Aug 23

Undine Falls: Yellowstone National Park

28571244173 3d492cc9c2 z Undine Falls: Yellowstone National Park
One of the more creatively named waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park is Undine Falls.  Pronounced un deen this waterfall was named for the wise female water spirits found in German mythology.  Legend has it that these lady nymphs lived around forest pools and waterfalls.  They lack a soul and in order to attain one they must marry a mortal man.  Framed by evergreens one would think if there are watery sprites in Yellowstone then Undine Falls would be the place to find them.
28903429510 c219df0eb5 z Undine Falls: Yellowstone National Park

Undine Falls is a nice roadside attraction between Mammoth Hot Springs and Tower Roosevelt.  A pretty three-step waterfall that drops 60 feet as flows along Lava Creek.  It is one of the easiest waterfalls to see in Yellowstone.  Just a few short steps down from the parking lot to a nice size overlook area is all that it takes to get there.

  • Waterfalls of Yellowstone

There are many waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park to choose from, some are roadside falls like Virginia CascadeMoose FallsGibbon Falls, Rustic Falls, Tower FallsLewis Falls  Kepler Cascades, and of course the extraordinary Upper and Lower Falls while others require a hike to see like Wraith FallsLost Creek FallsFairy Falls or Mystic Falls. Whatever your plans are when you visit Yellowstone National Park make sure you seek out some of the great waterfalls that can be found in the park.

Aug 22

Upper Geyser Basin: Yellowstone National Park

28881338580 c3958735c5 z Upper Geyser Basin: Yellowstone National Park
“LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, CHILDREN OF ALL AGES… Upper Geyser Basin! It’s a make-believe world, but it is very real world too.” I know, I know, taking lines from the circus, but words cannot really describe the magic that is Yellowstone National Park.  The Upper Geyser Basin is just a part of the unbelievable that awaits those that enter Yellowstone’s gates.  Being in a hurry will not pay off when visiting the Upper Geyser Basin.  If you don’t want to wait or are in a rush to see the other parts of the park then skip the Upper Geyser Basin.  There are plenty of smaller geothermal areas that will serve.  However, if you take your time and wait for some of the geysers to erupt then you will be in for a real show.
29090788471 27daf2eff4 z Upper Geyser Basin: Yellowstone National Park

The largest geothermal area in the Yellowstone ecosystem is the Upper Geyser Basin.  Strike that, it is the world’s largest single concentration of hot springs.  Covering roughly one square mile.  The Upper Geyser Basin is home to several groups of hot springs, colorful pools, and over 150 geysers.  Including the world famous Old Faithful Geyser.
29090797821 32606e4541 z Upper Geyser Basin: Yellowstone National Park
It is one of the most famous parts of the park.  In turn, it is one of the busiest.  Now if you get anything from this please get this.  Go early.  Having the chance to visit Yellowstone National Park several times over my life time. I have never had a crowded experience at Upper Geyser Basin if I go early in the morning.  The earlier the better. This last go around I arrived before 7:30 and I had long stretches of boardwalk to myself.  This took place during the busy summer season.  By the time I left around 10:00am the massive parking lot was filling up fast.
29168658705 3060273c3f z Upper Geyser Basin: Yellowstone National Park

The best place to start when visiting the Upper Geyser Basin is to stop by the Old Faithful Visitor Center.  Here the park rangers will have a list of times for the next eruption of the predicted geysers.  Five of the largest geysers in the area are predicted Old Faithful, Castle, Daisy, Grand, and Riverside.  Each will put on a show that can be the highlight of your time in Yellowstone.  If you are looking for a hike, the trail up to observation point is well worth the effort.  It offers great sweeping views of the whole area and the chance to see multiple geysers spring to life.
29168678865 7554a7d139 z Upper Geyser Basin: Yellowstone National Park
The Upper Geyser Basin goes way beyond sitting around waiting for Old Faithful to erupt.  Now Old Faithful is a must and for every first time visitor there will be squeals of delight.  No matter what age from old biker looking guys to my little daughters, their reaction to seeing her go off is about the same.  A gasp followed by cheers and screams.  Just make sure you take the boardwalk trail down to see the other parts of the Upper Geyser Basin.  I have been lucky and I have walked this boardwalk trail several times.  Each time I get to see something different.  Old Faithful has always been there for me, but I have gotten to see Grotto Geyser, Daisy Geyser, Sawmill Geyser and variety of smaller ones go off.  Someday I will finally take the time to see Grand Geyser erupt.
29168685405 c1ee2fae24 z Upper Geyser Basin: Yellowstone National Park

