Grand Canyon of Yellowstone National Park

A Visit to Wyoming’s Beautiful Canyon Country – Yellowstone Park’s Grand Canyon of has inspired writers, artists, and naturalists for almost 150 years.   With its 24 miles of red and multi-colored rock cliffs and two powerful waterfalls, the v-shaped canyon can be enjoyed by walking along the many wooden boardwalks and viewing stations built around the canyon.

Colors Surpassing Anything on the Globe – The canyon’s rock formations are as inspiring today as they were during the first expeditions into the area in 1869 and 1870.  Lt. Gustavus C. Doane, a Civil War soldier whose beautifully recorded impressions of the area to the U.S. Secretary of War helped turn Yellowstone into the country’s first national park.

Doane recorded the canyon’s striking beauty in his journal during the 1870 Washburn Expedition, and visitors will find his words as true today as they were when they were first documented.

“The walls of the cañon are of gypsum, (and) in some places … (with) lime white as snow. …  In other places, the rock is crystalline and almost wholly sulphur of a dark yellow color, with streaks of red, green and black, caused by the percolations of (the area’s) hot mineral waters. … The combinations of metallic lusters in the coloring of the walls are truly wonderful, surpassing, doubtless, anything of the kind on the face of the globe.”

Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon drops down 800-1200 feet, and is one-quarter to three-fourths of a mile wide.  Visitors can access the canyon’s various lookout points by car via the Grand Loop.  Each point offers exquisite views of the canyon and the falls, so plan to bring your camera, easel, or writing journal and expect to be moved by the majesty of this unique site.

Magical Scenery – Morning and afternoon visits reveal extraordinary views and lighting; and both north and south rims offer great outlooks for picture taking.  Plan a full day to see all of the canyon area.  The scenes from the hills are truly magical with a mixture of colors from the Yellowstone River, the green hills of Haydon Valley, and the canyon’s kaleidoscope of multi-colored, pink, orange, and yellow rocks. Visitors also have a beautiful view of Mt. Washburn, the main peak in the Washburn Range, which towers above the west side of the canyon.  Mt. Washburn is sub-alpine habitat and is home to bighorn sheep, beer, elk, and beautiful wildflowers.

Observation points are easy to access, but the walk down can be steep; access to the Lower Falls is particularly easy, and you can travel down the paths as much as you wish.

The canyon waterfall is beautiful and can be seen for miles. There are many beautiful overlooks, especially at the top of the Lower Falls where you can look over the edge and feel the power and force of the descending water.  The Upper Falls offers a strategic place from which you can watch Osprey soaring above the canyon.

Additionally, there are excellent hiking trails on both sides of the canyon, and a number of trails, both short and long, begin in the canyon area.  Be sure to pack food and water, and envelope yourself in the beauty of America’s first national park.

If you would like to go on the best guided tour of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone we recommend to consider the  ”2-Day Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks Wildlife Adventure,” or the “4-Day Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks Wildlife Adventure.”