Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park

5 out of 5 stars 63 Reviews

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  • And yet again!
    And yet again!
    by mtncorg
  • Waters churning over the Upper Falls
    Waters churning over the Upper Falls
    by mtncorg
  • Grand Canyon and Lower Falls from Artist Point
    Grand Canyon and Lower Falls from Artist...
    by mtncorg
  • pfsmalo's Profile Photo

    Grand Canyon and Waterfalls of Yellowstone River.

    by pfsmalo Updated Nov 28, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is for me one of the great highlights of Yellowstone and is not to be missed. If you cannot make the time to go all round the canyon and see it from every angle, at least make it to Artist Point. The beauty of the site really does take you breath away (I know it's a cliché but never mind). Although there are some good views to be had from the North Rim, the South is so much better. On the South Rim there are two overlooks for Upper Falls giving good vistas to the Falls that tumble 33 metres down the cliff. From the left hand overlook, as you are looking at the falls, just on your right, look through the trees and you may spot Crystal Fall on the other side of the canyon. This is the only place from where you can it.

    View of the Upper Falls. Crystal fall on the other side. Splendid colouring of the canyon walls.

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  • Krumel's Profile Photo

    Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

    by Krumel Updated Oct 10, 2009

    I LOVED the canyon!

    There are two drives along the canyon, along the North Rim and along the South Rim. I started off with the North Rim, and left the car at the car park to go for a walk on the trail, which brings you to different viewpoints from where you can see the Lower Falls thundering down into the canyon.

    There is also a trail right down to the brink of the Lower Falls, where you can stand right on top of the waterfall and see the Yellowstone River tumble over the edge of the cliff. The trail leads you down the steep canyon side in endless serpentines, and the way back up is very strenuous, but to stand just above that massive waterfall, to hear the thunder of the water, and to look across the canyon through a mist of spray was quite special and well worth the effort.

    On the other side of the canyon, the South Rim, there is also a similar trail descending down the canyon from where you must be getting great views of the Lower Falls. However, this seems to be more of a boardwalk and looked a bit scary, so I gave that one a miss.

    I did however go on to Artist's Point, and although I had already seen the Canyon from the other side, my jaw still dropped when all of a sudden the vista of the whole canyon opened up in front of me, with the focal point of the Lower Falls on the far side. In my opinion this is one of the most stunning views in all of Yellowstone, and you should go there early in the morning when you get the best sunlight conditions, and you might beat the crowds. That was my plan anyway, but even though I was there quite early I still only managed to arrive about 5 minutes before two busloads of tourists arrived and took over the viewpoint. Bad luck.

    View of Grand Canyon from Artist's Point Lower Falls Uncle Tom's trail Serpentines down to the brink of Lower Falls
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  • PALLINA's Profile Photo

    what a view

    by PALLINA Written Jul 20, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Thanks to the Yellowstone River, the park can show a deep and stunning canyonland, with planty of overlooks and terrific falls. Budget a day if you are willing to go out of the car at every overlook and take the path to the observation poin, if existing. I think we stopped at every overlook point in the Southern Rim but just few in the Northern (they are both amazing, decide also depending on the moment of the day). Paths are always walkable, steps are declared on the map and distances always very clear. From this point of view, Americans' skill in organizing is outstanding.

    From the Southern Rim
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  • KimberlyAnn's Profile Photo

    Look Out Point

    by KimberlyAnn Updated Jan 19, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you have time to see more than one view of the Yellowstone Canyon, then take the North Rim Canyon Drive, which is a 2.5 mile one-way road that will lead you to various viewpoints. From various lookout points along the route you will have spectacular sweeping views of the canyon and the Yellowstone River below. Look Out Point, my second favorite, offers another spectacular view point of the Lower Falls, as it plunges into the canyon below. This falls is one of the highlights of Yellowstone, so don’t miss it. This view point was a very popular view point for many early visitors to the park. Because of this, in 1880 Superintendent Norris built a railing here and it has been called Lookout Point ever since.

