Lower Falls of the Yellowstone - Hike near Canyon Village, Yellowstone National Park
Grand Loop Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190, USA,Canyon Village,Wyoming
44.71947808005877, -110.4974091053009
Address: Grand Loop Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190, USA
GPS: 44°43'10.1"N 110°29'50.7"W
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State: Wyoming

Rivers Waterfalls Streams Trails Rocks National Park

Hike

Lower Yellowstone Falls is one of the most popular places to visit in Yellowstone, coming in just behind the geyser, Old Faithful. The tallest waterfall in the park, Lower Yellowstone Falls is about 308 ft. Upper Yellowstone Falls feeds this waterfall and can be accessed through a trail before reaching Lower Yellowstone Falls. Because of a turn in the river, both waterfalls are not visible at one time, instead visitors can see just one waterfall at a time. 

Both falls are located in a 20 mile long canyon nicknamed the Yellowstone Grand Canyon. The Yellowstone River feeds the falls and it is the longest undamed river in the continental United States. The canyon was created through water eroding the volcanic rock. Lower Yellowstone Falls is particulary beautiful because the large waterfall contrasts with the yellow "rusting" rocks that make up the canyon walls. The iconic "yellow" color in Yellowstone is from the many rocks that oxidize because of the rust and iron found in the rock. 

The 308 foot waterfall is taller than Niagra Falls and has many lookout points, offering a variety of views from up close to miles away. There are several trails that can be taken to experience all the views, each with a parking lot before the trailhead. The trails are still open in the winter, however please be aware that they may be icy, as well there are steep drops and switchbacks. In the winter, the trails can only be accessed by snowmobile or snow coaches.

Following the Grand Loop Road, visitors will be able to see the waterfall and access the various trailheads.  The summer time will be the busiest time as toursits from all over are enjoying the park. Spring and Fall are especially beautiful, however the road to access the falls opens in mid-April and closes in late October. Turning onto North Rim Drive, visitors will have access to all the view points on that side of the waterfall. The first viewpoint is the Brink of the Lower Falls. Visitors are able to get quite close to the falls, putting them right next to the mouth of the falls as the water goes cascading down below them. The trail is a steep hike down, but a must see. While right at the mouth of the waterfall, visitors can turn and look out at the canyon and see it continue on its 20 mile journey.  

Next is the Lookout Point. This offers a panoramic view of the surrounding canyons and waterfall. Though it is several miles away from the actual waterfall, visitors can still hear the booming of water flowing over the falls. The Lookout Point is also the trailhead for Red Rock Point, which gives the closest full view of the waterfall for visitors. It is a steep trail as well, with a sign warning "A steep descent to Red Rock will take you to the North Rim’s closest full view of Lower Falls. Please be prepared for steep grades, steps, and a rough surface. The trail descends rapidly—about 500 feet (150 m) in 3/8 mile (0.6 km). Wear sturdy walking shoes with good tread, and be prepared for a steep uphill return". 

Grandview is another lookout point along the North Rim Drive. It provides another panoramic view of Lower Falls, though not as close as the one found at lookout point. 

Inspiration Point is the last viewpoint along North Rim Drive. Not much of the Lower Falls are visible from here, but a panoramic view of the canyon reminds visitors just how small they really are when compared to the towering canyon walls. 

On the opposite side of the Lower Falls are two additional trails, Uncle Tom's Trail and Artist Point. Taking South Rim Road, visitors will first see the trailhead for Uncle Tom's Trail. This trail consists of 328 steel steps that take visitors about 3/4 of the way down the Canyon. Like the view from the Brink of Lower Falls, visitors will be very close to the falls as the water goes tumbling down below them. 

Artist Point is one of the most photographed views in Yellowstone. It is a very easy hike with little elevation gain. Visitors will be awed when looking at the canyon from Artist Point, for it shows just how wide and deep the canyon has become from thousands of years of erosion. 

 

2.7K Written by cteicheira

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Be courteous, informed, and prepared. Read trailhead guidelines, stay on the trail, and don’t feed the wildlife.

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  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel & camp on durable surfaces
  3. Dispose of waste properly
  4. Leave what you find
  5. Minimize campfire impacts
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be considerate of other visitors

Directions

From Canyon Village, Yellowstone National Park

  1. Head northeast (0.1 mi)
  2. Turn left at the 2nd cross street at N Rim Dr (0.2 mi)
  3. Turn left onto Grand Loop Rd
    Toll road
    May be closed at certain times or days
    (1.2 mi)
  4. Turn left onto N Rim Dr (0.1 mi)
or

From Grand Loop Road, taking North Rim Drive will allow visitors access to: Brink of Lower Yellowstone Falls, Lookout Point, Red Rock Point, Grandview, and Inspiration Point. 

South Rim Drive allows access to: Uncle Tom's Trail and Artist Point

There is a lodge and gas station further up on the North Rim Drive. 

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Yellowstone Lower Falls added by cteicheira Yellowstone Lower Falls  added by cteicheira
Yellowstone Grand Canyon added by cteicheira Yellowstone Grand Canyon added by cteicheira View from Lower Lookout Point Trail added by cteicheira View from Lower Lookout Point Trail added by cteicheira Lower Falls Winter added by cteicheira Lower Falls Winter added by cteicheira View from Uncle Tom's Trail added by cteicheira View from Uncle Tom's Trail added by cteicheira View from Artist Point added by cteicheira View from Artist Point added by cteicheira Lower Falls, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, U by El Jay
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