​Yellowstone's Grand Canyon: Things to Know

Yellowstone is known for many things; the paragon of all geysers “Old Faithful”, bison that still roam in herds, and unspoiled wildlife in pristine backcountry. If that’s all you associate with Yellowstone National Park, however, you’re missing something amazing. Among its lesser-known features is a Grand Canyon of stunning size and beauty.

Not to be confused with the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River is nearly as impressive. Here at Scenic Safaris, we believe wholeheartedly that everyone should experience this jewel of American backcountry at least once in their lives.

Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon Unveiled
Again, since Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon is typically overshadowed by “the” Grand Canyon, many people don’t even know it exists. Yet it is a stunning example of water’s incredible power to change a landscape over time. Just above the canyon are the Upper and Lower Yellowstone Falls, which tumble more than 100 and 300 feet, respectively.

Below the falls, the canyon stretches 24 miles along the Yellowstone River, at some points as much as 4,000 feet wide. Its walls soar from 800 to 1,200 feet on either side, a product of thousands of years of the river’s passage. The reddish walls are literally rusting, while hordes of happy evergreens march along its top banks.

A View for the Ages
The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone offers a huge variety of natural sights. The canyon was first shaped more than 600,000 years ago with a mighty volcanic eruption that resulted in the Canyon Rhyolite lava flow. This and other environmental factors made the ground brittle, which in turn caused the ground to become prone to erosion. When the river was redirected over the area, it began to carve out the canyon.

Several points in the canyon offer spectacular sightings of the falls, with roaring white water falling into green-blue pools. You can also check out volcanic formations as well as steep views down into the riverbed winding along.

Grand Canyon Day Hikes and Tours
If you’d like to experience Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon up close and personal, a hike is the best way to do it. Scenic Safari offers two day trips to experience the glory of Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon: The Grand Canyon Trail Hike and the Yellowstone Lower Loop Tour. Both offer numerous opportunities for backcountry exploration and Kodak moments, with options for beginner and advanced hiking. Want to find out more? Get in touch with us today!