Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River

Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon runs for about 20 miles, but the best part is around Upper and Lower Falls (109 and 308 feet respectively), very close to Canyon Lodge where we were staying. We spent two full days hiking the various trails around the rim.

Day 1

We started with two short, steep trails which each dropped 5-600 feet from the North Rim to overlook Lower Falls. We managed to climb back up the first one without stopping, and were complimented by a young man as follows: “Wow! I don’t want to make any judgements about age, but my kids’ grandparents couldn’t have done that!” I wasn’t sure whether to be flattered, or to be insulted that he obviously thought we looked too ancient to manage such a feat. I think I’ll stick with flattered…

Brink of Lower falls
Red Rock Point
Artist Point and Point Sublime Trail

From Red Rock Point, we drove round to Artist Point on the South Rim. The trail from here to Point Sublime displayed the multi-hued rocks of the canyon to perfection.

Ribbon Lake Trail

We then followed the Ribbon Lake Trail – lots of bird life here.

My Fitbit measured over 30,000 steps that day – the first and only time this has happened!

Day 2

On our second day in the Canyon, we returned to Artist Point and hiked a loop, taking in the South Rim and Clear Lake Trails, which provided an amazing variety of scenery.

South Rim Trail

From Artist Point we set off on the South Rim Trail. As we walked along the canyon edge, we could see the North Rim viewpoints we had visited a few days before – Red Rock Point and Brink of Lower Falls.


Just before we reached the falls, we came to a diversion at Uncle Tom’s Trail.

Uncle Tom's Trail
Uncle Tom’s Trail

Now rope ladders would have been beyond me, but steps I can manage. I won’t pretend that I wasn’t completely out of breath by the time I got back to the top though!

We continued along the South Rim past Upper Falls before re-joining the road at the Wapiti Lake Trailhead where we had our picnic.

Clear Lake Trail

From the other end of the trailhead, Clear Lake Trail led off and the scenery changed completely. First, there was an open meadow to cross.

Eventually, the smell of sulphur assaulted our nostrils and we emerged from a small patch of forest to find the hydrothermal area of Clear Lake with acid-bleached driftwood and boiling mudpots – a complete contrast in its desolation.

Eventually, we met Ribbon Lake Trail again and had the same walk back to Artist Point as on Day 1. It seems no-one can resist photographing the canyon walls.

Yellowstone surprises round every corner. In this small area we encountered painted cliffs, waterfalls, meadows, sulphurous lakes and boiling mudpots. Could it get any more amazing? Well, maybe it could – next up, Mammoth Springs! In the meantime, this post is linked to Jo’s Monday Walks. Hop over there for blue Portuguese skies and a selection of other cyber-rambling.


86 thoughts on “Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River

  1. Eunice November 7, 2016 / 11:53

    Some amazing photos here, the colours of the canyon walls are fantastic. I think even I would have been out of breath going back up those steps, though I would also have been brave enough (or insane??) to tackle the rope ladder.

    Incidentally, in reply to your last comment on my blog (as I don’t seem to be able to post a reply to a reply!) I’m wondering if the problems I’m having are because I’m using the free version so there aren’t as many features or options as the paid versions?


    • Anabel Marsh November 7, 2016 / 12:08

      Thanks Eunice! I’m just using the free version too. As far as comments go, if you look at the Discussion section in Settings there’s a drop-down menu where you can say how many comments you want in a thread. If you increase the number, that should allow replies to replies!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Eunice November 7, 2016 / 14:40

        Thanks for that, I’ve altered now so I’ll see what happens 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. restlessjo November 7, 2016 / 11:59

    You’re getting fitter by the second, Anabel! How very dare they???? Lovely trails and thank you very much. 🙂 🙂 Weather’s putting a dampener on walking here but I suppose it is November 😦


    • Anabel Marsh November 7, 2016 / 12:12

      I know! But he said it sincerely and I think he did mean it as a compliment so I’ll take it as such. It’s bright here at the moment so I hope to get out after lunch. We had two lovely walks at the weekend – I might take a break from Yellowstone, which is overwhelming me a bit, and write them up soon.


      • restlessjo November 7, 2016 / 12:24

        I know what you mean. I have a couple of autumnal ones that I think I’ll do next as Autumn is fast departing. Snow tomorrow, I hear! 🙂


        • Anabel Marsh November 7, 2016 / 12:31

          Yes, it was very frosty here this morning and the Tomintoul road up north has already been closed by snow. Brrr!


