The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is one of the highlights of Yellowstone National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s 24 miles long, between 800 and 1200 feet deep, and between ¼ mile and ¾ miles wide. Roads along both the south rim and north rim of the canyon allow access to trails and breathtaking views. This entry focuses on what to see along North Rim Drive.
Brink of the Upper Falls
Not technically part of North Rim Drive, a small detour from Grand Loop Road takes you to the Brink of the Upper Falls. After a short walk down, you can get great views from right on top of the Upper Falls of the Yellowstone River. The Upper Falls have a 109 foot drop and the roaring sound is incredible. Looking behind the falls you can see the river as it’s about to drop and looking ahead you get a nice view of the canyon.
Brink of the Lower Falls
The first stop along North Rim Road is at the Brink of the Lower Falls. It’s the same concept as the Brink of the Upper Falls but a much longer climb down. You can see the river both before and after the waterfall, a good look at the canyon, and you can look straight down at the falls from a two-level platform. The Lower Falls have a drop of 308 feet, nearly twice as high as Niagara Falls.
Next is Lookout Point, which has spectacular views of the Lower Falls and the canyon. There’s also an option to hike down for a different view of the falls at Red Rock. Still exhausted from climbing back up from the Brink of the Lower Falls, I decided to skip Red Rock.
The third stop is Grand View. You can’t see the waterfalls from here, but the colors on the canyon walls look amazing.
The final stop along North Rim Drive is at Inspiration Point. After the other stops, this one wasn’t true to its name. My lack of inspiration was due to the viewpoint being closed, preventing me from getting the best possible look. The colors on the canyon were the best part of the view.