Below is a list of all the best views of Yellowstone waterfalls. I feel like I need to clarify something. These are views, not the actual waterfalls. For example, the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone is on here several times. That’s because there are many different views of the waterfall. Hopefully this will help you decide where you want to go to look at the waterfall.
Waterfalls are one of our children’s favorite things of Yellowstone. I think the geysers, when they are actually going off are their favorite, and then animals – when you are actually seeing them. But the thing about geysers and animals is that you have to wait a lot and/or get lucky to see them. With waterfalls, they are just there. And some of these waterfalls are very impressive. Now, getting to the waterfalls generally involves a hike of some sort – at least if you want the good views.
Play around with the map above. You can zoom in and find waterfalls by location, or read through the list below and look at the pictures to help you decide which waterfalls you can’t miss.
10. Undine Falls – Upper Grand Loop Road
This is a waterfall on Lava Creek about 14 miles west of Tower Junction. This waterfall can be viewed from an overlook just off the Grand Loop Road (the kid friendly option) or you can hike to it via Lava Creek Trail which can be accessed about a half mile to the east near Lava Creek Picnic Area. If you choose the trail option know that once you reach the falls there is a considerable drop-off with no fencing. Undine Falls cascades down a lava flow in three different drops. A beautiful waterfall.
9. Moose Falls – Near South Entrance Road
This is just a pull off on the side of the road and doesn’t have any facilities. But we loved it because we were the only ones there for about half time, it has beautiful surroundings in trees and greenery, it is a very short hike (we’re talking maybe 1/4 a mile, but it isn’t stroller-friendly) and you can get close to the falls. Most of the waterfalls in Yellowstone you look at from a distance, so they aren’t as impressive for young children. But our children wanted to stay here forever. You can get pretty close. That and there was some creature hiding under the huge boulder at the end of the path and our children spent forever waiting for it to poke it’s little head out so they could take a picture.
8. Lewis Falls – Near South Entrance
The road side parking for Lewis Falls is about 10 miles from the south entrance gate. The hike is not long I would say less than half a mile the first bit is a little steep but not bad.
7. Upper Falls View Point in Canyon Area
The Best View on the Upper Falls can be found by exiting the Grand loop Road onto South Rim drive a little over 2 miles south of Canyon Junction. Park in the parking lot for Uncle Tom’s Trail. The view point is just a short walk from the parking lot. The bridge you cross (Chittenden Bridge) is in the background of the photo.
6. Crystal Falls in Canyon Area
Crystal Falls is where Cascade Creek meets the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. If you want to escape the masses of people that flock to the Upper and Lower Falls. This is the hike to take. Crystal Falls can be reached from either the Lower or Upper Brink parking lots or as part of the whole North Rim Trail. From the Upper Brink parking lot head north on the North Rim Trail until you reach the fall. If you cross Cascade Creek you have gone to far. From the Lower Brink parking lot start the Lower Brink hike. A little way down this paved trial one of the switchbacks has a dirt trail headed South off of it. Take this trail until you cross a bridge over Cascade Creek. A litter further on there will be a short trial on the left that goes out to a good vantage point for Cascade Falls.
5. Brink of the Upper Falls in Canyon Area
The Brink of the Upper Falls is much shorter and not near the altitude loss of the Lower Brink hike. It is not as impressive as the Lower Brink but a beautiful spot none the less. A better view of the Upper Falls can be found on the other side of the canyon just off the parking lot for Uncle Tom’s Trail.
4. Artist’s Point View of Lower Falls
Artist point is located on the south rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. It offers a good view of the Lower Falls although more distant than Red Rock Point or Lookout Point. The parking lot for Artist Point is located at the end of south rim drive. It is just a short walk from the parking lot, in fact, you will most likely walk further in the parking lot unless you get lucky and catch someone up close pulling out.
