Tower Falls, Wyoming

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Tower Falls in June 2014

Yellowstone National Park has some truly awesome, amazing waterfalls. Upper and Lower Yellowstone Falls are should be at the top of everyone’s list. But there are many other falls that are easy to visit, and Tower Falls just happens to be one of them.

So let’s start with the positives. Tower Falls is pretty easy to get to. There’s a short hike, and along the way you’re likely to a variety of wildlife. When you arrive at the viewpoint, you’ll be rewarded with a 132′ waterfall. It’s a beautiful waterfall surrounded by beautiful scenery.

So what are the “negatives”…it’s hard to use that term when referring to Yellowstone National Park..the negative is that the trail is currently shorter than it used to be. One used to be able to get to the base of the falls, where the view was more impressive. From the current end of the trail, you’re rather high above the falls, and the trees block off the lowest portion of the falls. That shouldn’t stop you from visiting the falls. The hike is short enough that it doesn’t take a significant amount of time out of your day.

Directions:

  1. From the Hot Springs Visitors Center/Entrance, head east along the road toward Tower-Roosevelt. (You could also head west from Cooke City toward Tower-Roosevelt.) Along the way you’ll pass Undine Falls and Wraith Falls.
  2. At the junction in Tower-Roosevelt, head south toward Canyon Village. (This road is only open from approximately mid-May to mid-October.)
  3. After two or so miles past the junction, you’ll come to the parking area for Tower Falls (which would be on your left if heading south). The parking area was rather popular, so if you want to see the falls, be patient.
  4. From the parking area, follow the trail to the falls.

Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate)
Length of Hike: 0.9 mile round-trip
Height: 132′

Where in the World is Tower Falls?

Wraith Falls, Wyoming

Wraith Falls in mid-July 2015

In Yellowstone National Park, the very well known Lower and Upper Yellowstone Falls can be found. In the park, though, are a number of other waterfalls. While some of the others are widely visited, a few are quieter, which might be nice if you’re looking for something a bit less busy.

Wraith Falls might be a good choice for the “less busy” in Yellowstone. On the hike to the falls, I only passed 2 or 3 other groups of people. I distinctly remember being slightly more worried about bears in the area since this area wasn’t as traversed. I didn’t see any bears or wildlife here, though just down the road, I do remember seeing a bear along a hillside.

The hike to Wraith Falls is fairly straightforward. It’s about 1/2 a mile to the falls from the parking area, which has enough space for 5 or 6 cars. I didn’t have any issue finding parking. The hike goes pretty quickly, and you’ll arrive at the falls in 15 minutes or so. You won’t be able to get particularly close to the falls because of the way the trail is set up. As you might be able to tell from the picture, there is a lot of debris in the way of the falls, preventing you from getting much closer. It’s still an interesting waterfall, looking much like a washboard.

Directions:

  1. Wraith Falls is found along the northern portion of the Grand Loop Road between US-89 and US-212. (I’m not 100% sure what roads are open during what times of the year, so check before you decide to visit if planning for Fall-Spring.)
  2. From Mammoth Hot Springs, head east along the Grand Loop Road.  The pullout for the falls is about 0.5 miles east of the Lava Creek Picnic Area. I don’t remember if the parking area was signed, but it was relatively easy to find.
  3. From the parking area, follow the short trail to the falls. There is a small portion of it that is uphill, but it isn’t difficult.

Accessiblity: 9/10 (easy)
Length of Hike: 1.0 mile round trip
Height: 79′

Where in the World is Wraith Falls?