Right in the middle of Yellowstone National Park is the Hayden Valley where the Yellowstone River flows into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. At the tip of this geological formation is what is called the Upper Falls. According to the National Park Service, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone Upper Falls is geologically very young; only 10,000 to 14,000 years old. While the overall formation process is not understood well at this point, geologists know this area was formed by erosion.
Visitors can easily access the upper falls by the Canyon Village area. From the South, the first road is the South Rim Drive. This leads past Uncle Tom’s trail and goes to Artist Point where you can view the Lower Falls. Past South Rim Drive, there is a road that leads the to the brink of the the Upper Falls. Just further north, visitors can take the North Rim Drive to see Inspiration Point, Grand View, and Lookout Point in the Yellowstone Grand Canyon. Don’t worry if this was a little confusing. There are great maps with blown ups for areas like this at the park.
The Yellowstone Grand Canyon Upper Falls is very powerful. When we visited, it was running at about 5,400 cubic feet per second. The paths are in good condition, but there are some ledges and lookouts that do not have railings and you really need to watch yourself and your children. We put a leash on my two year old and quickly appreciated it!
If you are feeling a little adventurous, there are several trails around the waterfall you can hike or walk to enjoy the full gorge and Yellowstone Grand Canyon Upper Falls area. But, if you think this falls as impressive, check out the Lower Falls!
While this fall was impressive, if you are short on time, skip it. The Lower Falls laughs at this one. It thinks this one is cute.