  3. nomad, interrupted November 7, 2016 / 12:03

    How wonderful. I haven’t been to Yellowstone since 1979 and I forgot how amazing it is. Your photos really capture some magnificent scenes. And you should definitely be flattered by that young man’s comment, although I myself am always taken aback when people are surprised to see someone my age doing any kind of physical activity. 🙂


    • Anabel Marsh November 7, 2016 / 12:14

      Thanks – it is wonderful, and so much variety of scenery. And I agree, it was a compliment if rather a back-handed one!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pit November 7, 2016 / 12:49

    Hi Anabel,
    Thanks for taking me with you on that tour. Much easier for me to just virtually climb! 😉 But seriously: you did very well. And maybe we’ll manage to ge up there some day, too. It’s still on our bucket list – as is the Colorado’s Grand Canyon and the lesser known, but quite long Palo Duro Canyon here in Texas.
    Have a great week,


    • Anabel Marsh November 7, 2016 / 13:07

      Thanks Pit! We’ve been to the Grand Canyon but not Palo Duro Canyon – will have to add that to the ever-lengthening list.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pit November 7, 2016 / 13:10

        So your bucket list is an ever-growing one, too! I was just thinking that when I saw Jo’s Monday Walk posting: there are way too many beautiful places to visit, even just here in the USA.


  5. Heyjude November 7, 2016 / 13:12

    You deeply impress me with all your hiking and walking! I would have avoided those steps like the plague, steps are my worst nightmare as they severely strain my knees. For a couple of ‘oldies’ you do alright 😉

    Lovely photos too..


    • Anabel Marsh November 7, 2016 / 13:24

      Thank you Jude! My knees don’t like steps too much, nor do my hips or my ankles, but these were quite shallow so they weren’t too bad. Anyway, you can’t kid me, I know you go up and down that hill beside your house like a mountain goat these days 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Suzanne et Pierre November 7, 2016 / 14:23

    Certainly brings back lots of nice memories of our trip to Yellowstone. Very nice pics. (Suzanne)


  7. hilarymb November 7, 2016 / 14:42

    Hi Anabel – Monday’s Walk – eh?! That’s enough for me for a few donkey years … no I’ve never been a good walker … fine with sports … but walking – no … if I’d known I’d had a birth defective hip that’ve helped! I admire you walking those paths … but amazing scenery and yes one day I’d love to visit … thanks for the pics etc … cheers Hilary


    • Anabel Marsh November 7, 2016 / 14:58

      Ok, Monday’s several walks! Though it was spread over two days and they weren’t consecutive which helped.


  8. Liesbet November 7, 2016 / 14:47

    Those walks are amazing! You did so much in those two days; I can imagine the exhaustion, but who could resist all this scenery… I never had 30,000 steps on my Fitbit yet. Impressive! My maximum is 26,000 (Acadia NP). Those waterfalls are still running well for the time of the year. That’s good to know. Looking forward to the next part – and a real visit, of course… Wow!


    • Anabel Marsh November 7, 2016 / 15:00

      That’s still the one and only time I’ve reached 30,000! None of the trails we did was all that long – there were just so many and we wanted to see everything so it all added up.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. cassam101 November 7, 2016 / 15:31

    Amazing scenery! It must have been wonderful to see. Those steps are so steep,I could never have managed them.


  10. November 7, 2016 / 16:37

    I truly hope that I’m able to get to Yellowstone sooner rather than later. It looks so incredibly beautiful and I want to be able to hike the trails to those amazing vistas. When we were in Yosemite recently, we were disheartened to see so many of the trees in distress due to climate change and the drought. It looks like Yellowstone is in much better shape.


    • Anabel Marsh November 7, 2016 / 17:30

      I hope you do too – you are the opposite to me, I haven’t been to Yosemite yet. Some day!


  11. dormousetidings November 7, 2016 / 19:12

    Beautiful photos! This post made me want to put on my hiking boots 🙂


  12. Birgit November 8, 2016 / 00:56

    This is amazing! Beautiful scenery and love the birdies. I could never be that close to falling to my death…hahahaaa. I am not as fit as you and believe this man totally meant it as a compliment.


  13. Coral Waight November 8, 2016 / 03:39

    Gosh, congratulations on doing all that. Worth it by the look of the scenery.


  14. Blue Sky Scotland November 8, 2016 / 09:33

    Well done on all those stairs and nice to see some birds I’m not familiar with but look related to UK and Australian blackbirds,Jays, and thrushes. Funny how evolution produces similar looking species in all the different continents and countries to fill certain roles. ie…you can tell a Kookaburra is still a kingfisher in a desert setting and so on…
    Looks a great holiday trip.


  15. Ann Coleman November 8, 2016 / 14:11

    All the photos were great, but I especially loved the ones of the Falls, both upper and lower! And you and your husband really are in good shape if you could do those walks and stairs. But I supposed the reward of those fabulous views is a good motivation!