The entire Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is just beautiful. When you’re on the rim, you can look down in to the canyon hundreds of feet down with beautifully colored rocks and sand and it’s just so breath-taking. But my favorite place to get an overall view of the entire canyon is Artist’s Point. It’s impossible to for pictures to due the views justice because you can’t look all around you with a photo. Hopefully the view above gives you an idea of how beautiful it is there. If nothing else, you need to go there to get a beautiful photo.
The view of the lower falls in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone from Artist’s Point is so breath-taking. The feeling you get when you look up and down the huge canyon with all the beautiful colors and water is unforgettable.
3. Brink of the Lower Falls in Canyon Area
The parking lot for the Brink hike is the first one you will come to while driving along the North Rim Drive. Be aware that during peak times this parking lot is usually full. This trail is paved and made up of switchbacks. You drop about 600 feet in about a half a mile. The tricky part is that you start high, see the falls and then have to hike back up. Standing on the platform you can feel the power of nature. Look for the rainbow that is created by the mist from the falls.
Our 3 and a half year old made it one year with a little whining – but she did it. One year my wife and I did this hike with two strollers, not the smartest or funnest thing to do, but we made it. Let’s just say that I don’t recommend that. Besides having tons of people you have to contend with, it’s back breaking labor. So not fun. A backpack would have been so much easier. But it’s all worth it at the brink.
I think the best word to describe the Brink of the Lower Falls is awesome. Pictures don’t do it justice. You stand at the top of the waterfall and you can feel the power of a bazillion pounds of water coming down several hundred feet all at once. It’s a truly awesome experience and quite unique. I mean, it’s not every day you stand at the top of a huge waterfall . . .
2. Uncle Tom’s Trail in Canyon Area
Uncle Tom’s Trail is not for the faint of heart or those not in good health. The first part of this trail is made of switchbacks that are fairly steep then it switches to metallic mesh stairs that make their way down the canyon wall – 328 of them to be precise. There are places to stop and rest, so take the time to enjoy the view and catch your breath. Just know that the views of the Lower Falls will be well worth the effort and cannot be beat. You will notice that there is still a patch of snow and ice and theses pictures were taken in early July of 2014.
As you can tell from these pictures, my husband went on this hike by himself. By the time we got to this hike, myself and our children were exhausted and it didn’t seem like a good hike for a three year-old to go on, let alone our other children who were complaining of hurting body parts and aching bodies. It didn’t take him too long to go down the stairs, although he definitely got jelly legs by the time he got back. I’m terrified of heights, but I think it would be fun to go the next time we go. We’ll just have to plan our day better and go here first.
I remember going on this hike with my Dad and my younger brother when I was 13 while my mom waited with the younger children in the car. I thought it was really cool and really scary and I’ve always wanted to go back. So I would try to plan your Canyons Area trip around this hike.
1. Red Rock Point View of Lower Falls
Red Rock Point has one of the best views of the Lower Falls but it does require an investment of energy to reach. The trail is not long – less than a mile round trip but is steep in places and has wooden stairs part the way. But, the hike itself is beautiful and the view of the canyon and the Lower Falls cannot be beat. I would think anyone in good health should be able to make it. With the proper supervision, my four year old made it without to much trouble.
It’s relatively unknown, but we like this hike because it’s not too hard or long, isn’t very busy, is shaded on part of the trail and has a really good view of the lower falls. We’ve been on it several times because it’s perfect if you just want something to do between dinner and bed or if your husband is addicted to hiking and your children can’t hike one more step so you chill in the car with the kids for a while and eat some snacks while your husband goes on a quick hike. And if you were having a snack and bathroom break and your husband took a little longer than you thought, you could even go to the Lower Falls lookout point that’s right there in the same parking lot and have a great view to look at while waiting for said husband. Some of the things that make this hike unique are that it has pine trees and near the end there is a red rock and a boardwalk/bridge/sidewalk thing you have to walk out on to get to the good view. Not the scariest thing ever for someone like me who is terrified of heights, but I did take it slow and didn’t look down.