Besides the remarkable number of geysers, the Upper Geyser Basin is also home to several hot springs and pools.  The most famous being the Morning Glory Pool.  Which has lost some of its glory and luster over the years as people have thrown objects and trash into it.  Most recently a drone.  Personally, I am not the most patient person so I get more excited about the colorful water features than geysers.  When I wait around for a geyser go off I think about all the things I might be missing in the park.  Of course, when it does go off those thoughts flee from my mind and are quickly replaced by amazement and joy.
29063106022 edb5d18646 z Upper Geyser Basin: Yellowstone National Park

The Upper Geyser Basin like most things in life comes down to what you put in.  If you do some research, talk to the park rangers, and spend some time there it will be a wonderful experience.  Even if you just stay for Old Faithful you will get something out of it.  However, if you don’t have patience, short on time, and in a rush then Upper Geyser Basin and in general Yellowstone National Park is probably not the vacation destination for you.

  • Geothermal Areas of Yellowstone National Park like Upper Geyser Basin

There are many geothermal areas of Yellowstone National Park and all have unique and wonderful features. Norris Geyser BasinMidway Geyser Basin,  Mammoth TerracesBiscuit BasinWest Thumb Geyser BasinBlack Sand Basin, and Artists Paint Pots.  Whatever your plans are when you visit Yellowstone National Park make sure you seek out some of the geothermal areas the park is famous for.

 

Aug 20

Tower Falls: Yellowstone National Park

28500548683 1464d8f55f z Tower Falls: Yellowstone National Park
The view of Tower Falls is bittersweet. It is still a nice and very popular waterfall in Yellowstone.  However, just seeing it from the overlook leaves a sour taste in my mouth.  I have seen the wonderful pictures taken at its base that chances are I will never be able to feast upon with my own eyes.  So, as I gazed upon Tower Falls I left wanting so much more. 

Tower Falls has a unique setting compared to the other waterfalls in the national park.  Framed by eroded volcanic pinnacles this 132-foot drop seems to be the perfect setting for a scene in a fantasy movie.  Unfortunately, the short trail down to the base of the waterfall has been permanently closed since the early 2000s. When the trail went all the way to the base of Tower Falls one could argue that it was the most scenic waterfall in Yellowstone.  A beautiful single plunge fall that would light up with a rainbow during certain parts of the day.  However, do to seismic activity in the area, a landslide, and a high rate of erosion due to heavy traffic the trail has been closed.  As of this posting the National Park Service has no plans to fix the trail or cut a new one. Hopefully sometime in the future that will change.

28500552163 242011be46 z Tower Falls: Yellowstone National Park

So for now the best and safest view of Tower Falls is from the overlook at the Tower Junction General Store.  Like many waterfalls in Yellowstone it is easily accessed. A mere 100 yards from the parking lot.  The views of Tower Falls might not be as spectacular as they once were, but that does not mean it is not worth the dozen or so minutes it takes to see it.

  • Waterfalls of Yellowstone

There are many waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park to choose from, some are roadside falls like Virginia Cascade, Moose FallsGibbon Falls, Rustic Falls, Undine Falls, Lewis Falls  Kepler Cascades, and of course the extraordinary Upper and Lower Falls while others require a hike to see like Wraith FallsLost Creek FallsFairy Falls or Mystic Falls. Whatever your plans are when you visit Yellowstone National Park make sure you seek out some of the great waterfalls that can be found in the park.

