Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, a wonder of nature!

Rusty rock walls with forming red, yellow, white, and pink hues, washed by the Yellowstone River. Two amazing waterfalls within a half mile of one another The Upper and Lower Falls and the one lesser known called Crystal Falls.

The site is a caldera of a huge ancient volcano whose remains represent the largest volcanic system in North America. A geologically still active volcano, but with no immediate danger of eruption. The complex geologic history of the whole park is expressed by geysers, hot springs, the river with many falls, a rainbow mix of colors that mark the locations of hot springs and steam vents in the canyon walls.

Therefore, a spectacular landform with dramatic colors and shapes that will amaze anyone who sets eyes on it!

First of all, take time to see Yellowstone Grand Canyon from both sides, the north and the south one. However, half of day can be easily spent here. Above all, the canyon is roughly 24 miles (39 km) and is accessible by vehicle. So, take a leisurely drive on the North and South Rim Drives, park at various spots along the way to see in all its glory the canyon and the waterfalls.

Certainly, these two roads are the only way the canyon is accessible by vehicle and both will bring you to the canyon’s edge to gaze from several hundred feet, down at the Yellowstone River in the bottom of the canyon.

grand canyon 1
grand canyon 2
grand canyon 3


North Rim Drive

begins 1.2 miles (1.9 km) south of Canyon Junction and leads you to four accessible views of the canyon, each featuring a different aspect of the canyon features.

South Rim Drive

begins 2.3 miles (3.7 km) south of Canyon Junction and leads you to views of Upper Falls and of Lower Falls.

On the North Rim Drive and the South Rim Drive you will have the chance to admire:

Agate Creek

Agate creek

the Agate Creek Trail showcases some of the best Yellowstone National Park has to offer: wildlife, thermal features, open views, and the silence of solitude;

Artist Point

Artist point

an overlook point on the edge of a cliff on the south rim of the Grand Canyon, that offer a memorable perspective of of the Canyon and the Lower Falls;

Calcite Springs

Calcite springs

overlook a dramatic narrowest section of the Yellowstone River with bleached cliffs and white slopes that emits a Sulphur smell that can be overwhelming;

Cascade Creek

Cascade creek

pretty meadow through which Cascade Creek flows; the outfall of Cascade Creek into the canyon forms the lesser known, falls, called Crystal Falls.

Inspiration Point

Inspiration Point

a natural observation point over the rim, one that offer panoramic views up and down the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River;

Grand View

Grand View

amazing viewpoint to west towards the Lower Falls and to east along the Yellowstone river canyon

Seven Mile Hole

Seven Mile Hole

The only trail in this area that leads to the bottom of the canyon. A strenuous, steep round trip of 10.2 miles;

Point Sublime

Point Sublime

offers views that can’t be seen from a car. It is 3 miles round trip to Point Sublime with a gradual 250 feet of elevation gain;

Overhanging Cliff

Overhanging Cliff

a cliff of vertical basalt that overhangs the Grand Loop Road;

Lookout Point

Lookout Point

achieves an impressive view of Lower Falls in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River;

Silver Cord

Silver Cord Cascade

It is considered the tallest waterfall in Yellowstone.

Brink of the Upper Falls

A dramatic vantage point for viewing the thundering 109-foot waterfall as plunges over Upper Falls. So, you can go there as a spur off North Rim, or as a short standalone hike. Above all, it worth to take the 0.25 miles round trip from the parking area to the Brink of the Upper Falls, with 75 feet of elevation change, to witness the Lower Falls power. The water hits the floor with such a force that you’ll see the foam and spray from hundreds of feet high above the base.

However, you will also find a number of short trails accessible from the North and South Rim Drives, trails that will take you down into the canyon, each with a different view of the falls.

Lower Falls

The tallest waterfall in the park with a height of 308 feet.

Lower falls

The Crystal Falls

Created by the outfall of Cascade Creek into the canyon.

Crystal falls

Upper Falls

A breathtaking, powerful, 109-foot cascade. Lovely scenery.

Upper falls

Things to do

For example, pick a trail and go for a hike;
Definitely, get to the overlooks by car and a short walk;
Also, go on jeep tours;
In the same way, take a helicopter tour;
Or, maybe, go horseback riding;
Moreover, learn about the geology, wildlife, and history at Canyon Visitor Education Center;
Also, go see a rainbow over the waterfall;
Then, discover why artists and photographers continue to be drawn to Artist Point;
Furthermore, visit the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River during winter.
And, find out about the skiing and snowshoeing opportunities around;

Over the year

Yellowstone has something to offer every month of the year, but you should consider that, from early November to mid-April, park roads are closed to regular vehicles.

Therefore you should always check the status of park roads and road construction, also the opening-closing dates and the weather conditions.

In winter

from early November to mid-April,  rivers and lakes freeze and snowstorms transform the park into a snow-covered wonderland with fewer crowds, frigid temperatures, and steaming geyser basins.
As a result, during winter, you can get to the Grand Canyon, and other popular destinations in Yellowstone National Park, by skis, snowshoes, snowcoaches, and snowmobiles.


