic Area
The road passes by the Lava Creek Picnic Area. There is also some room to explore Lava Creek a little, shown to the left.
Mile 5.0 – Wraith Falls Trailhead
A small parking area on the right is for the trail to Wraith Falls. A short half mile hike leads to this 100 foot cascade on Lupine Creek.
Mile 6.3 – Blacktail Lakes
The road goes by the Blacktail Lakes area on the left.
Mile 9.7 – Blacktail Plateau Drive entrance
A one-way gravel road leads off to the right. This is the Blacktail Plateau Road, which is not suitable for RVs, buses, or any large vehicle. It leads to some very scenic vistas. This road returns to the Mammoth to Tower section at mile 16.9
Mile 10.4 – Phantom Lake
An area known as Phantom Lake is on the right. Depending on the time of year, this might be a shallow lake or a low-lying meadow. In August of 2007 it was completely dry, and a coyote was walking on the road next to it.
Mile 14.7 – Hellroaring Trailhead
A short unpaved side road to the left leads to the Hellroaring Trailhead. This is a moderate two mile hike to Hellroaring Creek.
Mile 15.2 – Floating Island Lake
The road passes by Floating Island Lake.
Mile 17.0 – Petrified Tree Spur
A short side road to the right leads to a still-standing petrified tree trunk.
Mile 18.3 – Tower Ranger Station
A sign indicating the Tower Ranger Station is on the right.
Mile 18.4 – Tower Junction