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Upper Falls, Lower Falls and Crystal Falls Professional Review and Guide
"This hike takes you to three magnificent waterfalls in the Grand Canyon -- Crystal Falls, with a 129-foot drop; Lower falls, with a 308-foot drop; and Upper Falls, with a 109-foot drop.
A footbridge crosses over Cascade Creek just above Crystal Falls. For an awesome view of Lower Falls, follow the Brink of Falls Trail as it descends 600 feet into the canyon to the top of the falls."
--Robert Stone, Day Hikes in Yellowstone National Park (Day Hike Books).
The trails is mostly paved and very packed with tourists. The falls are gorgeous, but are a major tourist hike. The views are 5 star but the traffic brings down the rating.
It was still early in the season when we did this hike, so overcrowding was not a problem. The hike to the falls was absolutely beautiful! The Canyon is a must-see when in Yellowstone. Crystal Falls was easy to reach from the North Rim Trail, and it's quite pretty. The hike to the Brink of Lower Falls was rather challenging (600 ft. drop; approx. 12 switchbacks) but it was definitely worth it! We got to experience the thunderous intensity of the Lower Falls up close. We walked to the Brink of Upper Falls, too, but found out that we really couldn't see very much of the falls from there. In fact, Upper Falls is best observed from two viewpoints at Uncle's Tom's parking area on the South Rim.
As a side note, our favorite hike in the Canyon area was to Red Rock Point (from North Rim Trail). Awesome view of Lower Falls! The trail was somewhat challenging but in a fun way (500 ft. drop; 9 switchbacks + 91 stairsteps). We highly recommend this side trip! :)
The trail along Yellowstone's Grand Canyon is a well-marked, heavily used trail to a must see feature of Yellowstone. The falls are fantastic and if the wind is just right on a hot summer day the mist resulting from the long drop will reach up and cool you off.
The canyon itself is incredibly steep and forbidding. A little vegetation clings on here and there, particularily in areas continually "rained upon" by the river's mists.
Although I usually seek solitude and more challngening hikes this is simply a must see and requires little effort to find or navigate. The trail has stairs in the steeper portions and even a benches and handrails if my recollection is right.
Somehow, the beauty of Yellowstone seems to offer one an illusion of solitude on even the busiest days.
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