Aug 14

Firehole Lake Drive: Yellowstone National Park

28372653894 73fd6c71ea z Firehole Lake Drive: Yellowstone National Park
Firehole Lake Drive is a 3-mile side road off the Grand Loop between Old Faithful and Madison Junction.  It is one of many side excursions that is often overlooked in the need to see the more famous sites of Yellowstone National Park.  It shouldn’t be.  Of course, you cannot see it all, not in one trip, maybe not even in half a dozen trips.  So the best advice, get-your-must-sees-in and then slow down and let whim and adventure take over.
28372618344 c97620340b z Firehole Lake Drive: Yellowstone National Park

Filled with scenic springs, geysers, and other bubbling geothermal features, Firehole Lake Drive is well worth the time.  Because it will not take long.  Almost every attraction is within sight of the car window. Though that is not the best way to see it.  I do advise visitors to get out and see the sights especially Firehole Spring, the Great Fountain Geyser, and the boardwalk around Firehole Lake.  However, that is the good thing about Firehole Lake Drive you don’t have to get out of the car to enjoy the trip down this short road.
28959507976 a4a557c957 z Firehole Lake Drive: Yellowstone National Park
For lucky visitors to Firehole Lake Drive you just might get to see one of the geysers go off. I do say lucky because The Great Fountain Geyser erupts every 8 to 12 hours while White Dome Geyser can pause for 10 minutes to 3 hours between eruptions.  Who has time to sit around waiting for the next one to blow?  There is just so much to see.  That is the lack of patience side of me coming out.  So I go for luck on seeing an eruption. Luckily for me White Dome Geyser erupted just about the time we were going to move on from the parking lot.  Of course, we could have missed it just by a few minutes, and that has never really bothered me about visiting Yellowstone.  There is just so much to see there that we miss stuff all the time but still love our time in the park.  Despite all the things we miss we still see tons of things.
28959523996 7bf4062748 z Firehole Lake Drive: Yellowstone National Park

My wife and I have been to Yellowstone three times since we have been married and we always make it a point to drive down Firehole Lake Drive.  There are a couple of reasons for this, first it gets us off the main road.  It is such a popular park it is good to get off the beaten path.  Secondly the geothermal features here are just as nice as some of the other areas of Yellowstone.  Finally, it is like the excitement of buying a lottery ticket.  A quick 15 to 20-minute drive hoping that a geyser will go off and if it doesn’t not that big of a deal because it only took a little bit of time.  Better luck next time.
28706013900 d5b819cc66 z Firehole Lake Drive: Yellowstone National Park

  • Geothermal Areas of Yellowstone National Park like Firehole Lake Drive

There are many geothermal areas of Yellowstone National Park and all have unique and wonderful features. Norris Geyser BasinMidway Geyser Basin,  Mammoth TerracesBiscuit BasinWest Thumb Geyser BasinBlack Sand Basin, and Artists Paint Pots.  Whatever your plans are when you visit Yellowstone National Park make sure you seek out some of the geothermal areas the park is famous for.

 

Aug 10

Virginia Cascades: Yellowstone National Park

28287734553 8bddd48578 z Virginia Cascades: Yellowstone National Park
Virginia Cascades is a drive by waterfall.  Which I literally mean because that is exactly what we did when trying to visit it.  Located just around a mile from Norris on the way to Canyon is the two and half mile one-way dirt road.  It is narrow but lightly trafficked with cliff steep drop-offs on the passenger side.  Having never driven the road before we were expecting some sort of pullout for an overlook of the falls.  There really is none.  The park service does have some side pullouts that can fit a couple of cars.  So we just sailed right by the first time and saw the Virginia Cascades out the side of our window.
28285373364 2e88b83c5f z Virginia Cascades: Yellowstone National Park

