Thursday, June 14, 2012


Cool with a high of 59 was todays weather, Wednesday, June 13th. It is also my daughter Kelley's birthday! Happy Birthday Kelley.

We packed a lunch and headed out to the South Rim. Our first stop was the parking lot for the Upper Falls overlook and the trailhead for Uncle Tom's Point. It was a little sunnier than the last time we were here, but there was a cooling breeze.

After we viewed the Upper Falls, which were great, we headed down the trail to Uncle Tom's Point where we could get a good view of the Lower Falls. This trail had very specific warnings about its difficult descent and more difficult ascent. It had  series of paved switch back inclines and 344 steps which led us to about 500 feet down into the canyon. The warning stated,"This strenous trail is not recommended for people with heart, lung, or other health conditions." Since we are both in such great shape (you can laugh anytime now) we took the challenge and headed down.

They were not kidding! Going down was tough on the knees, but coming back up was very slow going with many stops to catch our breath and rest our legs. The trip was worth it! The canyon rock is absolutely gorgeous with different gradients of yellow and some red and pink thrown in. The Falls were spectacular with pounding green water flowing from the top down into the basin below. We were treated to another rainbow at the base of the falls.

Lower Falls from UncleTom's Point
Leaving here, we went to Artist's Point. This is the most photographed views in Yellowstone. We saw the water cascading 308 feet over the Lower Falls with the river winding through the canyon below.
Lower Falls from Artist's Point

Not to be outdone by the South Rim Drive and trails, the North Rim brought even more opportunities for us to see the Lower Falls from many different view points. From the Brink of Lower Falls to the Grand View of the canyon, falls and river below we were thrilled to see the beauty of the rock formation, its various shades of color, the flow of the river through the canyon and an osprey in its nest atop one of the rock outcroppings. 
Mist from Falls, River through the Canyon and snow on cliffs on each side.

We did a second hike down to the Brink of the Lower Falls. This trail had the same warning as Uncle Tom's Point. We braved it anyway! It was a paved path with no steps, but it was extremely steep..460 feet down..all switchbacks! Needless to say there was a lot of stopping on the way back up again.
View from Brink of Lower Falls

The evening brought rain so no campfire this night. Tomorrow, we'll drive up to Tower Falls north of Canyon Village. Temperatures should be about the same, so we're looking forward to a cool, but clear day for more exploring.

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