Firehole Falls, Wyoming

There are many memorable waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park. Upper and Lower Yellowstone Falls are probably the main attractions, understandably so. Other falls, like Tower Falls and Gibbon Falls, might play second fiddle, but are still interesting stops. Firehole Falls is a nice waterfall, but probably one of those waterfalls you’d go searching for if you’re really into waterfalls (like me).

A few reasons do exist to view the falls. First, it’s easy to get to. While the road to the falls is one-way (so choose where you start carefully), it’s a short drive, and once you arrive at the falls, you’re there! There’s no hike involved. Second, you’ll probably be one of only a few people there. Some parts of Yellowstone are moderately to crazy busy, depending on the time of year. Firehole Falls is a quiet respite from the crowds. And honestly, I would argue anywhere in Yellowstone is worth the visit!!

Directions:

  1. From the intersection of US-89 and US-20/191/287, head south on US-20/89/191/287 (Grand Loop Road). (There are a lot of numbers for this one road!)
  2. After about 2000 feet or so, turn right onto Firehole Canyon Road. It’s one way, so you can only enter at this point.
  3. Drive a bit less than a mile along Firehole Canyon Road to the waterfall, which will be on your right.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 40′
Length of Hike: roadside

Firehole Falls

Firehole Falls in June 2014

Where in the World is Firehole Falls?

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Gibbon Falls, Wyoming

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!

Directions:
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)
Height: 84′
Length of Hike: Roadside

Gibbon Falls in mid-June 2014

Where in the World is Gibbon Falls?