Luckily it is just a turnaround back to the entrance to the Virginia Cascades.  This time we knew what we were looking for which is a short series of concrete barriers.  Right before the barriers there is a short pullout on the left that can fit a few cars.  Be careful walking down the road for a different view of the falls.   The road is narrow so oncoming traffic does not have a lot of room to maneuver around.
28871648306 d6e1b484bd z Virginia Cascades: Yellowstone National Park

The Virginia Cascades is a 60-foot cascading waterfall on the Gibbon River.  It’s a nice waterfall but there are many more scenic ones in Yellowstone National Park.  Now is it worth the 10 to 15 minute detour off the main road between Norris and Canyon?  It just depends how much time you have in the park.  If time is limited I would say skip it.  If you will be in the park for a week and this is your second time making the drive from Norris to Canyon.  I would say go for it especially if you make use of the small picnic area just past the Virginia Cascades.

To see all of our reviews of things to do in Yellowstone National Park click here and for more information about the park go to their website at http://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm

  • Waterfalls of Yellowstone

There are many waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park to choose from, some are roadside falls like Moose FallsGibbon Falls, Rustic Falls, Undine Falls, Lewis Falls  Kepler Cascades, and of course the extraordinary Upper and Lower Falls while others require a hike to see like Wraith FallsLost Creek FallsFairy Falls or Mystic Falls. Whatever your plans are when you visit Yellowstone National Park make sure you seek out some of the great waterfalls that can be found in the park.

 

Aug 09

Norris Geyser Basin: Yellowstone National Park

28883099515 01d6f1c1bd z Norris Geyser Basin: Yellowstone National Park
Norris Geyser Basin is Yellowstone’s hottest most volatile geyser basin.  For that it is one of the most popular in the park.  It is home to Steamboat Geyser the world’s tallest geyser.  Dozens of thermal features that are constantly changing due to the fact it is one of the most earthquake prone areas in the park.  The Norris Geyser Basin sits on the intersection of three fault lines.  Like a box of chocolates, a visitor never knows what they are going to get.
28268143943 614a77afc0 z Norris Geyser Basin: Yellowstone National Park

Personally I thought the Norris Geyser Basin was the least impressive of the geothermal areas that I have visited.  Of course, that is like saying a ruby is my least favorite gemstone because they are all precious in their own way.  While parts of it are colorful the colors seem to me to be more painted in a matte. Just not as vibrant as some of the other parts of the park.  Couple that with the acidic nature of the Norris Geyser Basin it just felt like it was more of a moonscape atmosphere.  While it is undeniably different from the other geyser basins of Yellowstone, this was a contrast that left me wanting.
28598632530 f19284a415 z Norris Geyser Basin: Yellowstone National Park
The Norris Geyser Basin is divided up into two distinct areas.  The Back Basin and the Porcelain Basin.  If short on time I highly recommend just sticking to the Porcelain Basin, it is shorter and more colorful.  However, the Back Basin does have its merit including the Steamboat Geyser.  Unfortunately, there is no predicting when Steamboat will have a major eruption and shoot hundreds of feet into the area.  Luckily it does have frequent small eruptions to help pass the time as you wait years for the next big one.
28883109815 e54bddf448 z Norris Geyser Basin: Yellowstone National Park

The Back Basin Geyser is roughly a mile and half boardwalk and dirt trail.  It is a moderately strenuous hike.  As the trail heads down from the parking lot via either stairs or boardwalk declines.  Its geothermal features are much more scattered out through a forested area.  The return hike back to the parking is up a dirt incline through a forest area.  Surprisingly there was a lot more wildlife in the area than I thought there would be.  Buffalo and elk frequent the area but we also saw rabbits and a variety of birds.
28883125195 9e9453848b z Norris Geyser Basin: Yellowstone National Park
The Porcelain Basin was our favorite part of the Norris Geyser Basin.  This is a shorter dirt and boardwalk trail that is a little under a mile in distance.  After a short series of steps to the basin area the trail is completely flat until the walk out.  The view from the Porcelain Terrace Overlook on to the open terrain below was quite nice.
28266001294 b260672b1c z Norris Geyser Basin: Yellowstone National Park

