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To West Thumb & Yellowstone Lake

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, a stunning combination of steep walls of multi-hued rock and dramatic waterfalls (including 308-foot Lower Falls, the tallest in the park), was formed over the eons by volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, glacial movement and erosion by the Yellowstone River. There are numerous trails and viewpoints of the canyon and falls from the north and south rims, but the north rim road was closed for construction when we visited.

An eight-mile loop hike took us from Canyon's parking lot to an active thermal area containing boiling water holes and bubbling mud pots, then through forest past Clear Lake and Lily Pad Lake to the Canyon at Point Sublime. The South Rim Trail past Artist Point and back to the parking lot reveals a kaleidoscope of canyon color.

We stayed two nights in a Canyon Lodge Western Cabin in the Canyon Village area that encompasses a modern Visitor Center, restaurants, post office, general store and campground.



NPS info

  Above: Note green streak at top of waterfall. Below: The canyon walls change color depending on the amount of direct sunlight (morning, noon, dusk).
  Eight-mile hike took us through this active thermal area on the way to Clear Lake (below).