Eleanor Lake Picnic Area & Avalanche Peak Trailhead
This pull-off area is at the west end of Eleanor Lake, a small high-country lake that parallels the road. There are only three picnic tables and no restroom. However, the expanded parking serves as the trailhead for the Avalanche Peak hike. The trail begins on the opposite (north) side of the road where stone steps welcome you to the upward climb that lies ahead. While the hike is steep and somewhat strenuous (a 5.0-mile round trip with an elevation gain of 2,100 feet), the reward at the end of the trail is a panoramic view that makes it all worthwhile. To the south you can see the Grand Teton Mountain Range, to the west is Yellowstone Lake, and to the east are numerous impressive peaks of the Absaroka Mountain wilderness area.
The trail begins climbing immediately through dense pine forest. En route, you will cross a small stream at the base of a small meadow. At just over a mile into the hike, you exit the forest and enter a large meadow. A short hike up a slope and you enter another group of dead trees. You get a brief relief at the 1.5-mile mark with a much-appreciated flat spot along the trail. From here you can see the tops of various 10,000 feet plus mountain peaks to the south. As you look north toward your destination, Avalanche Peak, you can see several paths that will lead you to the summit and the beautiful views previously described.