Like all popular areas in Yellowstone National Park there could be difficulty finding parking and walking with a large crowd as you take in the parks features.  If you want to skip the crowd go early.  We have been at some of the most popular areas of the park and had to it basically to ourselves just by setting the alarm on our vacation.
28598660670 96a1a084d2 z Norris Geyser Basin: Yellowstone National Park

Remember that you are in wild country and it can be dangerous if you do not use common sense and sound judgment. Not only are the animals wild but so is the land and getting too close to either can make a great vacation go sour and even get deadly extremely quick. Animals will protect themselves, their area, and young while the geothermal areas are fragile and dangerous so stay on assigned paths. If you use caution and are prepared Yellowstone will be a great life affirming experience and please leave it just as you found it so the next person can enjoy.  Happy Travels!!!

  • Geothermal Areas of Yellowstone National Park like Norris Geyser Basin

There are many geothermal areas of Yellowstone National Park and all have unique and wonderful features. Midway Geyser Basin,  Mammoth TerracesBiscuit BasinWest Thumb Geyser BasinBlack Sand Basin, and Artists Paint Pots.  Whatever your plans are when you visit Yellowstone National Park make sure you seek out some of the geothermal areas the park is famous for.

Aug 06

Kepler Cascades: Yellowstone National Park

28731758991 944ae77395 z Kepler Cascades: Yellowstone National Park
Kepler Cascades is a gorgeous roadside waterfall.  Conveniently located just a few miles south of Old Faithful on the way to West Thumb.  A short ten-minute stop for a large cascading waterfall count me in.  Kepler Cascades drops roughly 100 feet over a series of falls with the largest drop around 50 feet.  No it is not falls of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone but it is pretty in its own way.
28808791745 72a000c236 z Kepler Cascades: Yellowstone National Park

There is a small parking lot where a short boardwalk will lead to a wooden platform.  It will not be the isolated spot for sweet serenity you are looking for when in the wilderness.  It is often overlooked by the majority of the parks visitors.  I have been there when I had the whole platform basically to myself and other times when the parking lot is practically full.  Just depends on time of day, season, and luck.
28808771515 d4c0c9e140 z Kepler Cascades: Yellowstone National Park

Kepler Cascades is one of the many roadside waterfalls in Yellowstone.  One of the better ones in my opinion. Absolutely worth the short time to see it and be on your way.

To see all of our reviews of things to do in Yellowstone National Park click here and for more information about the park go to their website at http://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm

  • Waterfalls of Yellowstone

There are many waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park to choose from, some are roadside falls like Moose FallsGibbon Falls, Rustic Falls, Undine Falls, Lewis Falls  Kepler Cascades, and of course the extraordinary Upper and Lower Falls while others require a hike to see like Wraith FallsLost Creek FallsFairy Falls or Mystic Falls. Whatever your plans are when you visit Yellowstone National Park make sure you seek out some of the great waterfalls that can be found in the park.

 

