Fishing Bridge is a vehicle and pedestrian bridge that crosses the Yellowstone River at the point where it empties into Yellowstone Lake. Join other visitors on the bridge to spot schools of cutthroat trout and admire the landscapes of the national park. Fishing Bridge began its existence as a log crossing in 1902 and was rebuilt in its present form in 1937.
The water that runs beneath the bridge creates important spawning grounds for cutthroat trout. Fishing was once popular here but prohibited in 1973 due to a declining population of fish. The bridge is now a great place to observe the fish, most notably during the breeding season in late spring. Lake trout also inhabit the waters. Watch for birds, such as bald eagles and pelicans, preying on the fish.
Enjoy the views from the bridge itself or get closer to the water by walking down steps at either end. The steps lead to walkable sections of the lakeshore and riverbanks. In all directions are areas of thick conifer forests, rolling landscapes and tall mountain peaks. Watch and listen for grizzly bears roaming in the forests.
A short walk from the bridge is Fishing Bridge Visitor Center, which is open from late May until early October. Find a taxidermy exhibit of bears, eagles and trumpeter swans, among other Yellowstone wildlife. Attend one of the ranger-led talks held at the center’s amphitheater. A trail connects the building with a sandy beach ideal for taking relaxed walks around Yellowstone Lake.
Reach the bridge by driving about 40 minutes south from Canyon Village. It’s one of the major landmarks on the Grand Loop Road, a scenic route accessible during the summer months. A gas station, general store and motorhome park are adjacent to the bridge.
Fishing Bridge is open to road traffic from May to October only. Fish in the lake with a permit, but be aware that you must release any cutthroat trout you catch back into the water. The lake freezes over in winter.