Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River

Wednesday May 30, 2001

On our way back from Cody we stopped at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. There are two waterfalls in the canyon, upper falls and lower falls. Lower falls is by far the more spectacular of the two, but the upper falls have their own charm as well. The day was overcast and rain was threatening and I was really worried that the pictures wouldn't turn out very well, I was especially concerned that the colors wouldn't be as vivid as they would have been if it had been a sunny day. And as pretty as these pictures are they still don't do the canyon justice. It was like looking over an alien landscape, surely colors like that are impossible!?

canyon signThe sign says: "The canyon varies from 800 to 1200 feet in depth and from 1500 to 4000 feet in width. Its length is about 24 miles. The upper 2 miles is the most colorful section. Hot spring activity has continued through the ages altering the lava rock to produce lovely colors which are largely due to varied iron compounds. Have you noticed that steam vents and geysers are still at work on the canyon walls?"
First Glimpse of the Upper Falls through the trees beside the path to the viewing area.Upper Falls of the Yellowstone - picture 4
Upper Falls of the Yellowstone RiverClose-up
The whole thing, pretty huh? That's Chittenden Bridge in the background.Full View of the Upper Falls

After viewing the Upper Falls it's back in the car to go to the Lower Falls and Canyon area, the spot we stopped at was called "Artist Point" and when you see the pictures you'll understand that artists would certainly be inspired by the view. The pictures just don't do the colors justice, it was absolutely breathtaking!

First glimpse of the canyon. First glimpse looking down the canyon from the viewing area. Just wait, it gets even better! (This picture wasn't taken by me, I found it on one of the many Yellowstone web sites, no photographer credits were given.)
Full view of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River and part of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. See what I mean about breathtaking? I couldn't decide which way to point my camera first! Even though the sky was overcast the colors were incredible. Can you imagine how it must look on a clear sunny day?Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River - Full View
Yellowstone River, below the fallsThe rest of the Yellowstone River, below the falls.
Close up of the Falls themselves. Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River, Close Veiw
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone 3Looking back the other direction at the canyon, the colors were just breathtaking, they almost didn't look real. can you imagine the reaction of the very first humans to see this sight? They must have felt that they had stumbled into the legendary home of the Gods.
One more Canyon shot, then we went back to camp. Bittersweet, as this would be our last night in the park. Tomorrow we'll be back on the road towards home.Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River
Next, On the road home...

Page design and all photos copyright to Joelle Miller June 2001 unless otherwise noted. Unauthorized redistribution or reproduction of these images strictly prohibited and punishable by law.