Sometimes the order I post is based on random chance, but when I take a trip, I will usually post the first waterfall I see in that state. Yesterday, I posted about the first Montana waterfall, Ousel Falls. Today, the first waterfall I saw in Wyoming…Gibbon Falls.
Gibbon Falls is a nice waterfall, though it is not the most interesting or photogenic in Yellowstone National Park. That crown is held by the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone, which is a wildly, wildly photogenic waterfall, but I’ll save that for a different post. But Yellowstone National Park is full of amazing geysers, waterfalls, chances to view wildlife, and it’s all pretty easy to see because of the way the road system was set up 130 years ago! So as you’re driving along, you’ll see an area to pull off for Gibbon Falls. There are a number of different places to view the falls. I found that the best viewpoint was actually in between the two unofficial viewpoints.
Gibbon Falls is about 84′ tall, and it’s “claim to fame” is that it’s at the edge of the caldera formed by the volcanic explosion 640,000 years ago. This caldera has undergone some erosion due to glaciation, and is extremely large, so it is nowhere near as noticeable as Crater Lake’s caldera. It’s amazing to me to think that you’re standing inside a massive volcano that is still active!
There are five entrances to the park, so you choose which one works best for you. The entrance closest to Gibbon Falls is likely the West Entrance (near West Yellowstone), which as I mentioned before, was the “easier” entrance compared to the North Entrance. The falls are found halfway between Madison and Norris, and are clearly marked on the park map, and there is very good signage. It’s a worthwhile stop.
Accessibility: 10/10 (easy, wheelchair accessible, I think)
Length of Hike: Roadside
Where in the World is Gibbon Falls?