GRAND CANYON OF YELLOWSTONE
The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, aptly named after its Arizonian counterpart, was created by the Yellowstone River and is a breathtaking geologic feature within the park. About 20 miles long, the canyon stretches up to 4,000-feet wide and can plunge up to 1,200-feet deep. The canyon’s geologic heritage can be traced in the rock’s yellow, red, pink and white colors—mineral stains betraying the locations of steam vents and hot springs.
The Yellowstone River feeds three spectacular falls in the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone: the Lower Falls, Upper Falls and Crystal Falls.
The Lower Falls, despite its name, is Yellowstone’s tallest waterfall—standing twice as high as Niagara Falls. Runoff varies depending on the season, but visitors find the greatest flow in the spring. Your best views are at Red Rock Point, Brink of the Lower Falls Trail, Uncle Tom’s Trail, Artist Point and along the South Rim Trail.
The Upper Falls are much smaller than the Lower Falls—a 109-foot cascade of water vs. the Lower Fall’s 308-foot drop. Check out the cascades at the Brink of the Upper Falls platform or along Uncle Tom’s Trail.
Crystal Falls is perhaps the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone’s least-known waterfall, falling between the Upper and Lower Falls. These falls are formed by the outpouring water from Cascade Creek into the canyon below and can be seen at points from the South Rim Trail.