Of all Yellowstone National Park’s waterfalls, the Upper Falls of the Yellowstone River are possibly the most underrated. At a thundering height of 109 feet (33 meters), the Upper Falls are an impressive sight that’s certainly worthy of a stop—and would more than likely be the highlight of virtually any other park.
The Upper Falls are often overshadowed by the nearby Lower Falls, which tumble 308 feet (94 meters) through the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone—the highest waterfall in the park. The most accessible views of the Upper Falls are from the Uncle Tom’s parking area, located just south of Canyon Village and five minutes from the Lower Falls. By following the Southern Rim Trail, it’s easy to experience both the Lower and Upper Falls via a short, half‐mile hike.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Upper Falls are a must-see for those looking to get off the beaten track in Yellowstone.
- Don’t forget your camera; the views of the falls and surrounding Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone are spectacular.
- The short paved trail at the top of Brink of the Lower Falls offers wheelchair-accessible views of Upper Falls.
How to Get There
The easiest way to get to the falls, located near Canyon Village, is by car. Take North Rim Drive to see the Upper Falls from the Brink of Lower Falls parking area, or opt for South Rim Drive to see the falls from the parking area for Uncle Tom’s Point.
When to Get There
The best time to see the Upper Falls is in late spring and early summer, when snowmelt swells the Yellowstone River and the falls’ water volume is at its most impressive. Come during the winter to avoid crowds and see the falls in all their frozen beauty.
Waterfalls of Yellowstone National Park
The Upper and Lower Falls are only two of the hundreds of waterfalls that dot the landscape within the nation’s oldest national park. Crystal Falls, also located in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, is visible from South Rim Trail. Other easily accessible falls include Firehole Falls, located just off Firehole Canyon Scenic Drive; Tower Fall, near Canyon Village; Gibbon Falls, between Madison and Norris Junctions; and the Kepler Cascades, situated just south of Old Faithful.