In spring

between April and May, you’ll enjoy a less crowded trip. For instance, the services are still limited, but you’re very likely to be rewarded with viewings of baby animals all throughout the park.
Besides, you can go both, hiking on lower elevations, or skiing/snowshoeing on higher elevations. And, for sure, you will admire the abundance of wildflowers: buttercups, shooting stars, pasqueflower glacier lilies, bitterroot.

In summer

June-July-August is the busiest season but it’s also a beautiful time of year to visit. For sure, in June you can enjoy the  waterfalls flowing at full volume, wildflowers like arrowleaf balsamroot and songbirds in full song. In contrast, in July river levels drop opening up many backcountry campsites. And, mostly because of high temperatures, in August wildfire smoke can obscure views.


In fall

from September to October, finally you’ll have comfortable days and chilly evenings. Above all, you will enjoy the crisp mountain air and an array of colorful foliage.


The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River is located south of Canyon Village in the middle of Yellowstone National Park, at an average elevation of 8,000 feet (2,400 m) above sea level.

So, this means that you’ll have to get first to the Yellowstone National Park which is located the mountain ranges of the Middle Rocky Mountains. Therefore, in the western United States in Idaho(1%), Montana (3%), and Wyoming (96%).

Gran Cañón

How to get there

The nearest airports to Yellowstone National Park are:

  • Southwest Montana’s Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN). And, is convenient to Yellowstone North (89 miles) or West entrance (91 miles);
  • Idaho Falls Regional Airport (IDA). And, is convenient to Yellowstone West entrance (109 miles);
  • Jackson Hole Airport. And, is convenient to Yellowstone South entrance (49 miles);
  • Yellowstone Airport (WYS) is located at West Yellowstone, Montana. And, is convenient to Yellowstone West Entrance (3 miles); But, it’s during summer only. Most noteworthy, this one is the closest airport to the Yellowstone.
  • Yellowstone Regional Airport in Cody (COD). And, is convenient to Yellowstone East entrance (55 miles).

Four major Interstates that will bring you within close proximity to Yellowstone National Park

  • First, Interstate 90 is North of Yellowstone;
  • Second, Interstate 80 is South of Yellowstone;
  • Third, Interstate 15 is to the West of Yellowstone;
  • Forth, Interstate 25 is to the East.

Five entrances to Yellowstone National Park

  • East Entrance through Cody, Wyoming, accessed via Cody on U.S. Highways 14, 16, and 20. Therefore, enter the Yellowstone Lake Region of the park;
  • North Entrance through Gardiner, Montana, via U.S. Hwy. 89, that runs from Livingston south to Gardiner, Montana through the Paradise Valley. Therefore, enter the park in the Mammoth Hot Springs Region;
  • Northeast Entrance through the Beartooth Mountains, via U.S. Hwy. 212 and the Beartooth Highway. Therefore, enter in Tower/Roosevelt Region of the park;
  • South Entrance through Grand Teton National Park, via Jackson Hole and Moran on U.S. Highways 191/89/287; Therefore, enter the park in the Old Faithful Region.
  • West Entrance through the town of West Yellowstone, via West Yellowstone on U.S. Highways 191 and 287. Therefore, enter in the Madison Region of the park.

Certainly, always make sure that the entrance you wish to use is accessible for the season.

Yellowstone National Park

To get to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone no matter which entrance you’ll use, you’ll pass thru the Yellowstone National Park. Here you will find a rich collection of natural wonders. So, you may want to take the time to see some other amazing things like:

Chittenden Road

up Mountain Washburn, the road that takes you to a higher point where the views are priceless

Hayden Valley

which is notorious grizzly country;

Lamar Valley

famous for its abundance of wildlife and the most famous petrified forests;

Lower Geiser Basin

with all kind of geothermal features like geysers, mud pots, fumaroles, hot springs, and the Fountain Paint Pots, with bubbling colorful mud;

Mammoth Hot Spring

the famous terraces where the multi colored travertine has been dissolved and brought to the surface.

Mud Volcano

with its noxious odor caused by sulfur, which also claims responsibility for the hissing and gurgling of the mud;

Norris Geiser Basin

with the hottest geyser basin in the park and also the largest geyser in the world – Steamboat Geyser;

Tower Falls

one of the most popular year-round sights, the dramatic 132-foot waterfall;

Upper Geyser Basin

with the highest concentration of geothermal features;

Yellowstone Lake

which is the largest alpine lake in North America;

Useful information

Noteworthy, the nearest town to the canyon region is West Yellowstone, Montana. Is located at 40 miles from Canyon Village out of the West entrance
Surely, there are no television in Yellowstone National Park;
Equally important, most hotels and lodge rooms have a telephone but the cabins do not;
Certainly, plan that you will not have cell phone service available, you’ll have 3G service only on some higher locations;
Of course, a few of the lodges have Wi-Fi;
Finally, make dining reservations in advance, when you book your rooms.

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is a wonder of nature!

What do you think about the article? Please rate it.

Also, you can take a look at other Journeys.

[Total: 1    Average: 5/5]

post a comment