Lower Yellowstone Falls, Wyoming

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Lower Yellowstone Falls in June 2014

I visited Yellowstone National Park five years ago, and yet I’m just now getting to one of the major features of the park, Lower Yellowstone Falls. Upper and Lower Yellowstone Falls are stunningly beautiful, and they’re definitely worth seeking out if you’re in the park.

With Old Faithful and so many other geysers, Mammoth Hot Springs, and the wildlife, it can be difficult to choose what to do. And you should plan enough time to visit all of them. But you should also plan to visit a number of waterfalls, and if you only have time for a few, the falls on the Yellowstone River are probably the best to choose. The scenery around the falls is amazing.

The falls are very easy to get to and visit. They can be accessed just south of Canyon Village. From the North Rim Drive, Inspiration Point, Grandview Point and Lookout Point all give different views of the Lower Falls. From the South Rim Drive, Artists Point gives a view of the Lower Falls. As a waterfall fan, I believe I stopped at a number of these viewpoints since each stop is unique. Uncle Tom’s Trail is found on the South Rim, and that also leads down to a view of the falls. I did not do that, as I’m not a big fan of stairs/heights. No matter what, you’ll be able to find a wonderful view of the falls.

Directions:

  1. Canyon Village is found at the intersection of Norris Canyon Road and Grand Loop Road.
  2. From that intersection, head south on Grand Loop Road, drive approximately 2 miles and you’ll find the N Rim Drive and S Rim Drive. Choose which viewpoint you want to visit, and that will help decide whether you want the North Rim or South Rim.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 308′
Length of Hike: variable, but often negligible

Where in the World is Lower Yellowstone Falls?

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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?