Aug 04

Midway Geyser Basin: Yellowstone National Park

28668782922 1675f86c3f z Midway Geyser Basin: Yellowstone National Park
The Midway Geyser Basin may be small but it is mighty.  Home to two of the largest geothermal features in Yellowstone National Park.  The crater of Excelsior Geyser formerly the largest geyser on the planet.  The Midway Geyser Basin also houses one of the must see attractions in Grand Prismatic Spring.  Grand Prismatic is a large rainbow colored pool that is 370 feet across and 120 feet deep.  It is really an incredible sight to behold.
28159091783 f5dbc3cc68 z Midway Geyser Basin: Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone’s Midway Geyser Basin is the smallest of the three main geysers basins in regards to fewest thermal features but it still packs a punch.  At just under a mile of boardwalk it is a great family friendly area to explore.  Just make sure you stay on the path.  Little to no elevation except for a short ramp up to get to the basin. This is a very easy trail that is suitable for all ages and abilities.
28489610050 25a6c4cf73 z Midway Geyser Basin: Yellowstone National Park
On a side note if you have little kids the steam coming off the geysers and springs might scare them.  My youngest who was one and half at the time squealed with glee walking through the fog.  Unfortunately, my four-year-old was a little intimidated walking through areas where she could not see what was on the other side.  My quick on her feet wife told her it was like walking through a cloud.  This got her to relax and enjoy the rest of time at Midway Geyser Basin.  By the time we were done she wanted to go around again so she could “walk through more clouds.”
28696951691 6a40f731d0 z Midway Geyser Basin: Yellowstone National Park

Midway Geyser Basin is also home to two smaller pools Turquoise and Opal.  When compared to the steaming aquamarine pool that is Excelsior Geyser and the impressive Grand Prismatic Spring.  The two smaller pools will just be a footnote in your memory.  Though if they were in different parts of the park they would be more stunning.  There is one last interesting thing to see in the area and that is the runoff of the Excelsior Geyser into the Firehole River.  This water flow has created several different colorful drainage channels including one thats next to the bridge that leads to the Midway Geyser Boardwalk.
28696956391 c0ea427b9c z Midway Geyser Basin: Yellowstone National Park
As of 2016 the national park service was working on an official trail that overlooks Grand Prismatic Spring. This spur trail will be part of the Fairy Falls Trail which is highly recommended.  Like many people before me and after I took the social trail up to see Grand Prismatic.  One of our fondest travel stories took place there.  Years ago. We met a lovely young couple from China on that social trail.  After an exchange of pleasantries, we offered to take pictures for each other.  Well, I had my camera set on a 10 second delay from an earlier shot and had forgotten that fact.  As he hit the button the timer started beeping.  I told him I would fix it and he was like “No that’s ok… I hold it.”  I still get a chuckle out of that.  After talking for a few more minutes and wishing each other safe travels we said our goodbyes.
28773841805 ba331b212d z Midway Geyser Basin: Yellowstone National Park

Midway Geyser Basin is nice little area that is extremely popular.  So the best luck (especially in the busier summer months) of finding a parking spot is to go early.  Of course the ‘go early’ mantra works for just about anything in Yellowstone National Park.

  • Geothermal Areas of Yellowstone National Park like Midway Geyser Basin

There are many geothermal areas of Yellowstone National Park and all have unique and wonderful features.  Mammoth Terraces, Biscuit Basin, West Thumb Geyser Basin, Black Sand Basin, and Artists Paint Pots.  Whatever your plans are when you visit Yellowstone National Park make sure you seek out some of the geothermal areas the park is famous for.

Aug 03

Wraith Falls: Yellowstone National Park

28751392425 6287c64ffd z Wraith Falls: Yellowstone National Park
Wraith Falls is not going to win any waterfall awards.  It is neither the biggest or boldest in the park.  However, what Wraith Falls does is make a drive by and see the sights vacation to let’s get out of the car and see some nature.  It is a short, all age hike, with a nice award at the end.  Located just five miles east of Mammoth Hot Springs on the Grand Loop Road.  There is a small parking lot on the south side where the trailhead starts for this perfect family hike.  Wraith Falls is a great choice for those that have children that do not want to leave the car.  Short enough there should not be too much complaining.  Long enough that they might see something worthwhile.
28467147800 d280e0765b z Wraith Falls: Yellowstone National Park

