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Canyon Area Overlooks – Upper, Lower, Crystal Falls – Yellowstone National Park
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Overview
Location

Yellowstone National Park

Sights

3 large waterfalls

Time Required

20 minutes to a full day

Pets

No

Fees

$25 park entrance fee

Water Info

None, bring your own

Best Season

Any

Sun Exposure

Bring sunscreen

Restrooms

Yes

Visitor Center

Yes

Camping

Yes

Food

Yes

Driving Directions



The Trail:

The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is one of the most beautiful places you will ever see. It is very popular and thus, can be very crowded. There are several overlooks and hikes that make exploring the area a lot of fun. You can drive to each spot or use the South, and North Rim Trails to visit each area. Here is a short video of each of the 3 waterfalls.

I will start my guide with the Brink of Upper Falls. It is a short 1/8th mile walk to the brink and is an awesome sights. Its crazy how much water comes off the 109 foot falls.

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From the brink parking lot there is a trail heading north to a 3rd waterfall that very few people even know exists. It is very beautiful and definitely worth a short walk. It is called Crystal Falls and is 129 feet tall.

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You can also get to the brink of Crystal Falls from the Brink of Lower Falls trail.

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Next up is the South Rim Drive. The first stop here is the Uncle Toms trail head. This spot offers the best views of Upper Falls.

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The Uncle Toms Trail might just be my very favorite hike in Yellowstone and is an amazing view of Lower Falls. It can be a very tiring hike down some very steep and incredible staircases.Check out our Trek of Uncle Toms.

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The last stop on the South Rim Drive is called Artist Point. This is probably the busiest of the overlooks but offers incredible views of the canyon, and Lower Falls.

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Next up our trip will visit the North Rim Drive. First up is the Brink of Lower Falls trail head. This is an awesome trail that switchbacks down the canyon wall to the brink of the top of the 308 foot falls. This is probably the most well known waterfall in North America. Check out our in depth trek for the Brink of Lower Falls.

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From the parking area for the brink there are pretty views down into the canyon without having to hike. Look across the canyon and see if you can spot the crazy stairs of Uncle Toms Trail.

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Next up the road is Lookout Point. The views of the canyon rim are excellent from here and you can take the Red Rock Point Trail to see amazing views of Lower Falls. Check out our full Trek on Red Rock Point.

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If you keep your eyes open you may be rewarded with a nice view of Osprey and their nests.

Next up is Grandview Point. It offers more fantastic views of Lower Falls, and the colorful canyon walls.

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The last overlook is Inspiration Point. This is probably the most unique as it lacks the views of Lower Falls. I think it is still one of my favorites though as you get to see a longer section of the narrow canyon.

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The Return:

The North Rim Trail will pop you out at the Canyon Visitor Center where there are great displays and food to be had.

 


Personal Thoughts:

The canyon area is probably the second most popular part of Yellowstone but it never gets old and leaves me in awe no matter how many times I visit.

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Ratings (out of 10)
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Difficulty
3.0
Technicality
3.0
Enjoyment
9.0
The Bottom Line

Difficulty is basically the length, duration and stress of the Trek. If the Trek is really long then it will receive a higher rating. If the Trek is short then it won't receive that high of a rating. However, difficulty rating also includes how tired we were at the end of the Trek.

Technicality is how strenuous the Trek is. If there is lots of bouldering or if there is bushwhacking involved then the rating will be higher. Technicality also includes if there are steep inclines or the need for ropes and other equipment.

Enjoyment is strictly how much fun we had doing the Trek. Regardless of how tired and exhausted we were, if we had a ton of fun doing the Trek then it will receive a higher rating.

9.0
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About The Author
Josh1990
I love adventure! I live in Cache Valley, Utah. Do you have questions on any of my Treks? Email me @ joshua.oyler@gmail.com

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