    • Anabel Marsh November 8, 2016 / 14:54

      Motivation, yes, though I won’t say I didn’t get out of breath or moan a bit along the way!


  16. Jill November 8, 2016 / 17:21

    Hey Anabel, I got an interesting visual of the sulphur “assaulting your nostrils” (cute little sulphur guys with swords were fencing inside your nose…I know, I have quite the imagination). I agree, I think he meant it as a compliment. Age is relative anyway, as I spoke with a woman in her seventies who thinks 70 is young. And so it is, and so are you! Be well. ps. I changed my blog’s identity. Jill xx


    • Anabel Marsh November 8, 2016 / 19:58

      Oh, so you have! I was actually wondering earlier today what had happened to you. I’m off to change my Feedly account to your new address…..

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jill November 8, 2016 / 23:37

        I do tend to disappear now and again, but I always reappear 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Sarah Ferguson and Choppy November 8, 2016 / 18:52

    I need to go back to Yellowstone just to do more hiking! Also, I think Paul and I picnicked at that same place on our honeymoon.

    As for Fitbit, only once did I get 30,000 steps (the same day I got 35,000) – I think I walked something like fifteen or twenty miles around town and a carnival. I’ve never gotten close again!


  18. BeckyB November 9, 2016 / 12:26

    Breathtakingly stunning . . . .what an incredible trip you are having.


    • Anabel Marsh November 9, 2016 / 13:13

      “Were” having. And glad we did it this year. America is off the itinerary for at least the next four!

      Liked by 1 person

      • BeckyB November 9, 2016 / 13:17

        I know……dreadful news. I’m just hoping the campaign rhetoric was just that and a reasonable president will emerge from this orange shell on 20th January!


  19. Donna November 9, 2016 / 15:54

    Thank you for this very inspiring post and photos, Anabel. You have totally rekindled my wanderlust!


  20. Jessica (Diverting Journeys) November 9, 2016 / 18:59

    I probably should have read this post a couple days ago when you posted it, because it’s hard to be reminded of America at the moment, but nevertheless, it does look like a very nice walk, even though I wouldn’t be keen on all those steps! I agree that they’re an improvement over rope ladders though!


    • Anabel Marsh November 9, 2016 / 19:09

      It’s a bad day! This will be my last US trip for some time I fear.


      • Jessica (Diverting Journeys) November 9, 2016 / 19:24

        I wish I could say the same, but I’m sure I will have to go for visits at some point, possibly in the near future. Even though my family are all Trump supporters, which makes me even less keen to go back than I was already. 😦


    • Anabel Marsh November 10, 2016 / 15:21

      Not challenging in itself – just long! Glad you liked the views.


  21. inesephoto November 11, 2016 / 21:22

    Marvelous scenery and beautiful photographs. The steps are so steep, I would be seriously scared if some strangers were around me… I would feel claustrophobic regardless of all the space.


  22. Minimal Belle November 13, 2016 / 19:00

    Stunning pictures! I feel as though I am on the trail with you. Thanks for sharing.


  23. claudiabookwright November 14, 2016 / 16:49

    I’m coming back into the land of the living and enjoying your blog greatly. These photos are gorgeous! As dramatic as the land.


    • Anabel Marsh November 14, 2016 / 17:06

      Thank you. John wields the camera as you have seen! I’m finding blogging a slow process at the moment – so many photos to sift. I think it’ll be next summer before I’m done.


  24. ventisqueras November 19, 2016 / 01:01

    che grande avventura in questo mondo meraviglioso!
    le immagini meravigliose mi hanno fatto vivere un po’ delle emozioni da voi provate
    Grazie mille1 Annalisa


  25. Bespoke Traveler November 20, 2016 / 20:58

    So hard to have a preference for one part of Yellowstone versus another, but after seeing all those otherworldly hot spring pools and geysers, the Grand Canyon and its amazing waterfall was just an astonishing sight. Happy the two of you enjoyed it too. Also, there is no age limit to being adventurous!


  26. Gibbers November 26, 2016 / 11:17

    I’ve always wanted to visit Yellowstone, and your photos have just confirmed my need to go there! Plus I love a good hike! 😀


    • Anabel Marsh November 26, 2016 / 11:42

      Oh definitely go when you can – it’s one of the most amazing places I’ve seen.


  27. jazzfeathers November 27, 2016 / 20:35

    It is absolutely amazing. We always hear about Yellowstone, but honestly I had never fully understand why it is so popular.
    Well, I’d say it isn’t jus tpopular, it’s also a beautiful patch of our word. Thanks so much for sharing this experience.


    • Anabel Marsh November 27, 2016 / 20:47

      Even better to come! Eventually. I’ve lost my blogging mojo a bit at the moment.


I'd love to hear what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s