Trip report #9 – Yellowstone Park – Canyon

Learning that the Canyon area of the park would be closed early due to planned road construction and facility improvements, we made that one of our first areas of exploration.

First up was a visit to the Canyon Visitor Education Center which opened in 2011. Exhibits focus on park geology, and a room-sized relief model provides good information about the park’s geysers, hot springs, volcanic eruptions and glaciers.

We enjoyed lunch in the Canyon dining room, and then spent several hours exploring sights along the one-way North Rim Drive.

No matter how many times I view it, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone always takes my breath away. The beautiful scenery combined with my extreme fear of heights makes for a thrilling experience.

The Canyon is 20 miles long and ranges from 1,500 to 4,000 feet across. Its yellow, pink, orange and buff cliffs drop as much as 1,200 feet on either side. The river tumbles over two massive waterfalls, the roar of which can be heard for miles along the rim.

We walked down the half-mile paved path descending 600 feet to the viewing area of the Brink of the Lower Falls. Admittedly, I had to stop several times coming up to catch my breath. We then took a short walk down the trail to see the Upper Falls and then saw the canyon again from Inspiration Point.

Back in the truck, we took the road to Norris, then headed north back toward Gardiner. We got a good view of some thermal activity at Roaring Mountain, and then stopped at Sheepeater Cliff to admire the autumnal colors.

I’ll close this report with a few more photos. I hope you enjoy them but please know that I find it nearly impossible to capture the beauty of this area. My limited photography skills definitely play a part in that but I think there’s more to it. Seeing the canyon’s colorful walls and spires, and hearing nothing but the river as it launches itself off the two precipices combines for an unworldly experience. I am so grateful to be here at this time to witness it myself.



The beautiful Yellowstone River





The platform at the Lower Falls










Thermal activity at Roaring Mountain











The Sheepeater Cliff area was awash with autumn color.



  1. Colleen
    Sep 27, 2012

    AH! I’ve been waiting for these photos. Nicely done, Janie. Although it is hard to believe fall is making its appearance since we’re still contending with triple digits.

  2. Janie
    Sep 28, 2012

    Ah, thanks, Colleen. Given your talent with a camera, I really appreciate your feedback. Re: weather, while I’m a little concerned about the lower temps in West Yellowstone – we’re headed there on Sunday – there is NOTHING that will get me back into Arizona before those triple-digit days are over!

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *