Things to Do in The Grand Canyon of The Yellowstone

The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is not as popular as the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone has a dramatic landscape. Most of the visitors skip the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone due to the time limit. If you are a hiker or love photography, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is worth visiting. The canyon was formed about 640,000 years ago.

The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is divided into two sections: North Rim and South Rim. North Rim Trail is stretched over 3.8 miles with pristine pine forests and the northwest wall of the canyon. The North Rim begins at Inspiration Point, then runs southwest past the Upper Falls.

South Rim Trail begins at the Chittenden Bridge on the south side, then follows the river downstream for almost 2 miles and ends near Artist’s Point.

View the Canyon and Falls

The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone has a breathtaking view of canyons and waterfalls which you shouldn’t miss. Some of the canyons and falls are accessible by car or walk, but some are only accessible by walk.

Best Viewpoints of the South Rim:

  • Artist Point 
  • Point Sublime Hike 
  • Uncle Tom’s Pont Trail 
  • Upper Falls Viewpoint 

Best Viewpoint of the North Rim

  • Brink of the Upper Falls 
  • Brink of the Lower Falls 
  • Lookout Point 
  • Grand View 
  • Inspiration Point
  • Silver Cord Cascade Overlook and Seven Mile Hole Trail

Take a Hike in the Canyon Area

Hiking to the canyon area is one of the adventurous and memorable experiences. There are many trails in Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone from short to long and even kids friendly. Make sure to carry extra food and water, rain gear, and emergency equipment.

North Rim Trail

To get some breathtaking views you can hike along the North Rim Trail, which stretches 3.8 miles. The road leads you to drive to some of the north rim’s stunning overlooks. The road makes it easy to hike for kids and it’s also wheelchair accessible. North Rim Trail is a perfect hiking trail for family and also for photographers with amazing views to capture. Be careful when you go near the canyon, North Rim Trail has many dangerous drop-offs.

South Rim Trail

The South Rim Trail has some of the stunning views of the canyon without many dangerous drop-offs as North Rim Trail. The trail begins on the south side of Chittenden Bridge and follows the Yellowstone River, ending near the Artist point. The trail between Uncle Tom’s Trail and Artist Point is spectacular with the best views and challenging paths.

Seven Mile Hole Trail

Seven Mile Hole is a 10 mile trail that begins and ends at the same trailhead. It starts along the rim for the first one and half miles, you will walk near the canyon rim with the views of Silver Cord Cascade. In another half-mile, the path will lead to the Washburn Spur Trail after a mile right onto the Seven Mile Hole.

Ribbon Lake Trail

Ribbon Lake Trail is a 5.8-mile trail that begins and ends at the same trailhead features a lake and forest. The best time to hike is from June until September. The trail begins at the southeast side of Uncle Tom’s parking lot with a path that leads to the Clear Lake trailhead. From Clear Lake junction turn left follow the junction signs then you reach Ribbon Lake.

Mount Washburn Spur Trail

Mount Washburn Spur Trail is a 16.2-mile trail. It is one of the beautiful trails with mountain side views.  Along the trail you get the views of wildflowers, Mount Washburn, and the Washburn Hot Springs. Mount Washburn Spur is also one of the most loved by hikers.

Driving the Rims

North Rim Drive

The drive starts from 1.2 miles south of Canyon Junction.  Roads along the north rim of the canyon allow access to trails and stunning views. North Rim Drive is a one-way road that takes to the canyon.  Grand View offers the best views of the canyon and river.

The short road to Brink of Upper Falls is 1.6 miles south of Canyon Junction on the Grand Loop Road. Followed by a dramatic viewpoint of the Yellowstone River.

South Rim Drive

The drive starts from 2.3 miles south of Canyon Junction. The drive leads you to views of Upper Falls at Uncle Tom’s Point and of Lower Falls and the canyon at Artist Point.

Explore the Wildlife

If you love watching wildlife the park is home to nearly 300 species of birds, 16 species of fish, and 67 species of mammals. Don’t forget to bring your binocular to watch the migrating birds. Most popular of all are the ospreys which nest near the Canyon Village area. Look carefully among the rugged pinnacles so you can spot the osprey.

Adult osprey migrates here between mid-April and early May. Within a few weeks, osprey pairs have mated. The eggs hatch in about six to eight weeks. If you are lucky you can see young osprey.

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