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Introduction to Waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park

Waterfalls are just one of the many types of water features within the Park. Please enjoy them and savor the peaceful feelings they generate.
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Lewis Falls

Lewis Falls in the Fall time...

Bighorn Sheep Ram Herd

Summer herd of bighorn sheep rams...

Grand Geyser

Grand, on right, Turban, and Vent Geyser erupting...

Firehole River

Firehole River with steam rolling out of Grand Prismatic and Excelsior Geysers in the background...

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Waterfalls in Yellowstone NP

The majority of people have seen pictures of Yellowstone's Grand Canyon and the Lower Falls of Yellowstone. So here I wanted share other falls with you. Do you know how many falls there are in Yellowstone National Park?

Lewis Falls seen here in its fall finery is one of at least 290 permanent or temporary waterfalls located in Yellowstone National Park. Many of these falls have been seen by very few people over the years.

Three people who have seen those 290 waterfalls wrote about them in the out of publication book The Guide to Yellowstone Waterfalls and Their Discovery. Paul Rubinstein, Lee H. Whittlesey, and Mike Stevens spent seven years hiking the backcountry of Yellowstone. They saw 290 waterfalls that fall at least 15 feet and many more that didn't meet that height qualification. They will be the first to tell you that they are sure they haven't seen all of the waterfalls in the Park. Remember the Park encompasses 2.2 million acres, much of which have been seen by very few human visitors. So to answer the question posed at the end of the first paragraph, above, we don't know for sure how many waterfalls exist in Yellowstone.

Many of those waterfalls are buried deep in the back country. But, there are at least 15 or more waterfalls or cascades which are within a 2-3 mile walk, many are just steps from the parking area. You are encourage to visit as many as time allows for.

Waterfalls are just one more way nature displays its shear power with water within the Park. The picture to the left is of Moose Falls which is steps away from the parking lot. Once there the noise from the falls totally blocks all traffic sounds. It was invigorating and peaceful at the same time. I was by myself and could easily image what it must of been like for those that first explored this part of our country.

Moose Falls

The above authors used the following definitions for waterfalls and cascades. "...waterfall to mean a plunge or a horsetail, while we use cascade to mean water flowing at an angle with too many small leaps or segments to count."*

Continue to types of waterfalls here.

Rubinstein, P. W., Whittlesey, L. H., and Stevens, Mike. The Guide to Yellowstone Waterfalls and Their Discovery. (2nd Ed.). Eaglewood, CO, 2000: Westcliffe Publishers.

Search the Internet and you may be able to find a reasonably priced used copy of the above book to help you explore Yellowstone's waterfalls.


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