Thursday, July 25, 2013

Canyon Area of Yellowstone National Park

Island Park, ID                                 (Click on Pictures to Enlarge)

Map Courtesy of NPS
            The above map shows our travels for Wednesday 7/24/13.

Our intention was to travel from the Canyon Village area to the West Thumb area.  This is the remaining section of the "figure 8" we had yet to complete.   Well, you know how fulltimer's plans change.....and they did again today.

We had already explored the area known as the "Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone" on a previous trip by making stops along the south rim.

Today we started our trek along the north rim.  After exploring both sides, let me advise folks who are limited in time, please make it to the north rim.  Although both rims are beautiful in different ways, the north rim enables you to see some beautiful views. This is one of my favorite pictures taken from the area called "Brink of the Lower Falls" looking east.

Crowds at the edge of the Lower Falls
We started here and climbed down a very steep switchback trail to get a closer look at the Lower Falls.

The water flowing over the falls is very clear and the Lower Falls flows approximately 109 feet to the bottom.

Moving along the north rim we came to a place named Lookout Point. Truly nice views of the Lower Falls from this high position.

Closer View of Lower Falls
From Lookout Point we decided to take an even steeper trail down to Red Rock Point. This trail dropped 500 feet in 1/8 mile.  Needless to say, the trail isn't bad going down (unless you have bad knees), but I will admit to stopping several times on the way back up.

Here's Karen as we start back up the trail.  Yes, she still looks pretty rested at this point. That's Lookout Point at the very top of the rocks.

The next stop is called Grand View and is very aptly named.  This is one of those "pictures don't do it justice" moments.  You can see the Lower Falls looking west or the canyon walls looking east. The colors are beautiful!

Our last stop in the Canyon Area was at Inspiration Point. More great views.

From the Canyon Area trails we headed south toward Lake Village and Bridge Bay.  Between these points you pass through the Hayden Valley, home to many species of wildlife in Yellowstone Park. It was now about 4:30 PM and time for the wildlife to start doing their "evening" show.  I guess the word didn't get to any except the bison today, because they were the main drawn.  It literally took about 30 minutes to go about 3 miles.  This is not a complaint, just a warning to anyone traveling through this area of the park during this time of day.

Two calves beside the road
The bisons were everywhere today.  Both sides of the road, crossing the road (which brings the Rangers to the area to assist) and actually running up some of the hills.  What's a blog about Yellowstone without a couple of bison pictures.

Then there was "Big Boy" standing watch beside the road as well.

We finally made it down to West Thumb by late afternoon, but there wasn't nearly as much to see along the way, so we decided to call it a day. We've now traveled all of the main roads in Yellowstone (it only took us 5 trips!) and we're ready to branch out.

Stayed tuned for some hiking and hopefully a boat tour of the Yellowstone Lake in the coming days.

Thanks again for stopping by!


  1. I knew there was still some things we hadn't done at Yellowstone. Actually, our Yellowstone visits have all been short ones we took while we were living in Utah, so they were mostly limited to driving the roads and strolling the boardwalks. We have a lot more to do there ... someday.

    1. Erin it seems like we find something new everytime we go into the Park. We haven't even "hiked" any of the trails yet.

  2. Your canyon shots look very professional.

    1. Thank you for the nice comment. I think I like some of these pictures the best of those I've taken. I think it just has a lot to do with the subject matter. :)

  3. It's been many years since I've visited Yellowstone. Great pictures. I really am looking forward to reading about the boat tour!

  4. Good thing there is no land for sale in Yellowstone or I think you'd be giving up the motorhome and establishing a new stix-n-brix! :cD

    Thanks for showing me all the great things we've been missing all our lives! ;c)

    1. I try to do my best for those who can't "move" yet. haha

  5. Thanks so much for the pictures, I'm so glad you're getting to see all of these beautiful sights.

  6. I'm enjoying reading about your journey through "our" favorite park! We've been there many times and even have our own special spot where we've seen wolves many times! And this post brings the memory of losing one of my gold hoop earrings at Grand Point on a windy day when my finger caught it while tucking my hair behind my ear... and off it sailed down into the gold of the Yellowstone River Canyon! I like to think of it being there in a pack rat nest... Is there still an Osprey nest atop one of the golden spires?

    Enjoy! We've also been to the Mesa Falls Drive, which you wrote about today! I can't recall if you've been over to Red Lodge, but if you go, we highly recommend the bakery!

  7. Not sure about the osprey nest still being there. We came through Red Lodge on the way back to Cody after our drive on the Beartooth Hwy, but running late on time and didn't get a chance to stop in.