With the roundtrip distance of a mile the Wraith Falls Trail is as easy as it is pleasant.  A nice flat boardwalk and dirt trail goes most of the way.  Just at the very end this is a small hill to climb to see the falls. I enjoyed the incline.  I know that sounds crazy but because I had to work just a little for it made me enjoy the view a little more.    If it would have been too easy I would have just taken it for granted.
28719603986 b06f087769 z Wraith Falls: Yellowstone National Park
Wraith Falls is a white bulb-shaped cascade that spooked the early surveyors just enough to give it is ghostly name.  A 100-foot cascade created by Lupine Creek as it flows and spreads out over a rocky hillside.  The water level will change during the season going from one solid stream of water to two.  I have even read that there have been years when it ran dry.  Though I have never seen that happen past visits.
28467158820 bb50a787d1 z Wraith Falls: Yellowstone National Park

On two previous visits we have had some luck with seeing wildlife right off the trail.  One year there was a large male elk grazing in the meadow.  While another time two young boys were running excitedly to their parents yelling that they had seen a beaver.  Which actually turned out to be a yellow bellied marmot that was getting a little sun on a nearby boulder.  Unfortunately, on this last visit our only visitor was a chipmunk.  Just goes to show you that you never know what you are going to get.
28646187942 723e03421b z Wraith Falls: Yellowstone National Park

Wraith Falls is a very nice family friendly trail.  Not too far, and definitely not too hard.  It is a popular trail but it is amazing to see the number of people that will not go just because it is not visible from the parking lot.  So you will not have the trail to yourself, however it will be less crowded than some of other destinations.

Wraith Falls
Distance 1-mile roundtrip
30 minutes
Difficulty Level: Easy

To see all of our reviews of things to do in Yellowstone National Park click here and for more information about the park go to their website at http://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm

  • Waterfalls of Yellowstone

There are many waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park to choose from, some are roadside falls like Moose FallsGibbon Falls, Rustic Falls, Undine Falls, Lewis Falls and of course the extraordinary Upper and Lower Falls while others require a hike to see like Lost Creek FallsFairy Falls or Mystic Falls. Whatever your plans are when you visit Yellowstone National Park make sure you seek out some of the great waterfalls that can be found in the park.

Jul 31

Sheepeater Cliff: Yellowstone National Park

28655878286 de15191926 z Sheepeater Cliff: Yellowstone National Park
Sheepeater Cliff is our go to picnic site when we are in the Mammoth Hot Springs area.  Just south of Swan Lake Flats is the turnoff to Sheepeater Cliff there will be a sign with a picnic table on it.  We enjoy the place because of the pikas and marmots that frequent the area….PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUCEMENT….please do not feed the animals, help keep nature wild.
28072179133 2478d8217b z Sheepeater Cliff: Yellowstone National Park

Another reason we like the Sheepeater cliff area because of the short walking trail along the Gardner River.  The trail is the perfect combination after a meal.  Nice, flat, and short.  Well marked and easy to follow it will take just a few minutes to get to the end.  However, you might have to scramble over some fallen logs even they have not worked the area in while.   If you keep going down the trail about a half mile from the start you will reach Tukuarika Falls.  A cascading waterfall that drops about 25 feet.
28655919306 44f7475db2 z Sheepeater Cliff: Yellowstone National Park
For the geologist in the crowd the Sheepeater Cliff has some interesting tidbits.  The cliffs are made out of columnar basalt.  The lava was deposited there about a half a million years ago.  As the basalt lava cooled it formed the vertical rock pillars found in the area.  I wish I would have known all that when my inquisitive daughter was asking.
28610448281 49c38ae138 z Sheepeater Cliff: Yellowstone National Park

When planning a Yellowstone picnic especially in the busier months.  Try to schedule your lunch a little before or a little after normal lunch hours. The reason is that places like Sheepeater Cliff have limited picnic tables and parking.  We are up and about early so when it gets close to 10:30 we start to look for places to eat.  By doing that we usually never have a hard time finding a table to eat at.

To see all of our reviews of things to do in Yellowstone National Park click here and forore information about the park go to their website at http://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm

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