Sylvan Lake

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Sylvan Lake is a small lake along the south side of the East Entrance Road, nine miles west of the East Entrance Station and 16.5 miles east of Fishing Bridge Junction. The lake is surrounded on its east, south, and west sides by dense lodgepole forests, and its name was given to it by the Hayden Survey of 1871 based on that ("sylvan" means forested).

The lake is fed by two streams, both of which has waterfalls off the side of the road with turnouts for parking. One is at the northeast end of the lake, the other is at the southeast end. An outlet stream flows from the west side of the lake into Clear Creek.

The Sylvan Lake Picnic Area lies on the north side of the road across from the lake (with a couple of tables on the south side adjacent to the lake as well).

Cutthroat trout are native to Sylvan Lake. Between 1913 and 1943, however, an additional stock of over 2.5 million fry was added to the lake. In 1978, longnose suckers were discovered in the lake, likely having found their way there from Yellowstone Lake via Clear Creek. Today, fishing for cutthroats is catch and release only.



  • Haines, Aubrey L. (1996). The Yellowstone Story : A History of Our First National Park : Volume I. 2nd Edition. ISBN: 0870813900
  • Haines, Aubrey L. (1996). The Yellowstone Story : A History of Our First National Park : Volume II. 2nd Edition. ISBN: 0870811169
  • Pierce, Steve. (1987). The Lakes of Yellowstone: A Guide for Hiking, Fishing, and Exploring. ISBN: 089886139X
  • Varley, John D., and Paul Schullery. 1998. Yellowstone Fishes: Ecology, History, and Angling in the Park. ISBN: 0811727777
  • Whittlesey, Lee H. (2006). Yellowstone Place Names. ISBN: 1599717166
  • Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey.
  • Yellowstone National Park, Spatial Analysis Center, Geographic Information System database. Accessed in October, 2010.

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