Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is an awe-inspiring gorge with rock formations of pink and yellow hues and several immense waterfalls. The canyon, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) long, is a major highlight of Yellowstone National Park. Hike trails surrounding this spectacular gorge and enjoy exceptional vistas.
Find an ideal viewing platform and capture photos of the canyon’s colorful rocks, which formed due to chemical reactions from old hot springs and steam vents. Look closely to see wisps of steam. Gaze into the abyss, 1,200 feet (370 meters) deep in parts. Go to the platform of Lookout Point for scenic views. Grand View and Artist Point also offer excellent photo opportunities on either side of the gorge.
Among the most scenic features of the canyon is Lower Falls, a waterfall that drops 308 feet (94 meters) into the valley. Make your way to the Brink of the Lower Falls lookout area for the best views.
Bring food and drinks for a picnic in the shade of a tree, with the canyon serving as an idyllic backdrop. Hear the rush of water at Upper Falls, which plunges 109 feet (33 meters) to the canyon floor. In the heart of the valley flows the Yellowstone River, which begins in Yellowstone Lake to the south. Fish in the park for rainbow trout, brown trout and Yellowstone cutthroat trout.
Learn about the geology and ecology of this landmark with a trip to the Canyon Visitor Education Center in the nearby Canyon Village complex. Climb to the peak of Mount Washburn, starting from Dunraven Pass north of the canyon.
Note that the canyon formed due to erosion rather than glaciation. The Yellowstone River is gradually continuing the erosion process today.
The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is in the northwestern corner of the state of Wyoming. It is part of Yellowstone National Park, which is best traversed by car. View the park’s geysers and visit nearby landmarks, such as Yellowstone Lake and Grand Teton National Park. Watch for bison, elk and other wildlife while driving through the country’s first national park.