Although there was a huge flood in Yellowstone just over a month ago there was very little of the park that was closed to visitors. We took full advantage of that and saw everything that the park had to offer. When most people think of Yellowstone, they probably think of Old Faithful, but there is so much more to the park than that. We did a few longer hikes, and a lot of short hikes. We saw beautiful rivers and waterfalls and canyons. Even the meadows along the river were amazingly beautiful. I am very grateful to the Hayden expedition, congress, and to President Grant for making Yellowstone the first national park in the world.
The grand canyon of Yellowstone was really grand, and maybe my favorite of the trip. There are two huge waterfalls, upper and lower. Here is a view of the lower falls — which are 308 feet tall! For comparison Niagara is 167 feet but Iguazu falls are 360. I looked it up so you get to read it!
We started out our visit to the grand canyon of Yellowstone at artist point, supposedly named for some paintings made by the artist Thomas Moran who was part of the Hayden expedition. Moran painted the falls to present to congress because after discovering Yellowstone they knew that it needed to be preserved and wanted to persuade congress to preserve this place for future generations.
But this is a mistake, he actually made the paintings from the north rim. Nevertheless its a great view point and you could definitely be inspired to paint there.
From the north side of the canyon You can take a ¾ mile hike down to the brink of the upper falls. Its a 600 foot elevation change but you get to stand and look right over the falls.
Sometimes you can happen upon something really nice just by taking a short little offshoot of the main road. These are wonderful stops without the crowds that you see at some of the main attractions.
This has been a wonderful trip. Tomorrow we leave Yellowstone and begin the two day trek back home. We will make a stop at Devils Tower tomorrow night, and then have a marathon day back to the cabin in Wisconsin on Friday.