Grand Canyon is perhaps the most amazing attraction in the famous Yellowstone National Park. This majestic natural feature is the certain result of erosion, which is now 10,000 years old with the breadth as 4000 feet and depth as 1,200 feet. However, it is not the statistics that makes it breathtaking, rather it is the array of vantage points on this Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, which give you a chance to marvel at the two most stunning cascades namely, the Lower Falls plunging sharply into the canyon (308 feet) and the Upper Falls cascading down 109 feet.
Initially, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone was formed due to the huge volcanic eruptions leading the territory to be covered by the lava of a big subterranean magma chamber and making the chamber’s roof to tumble forming a huge canyon that was just of 30 miles in width and 45 miles in length. These dimensions were further extended by the melting of the glaciers here forming lakes of sand and gravel. Today, this canyon is as a mind-blowing natural wonder of the park, which is just among the perfect setting for photography. So, come here with your cameras.
The best way to explore the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is to catch up with its hiking trails along which there are observation points. Oriented east-west, the trails exists at north and south rims. In early morning, you can obtain the ideal waterfall shots, while in afternoon, capture the photos of gold rocks illuminated by the sun rays along with the below blue river and rainbows.
From north rim
This is accessible from the Canyon Lodge via its one-way route, which holds only trail, three points, and two waterfall thresholds. At first, the Cascade Overlook Trail begins from the Glacial Boulder, stretches 3/4th mile, and then reaches the Silver Cord Cascade Overlook. Next, you will come across the Inspiration Point that facilitates you to spot some wonderful canyon views. There are two ways to do so: from the parking area or by descending 50 steps that offers a comparatively better look. However, the return steep climb is arduous. Then, the North Rim Trail that is somewhat paved takes one to the Brink of the Upper Falls after 3 miles. Before that, be at the Grandview Point that offers good view of the twisting river below. This one is wheelchair accessible. Also from the parking area, explore the Lookout Point offering the first vista at the Lower Falls and Red Rock walk that is only for physically fit people to experience the spray.
Continue on the trail until the edge for watching the Brink of the Lower Falls where over 141,000 liters plunge every second. This hike descends 600 feet due to which it is not meant for the folks with health issues. Lastly, watch for the Brink of Upper Falls, shorter but yet stunning. Be at the overlook here where the squirt forms afternoon rainbows.
From south rim
To explore the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone from here, exit the road from the Canyon hamlet across the river. First, you will see the South Rim Trail that stretches from close to the Chittenden Bridge and passes via the Artist Point as well as the back country. Then, you will spot the Upper Falls via a simple amble to be at the two lookout points of the falls of 33 m.
Next, the Uncle Tom’s Trail includes steps taking you 500 feet down until a lookout platform is seen from where you can enjoy a close look of the Lower Falls. Even this amble is sheer and is not for people with health issues. As a majority of the trail is of perforated steel sheets, you need to caver with flat-soled shoes. Lastly, you reach the Artist Point that is most captured view of the cascade meeting the canyon down. This indicates why this point is named so.
Early May to October as for the rest of the times, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is mostly not accessible. Most of it is only open for snowmobile tours or snow coaches all depending on the weather at the time of the winter months.
The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is close to the Canyon Village. To reach here, from the northeast entrance, drive for 38 miles or 43 miles from the east both of which are on the Grand Loop Road.