    View From Look Out Point Lower Falls From Look Out Point
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  • PinkFloydActuary's Profile Photo

    Brink of the Lower Falls Trail

    by PinkFloydActuary Written May 9, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you take this trail, expecting great shots of the falls, forget it. But you will be treated to some awesome views of the canyon from the vantage point of the top of the Lower Falls. The trail itself is another brutal one (when going back up) It's paved all the way, but it is very steep with many switchbacks, so expect to take your time making it back up. It's nearly a 600 foot change in elevation from the top to the bottom. The best part is the view out into the canyon. Enjoy it before you begin the climb back up!

    Grand Canyon

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  • PinkFloydActuary's Profile Photo

    Red Rock Point

    by PinkFloydActuary Written May 9, 2008

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    One of the last stops along the north rim, there are some great views of the Lower Falls. You can then leave the comfort of the overlook and hike down a fairly well-marked but extremely steep trail to get a closer look. The trail is less than 1/2 a mile, but has a 500 foot elevation change, so coming back up is brutal. As I look through my pictures to see the difference in the view from the top and bottom of the trail, it's hard to find one! I think if I were to do it again - I'd save my energy for a different trail. In the main picture, you can glimpse the bottom part of the trail (the boardwalk section.) Then, compare the views!

    Pre-trail Post-trail

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  • PinkFloydActuary's Profile Photo

    Inspiration Point

    by PinkFloydActuary Written May 9, 2008

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    The north rim of the canyon is a one-way loop that circles past the visitor center and lodge. You come to a fork in the road, where you can take a left and head over to Inspiration Point. A quick but steep path takes you to an overlook of the Lower Falls and the canyon. On the way in, you can see an enormous glacial boulder. Like many of the viewpoints along the rims, this is worth your time and fighting the crowds because the views are incredible. Be sure to take the time to make a stop here.

    Inspiration Point Facing east at Inspiration point

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  • PinkFloydActuary's Profile Photo

    Uncle Tom's Trail

    by PinkFloydActuary Updated May 9, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    As you drive along the south rim, one of the major attractions is this trail. This is not for those who have a fear of heights, as this is an extremely steep, 500 foot staircase. And remember - what goes down, must come up! If you do take the trail down, you will be rewarded with a couple of money shots of the Lower Falls of the canyon. The sound of the waterfall is deafening. Note there are a number of benches along the way back up, so take a rest when necessary. Attached are pictures of the falls as well as a picture of the trail from across the canyon.

    Uncle Tom's Trail Lower Falls

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  • kokoryko's Profile Photo

    Yellowstone Grand Canyon and Falls

    by kokoryko Written Dec 2, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It is of course not THE Grand Canyon, but the river carved here some sumptuous gorges in the volcanic rocks and lake sediments of various colors which are simply amazing. Added to that, the waterfalls roaring and echoing on the walls of the canyon give a supplementary dimension to the landscape.
    There is a trail going down to the falls, but I did not go, being on a hurry (why? I do not remember. . . ) and wanting to see other things during the day.
    The colors of the walls and the sharp cut shapes of rock formations are impressive and I would have liked to look at from a more quiet place, but it was a little bit crowded and I was not in mood to feel much more of the waterfalls and the canyon colors. The colors come from minerals deposited in the volcanic ashes and diatomites (rock formation made up entirely of diatoms, microscopic siliceous algae, deposited in a lake which was there), which also are soft rocks. The sharp cone-shaped features on the walls are fairy chimneys which form as a result of erosion of the soft rocks and locally protected from erosion by a hard basalt piece or boulder; underneath the hard rock the erosion is slower and the place remains as a mini hill called fairy chimney.
    I would have liked to walk more, I am sure it is beautiful to go to the falls along the river shore; there are trails going down.

    Upper falls Canyon walls with fairy chimneys Roaring waters of the river River, deep in the canyon Upper falls
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  • KimberlyAnn's Profile Photo

    Grand View and Trail

    by KimberlyAnn Updated Nov 17, 2007

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    Grand View is another parking area from which to view the Yellowstone Canyon. Besides the viewpoint you may enjoy walking a small portion of the trail that follows the Canyon from Inspiration Point to the Upper Falls. This short walk from the Grand View parking area to the Lookout Point parking area can give you rewarding views of the canyon and the rock formations below. River erosion cutting through layers of volcanic rock formed the Yellowstone Canyon. About 14,000 to 18,000 years ago, ice dams that were formed at the mouth of the Yellowstone Lake melted, and a great volume of water was released downstream causing massive flash floods and immediate heavy erosion of the present day canyon. It is believed that these flash floods probably happened more than once. As you view the canyon you will see various colors within it, including the yellow found in the name of the park. The rhyolite in the canyon walls contains different iron compounds. When the old geyser basin was active the heating of the rocks caused chemical alterations in this iron. Because of exposure the elements in the rocks are oxidizing. It is surprising to many people that the yellow they see in the canyon is the result of the iron present in the rock rather than sulfur.

    View From the Trail
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  • KimberlyAnn's Profile Photo

    Brink of the Lower Falls Trail

    by KimberlyAnn Updated Nov 17, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Brink of the Lower Falls trail is a wonderful experience. You will find yourself standing at the top of the largest falls in the park, where you can experience the rush of water as it falls suddenly downward to the Yellowstone River 350 feet below. This is a fun, and interesting experience, but it is not for everyone. The three eighth of a mile walk carries you 600 feet steeply downward over a series of switchbacks, leaving you to climb 600 feet up again. If you are out of shape, have small children, or do not find walking comfortable, you will not enjoy this hike. The volume of water that plunges over the falls you will be standing over, varies from 63,500 gallons per second at peak runoff in the spring, to 5,000 gallons per second in the fall.

    A Tourist Standing On the Brink A Portion of the Plunge As Seen in the Fall
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  • KimberlyAnn's Profile Photo

    Artist's Point in Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

    by KimberlyAnn Updated Nov 16, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Don’t miss out on seeing the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The canyon and its two wonderful waterfalls are only visible from short walks and overlooks, as you cannot see it from the road. The Upper Falls has a 109 foot fall, and the Lower Falls drops 308 feet. The canyon walls are gray, brown, yellow, red, and orange, adding color to the spectacular views, which have inspired artists and photographers alike. If you are on a short time frame, at least make a stop at Artist Point, for a beautiful view of the Lower Falls. This one is my favorites as it gives the best overall view of both the Lower Falls and the canyon from two beautifully located viewing levels. The first level is accessible for people with disabilities, allowing them to view this magnificent site. As you gaze out over the canyon you will see the Yellowstone river churning far below you as it plunges over the falls and heads toward Tower Falls another 15 miles away. For shear beauty, the canyon is the Queen of the park.

    Canyon's Lower Falls
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  • 807Wheaton's Profile Photo

    The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

    by 807Wheaton Updated Jul 11, 2007

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    There are several places to stop and walk to get a view of the Grand Canyon and the falls. Just south of Canyon Village is the short route to view the Upper Falls and Lower Falls.
    As in the rest of the park, there are good sidewalks and boardwalks to get to the viewing areas, as they cannot be seen from the road. There are some steps to view the Upper and Lower Falls.

    The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone The Upper Falls The Upper Falls at Yellowstone
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  • 807Wheaton's Profile Photo

    Gibbons Falls - Start of Day 2

    by 807Wheaton Written Jul 11, 2007

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We used our second day in Yellowstone to drive through the Northern Circle of Yellowstone, by driving over to Canyon Village from West Yellowstone, and took the road North.
    Gibbons Falls is on this route. I took my handicap parking tag and we were able to get a parking place. Parking is somewhat limited here, but it is worth the stop to see the falls.

    Gibbons Falls
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  • Segolily's Profile Photo

    Rim of the falls trail

    by Segolily Written Jun 3, 2007

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    We found the road to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone kind of by accident. We had stopped at the Canyon store area and on the way out noticed a decrepit sign saying "Grand Canyon" to the right. So we followed. I've been to the south rim many times but I don't ever remember coming to the North Rim. There were several stops and trails to go down. We loved them all. After getting a good look of the lower falls we took the next stop where we could take a short but steep trail down to the edge of the falls. That was truly awesome.

    You are literally on the riim downstream from the falls upstream from the falls
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