SUMMARY: Wraith Falls is actually a beautiful 100 foot cascade over a relatively flat rock face on Lupine Creek as it flows down a hillside from the Blacktail Deer Plateau. Under the right light, and with a strong spring run off, the cascading, white water spreads over a rock face and takes on what some describe as a ghostly appearance. From the trailhead, it is a mere ½ mile to the foot of the cascade. Wraith Falls presents an opportunity for a short, easy walk across a meadow and through a pine forest to an interesting and photogenic cascade. The trailhead is about 5 ½ miles east of Mammoth Hot Springs. The Lava Creek Picnic Area is just ¼ mile east on the Grand Loop Road from the Wraith Falls parking area. This attractive and welcoming picnic area is located right along Lava Creek, has a number of picnic tables (some shaded) and a rustic restroom.
RATING: Easy 1 mile round trip with minimal change in elevation. This is a good option for Park visitors who want to hike off the beaten path, but not a great distance.
BEST TIME OF YEAR TO HIKE: Late May until the snow flies (mid-September to early October). To see the cascade at its best, view it in June when the spring run off is strong.
AMOUNT OF TIME NEEDED: Allow ½ hour to an hour.
DIRECTIONS TO TRAILHEAD: Drive east on the Grand Loop Road from Mammoth Hot Springs toward Tower-Roosevelt Junction about 5 ½ miles. The Wraith Falls trailhead parking is on the right (south) about ¼ mile past the Lava Creek Picnic Area.