Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Sunday Part II - Beautiful Falls

Sunday August 14, 2011|
Bridge Bay Campground
Yellowstone National Park, WY


The afternoon was filled with water.
Rivers and Falls.

After our Mud walk (see Sunday Part I below),
we drove on through the Hayden Valley to the Canyon area
to see the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and  its falls.

The Hayden Valley is located between Fishing Bridge
and Canyon Village on one side of the figure 8
shaped park road.  It’s a VERY long figure 8.
The section from Fishing Bridge to Canyon Village is 16 miles.
This is the main reason we decided to stay in the
park.  If we had to drive 25 miles just to get here
and then a minimum of 16 miles between the
major areas, we’d spend even more time in the car
which I greatly dislike.


BUT the Hayden valley is gorgeous.
Take a look.



The Yellowstone River twists and turns through
the valley in its calmer state before it rushes
over the falls and becomes white water.





We crossed Chittenden Bridge and went down
to see Artist Point one of the most
photographed views in Yellowstone.
”Framed by the canyon walls with forests
for a backdrop, the Yellowstone River
thunders more than 308 feet over Lower falls”.
You can view the canyon from both directions.


The colors going “down canyon” were striking.
See the river WAY down there.



or here


Mud Volcano 148


This is the Artist’s point of view.
Looks too beautiful to be real
doesn’t it. 






We decided we could handle Uncle Tom’s Trail
of 328 steps down to the base of the Lower Falls.
Every SECOND an average of 37, 417 GALLONS
of water plunges over.

”Shortly after 1900 “Uncle” Tom Richardson
began taking people down this trail.
Originally it was 528 steps and rope ladders.
It’s now a very steep steel stairway
that goes about 3/4 of the way down to the canyon.
I don’t know how they got this erected.

Mud Volcano 173


Part way down we could see the falls
and a RAINBOW!


Mud Volcano 181 

We just couldn’t believe the rainbow.
Too cool!!!

Mud Volcano 189

At the bottom, we got closer shots

Mud Volcano 196

and the family photo




before starting the 328 step climb back up.


Mud Volcano 199

After we got to the top
we walked over to see a view of the upper
falls which drop 109’ over a lip of volcanic rock



There are 3 view points for the Lower falls
and two for the upper.   The “brink” of both
falls was on the other side of the river
so off we went to get up close and personal.


First with the Upper Falls.
Here’s where we were going.


And when we got there, the river rushing toward the drop off.

Mud Volcano 207


And plunging over the edge where the spray
makes the rainbow.


Mud Volcano 210


Are you getting the picture that I’m falls crazy?
I could have stayed all day mesmerized by the water
and its power.  But there was the Brink of the Upper Falls
yet to see.


This one had another steep descent.  About 600 feet
in less than half a mile.  It had steep grades, rough
surfaces and slippery gravel.   But we were up to it.
So down we went, the easy part.



There it goes over the edge


Mud Volcano 225


and throwing up mist as it rushes down the canyon.




After the climb back up, we were
ready to call it a day and started back
down the Hayden Valley Road.


It wasn’t long before we were in
another buffalo jam.
Nancy Mills commented that she thought
the buffalo were stalking us
and I’m beginning to think she
may be right.   Here they are
deciding to cross the road right in front of us.


Mud Volcano 241 

After they got across the line of traffic
started to move and then stopped again
in both directions.

Finally we could see clearly that
this drum major had decided to
lead the parade on the other side of
the road.


Mud Volcano 243





We were only able to move on once he passed our car
(see the driver’s side mirror)
and believe me he was in NO HURRY!
It had taken us an hour to go 6 miles.




We did finally make it back to fix dinner
and enjoy the sunset.
This picture may also give you a
bit of a dark look over our picnic table
at Bridge Bay Campground Loop B.




It took two posts to cover this great day but
we were mighty tired at its end.


  1. I like the National Parks that have buses, but I still want to go to Yellowstone someday. Great photos of the Falls.

  2. What a great day is was!!!

    Your photos of the canyon, river and rainbows are spectacular!

    Nice photo of the 3 of you...what fun it must be to have Carrie see all this with you:o)) Making memories that is what it is all about!!

  3. I agree with you. There is something very magical about the Falls. Any of them. Beautiful.

  4. No Sherry i have NOT adopted Carl. My son lives with me, he works in landscape maint for a company that invested in alot of low income properties throughout the state and is working at these properties, re-doing the landscaping. He has been the last month in Ashland area, coming home on the week ends. Sooo, Carl is with me all the time :)

  5. Boy, talk about a Stairmaster!!

    Incredible photos of the falls and sunset. I can never get enough of the sunsets!

  6. Makes me want to go back!!! What an amazing day that was!


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