We got another early start today arriving at Yellowstone about 7:45. Once again, we were able to drive right in without waiting.
We drove a little ways and saw some cars stopped. You learn real quick when you see a lot of cars stopped there are animals of some sort nearby.
There were two beautiful bull elks sitting in the grass. They were gorgeous!
Today we wanted to explore the canyon area.
Our first stop was the brink of the upper falls. It was a beautiful, crisp morning and a temperature of 49 degrees when we got out of the car. It didn't feel that cool since the sun was shining and there was no wind.
We walked the short walk to the brink. The power of the water falling is awesome.
We admired the views for awhile and then headed to Artist's Point at the south rim. This is one of the most photographed points in the canyon with the canyon walls on each side of the Yellowstone River flowing down causing the Lower Falls.
This is the view of the canyon and river downstream.
Next, we drove over to the Upper Falls Viewpoint to catch a glimpse.
Our next destination was Uncle Tom's Trail. On our way we caught a glimpse of Crystal Falls on the opposite side of the canyon.
A man named H.F. Richardson, known to his contemporaries as "Uncle Tom", pioneered a trail into the heart of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. He would take early visitors down to the bottom of the falls using steps, ladders, and ropes. Today, Uncle Tom's Trail includes 328 steps, roughly equivalent to the number of the stairs in a 20 story building.
And so we began...
Of course it was all downhill. We climbed down the stairs, there were magnificent views all along the way.
We reached the bottom platform and were greeted with the following view. It was awesome!
Admiring the view and many pictures later, the trek up would begin. This was just the beginning.
There are many places to stop on your way up and I think we stopped at all of them. We slowly made it back up to the top 45 minutes later.
We stopped for lunch by the river and made our way to the north rim. The parking lots were now getting very crowded, but we found a parking place quickly at the Brink of the Lower Falls Trail. We went down the trail 600 feet below to view the power of the water as it plunges 308 feet over the Lower Falls.
Of course, we now had to go back up that 3/4 mile trail which is all uphill and we did it very s l o w l y.
We made it back to the top and continued the North Rim drive. The next three points were so crowded we decided we would come back another day to see them early in the morning.
We did stop at Inspiration Point and took this shot of the canyon. There were 50 steps to get up and down to Inspiration Point. After that, we had enough stair stepping and inclined walking for the day and decided to head home.
We drove the Virginia Cascades Road on our way out. It is a one way road high above the Gibbon River.
As you weave along the narrow road, you are able to see the Virginia Cascades falling about 60 feet. We found a pull out to snap the picture and then drove a little further and got out at the brink of the falls.
We were almost out of the park when we saw a group of cars on the side of the road and yes, there was an elk herd.
They were all cows with their babies, just awesome to watch. Another wonderful day in Yellowstone!