Crazy about Waterfalls
Some wonderful falls are easily reached on short hikes. For example, Crystal Falls on Cascade Creek (above left) drops into the Yellowstone River between the famous Upper and Lower Falls near Canyon Junction. Mystic Falls (left) is about 1.7 miles (2.7 km) from the parking lot for Biscuit Basin near Old Faithful. This 70-foot (21 m) waterfall is on a pleasant hike along the Little Firehole River, where abundant wildflowers are a bonus.
Behind Roosevelt Lodge at Tower-Roosevelt Junction is the somewhat steep but little used 0.3 mile (0.5 km) trail to 40-foot (12 m) Lost Creek Falls (above right). This waterfall was described in Hiram Chittenden’s 1903 guidebook as providing “a scene of quiet beauty rarely found in so wild and rough a country.” In late summer, look for raspberries along the trail.
Obviously, you’ll find the most waterfalls in places where high precipitation combines with sufficient topographic relief. An award-winning book, called The Guide to Yellowstone Waterfalls and Their Discovery, by Paul Rubinstein, Lee H. Whittlesey, and Mike Stevens (2000), points the way to finding over 250 waterfalls in Yellowstone, with 104 of them in the very wet southwestern Cascade Corner.
CREDITS: The photo of Crystal Falls is by Bruno Giletti, the photo of Mystic Falls by David Cane, and the one of Lost Creek Falls is by Janet Chapple.
IN THE GUIDEBOOK: Tower Fall is one of the park’s most famous—but why is it called Fall and not Falls, and how did it get its name? See page 220 of Yellowstone Treasures, fifth edition.
Updated August 3, 2017. Copyright Janet Chapple. All Rights Reserved.