We love viewing and photographing waterfalls!
Yellowstone in October is wonderful. We enjoyed relative quiet in the park. The only downside was the reduced water flow in the rivers. The waterfalls didn’t have the volume of water they would have during the early summer. But they were mesmerizing nonetheless!
TIP: Use the waterfalls map created by GoWaterfalling for a comprehensive view of the waterfalls in Yellowstone.
The following descriptions are for seven waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park that don’t require hiking to see them. Use our photos and tips to help guide you to each waterfall on your Yellowstone trip!
Firehole Canyon Drive is a 2 mile one way road that runs along the Firehole River. The river provides photographic opportunities as well.
Dave was disappointed there are signs prohibiting climbing to the base of the falls. He enjoys capturing the full magnitude of a waterfall from the base of the falls.
PHOTO TIP: Take the time to create various compositions. Find different angles, distances and frames to photograph the falls.
We enjoyed watching the fish try to jump up the waterfall from the pool at the bottom of the falls.
Gibbon Falls is a spectacular waterfall where the Gibbon River flows 84 feet over the erosion-resistant rock of the giant caldera rim. There is a large parking lot and a paved trail above the banks of the Gibbon River.
Kepler Cascades is a stunning roadside waterfall that drops roughly 100 feet over a series of falls with the largest drop around 50 feet.
A small parking lot is available where a short boardwalk leads to a wooden platform on the canyon’s edge providing the perfect spot to take photos.
PHOTO TIP: During sunrise and early morning the river and waterfalls are in shade which provides even lighting for photographing this location.
Lewis Falls is a 30 foot waterfall located along the South Entrance Road just south of Lewis Lake. There is a small parking area and a sign alerting you to the falls. It is not a very high waterfall, but the easy roadside access makes it a very popular destination. Parking might be difficult to find during peak time and season.
PHOTO TIP: Photograph the upper section of the falls by hiking the 100 yard trail.
PHOTO TIP: Walk down to the river’s edge to get a view of the falls where the river, rocks and logs provides interesting foreground elements.
PHOTO TIP: Walk across the road to photograph the beautiful landscape scene with the river and mountains.
Don’t be so focused on the signed attractions that you fail to see the surrounding beauty Yellowstone provides if you are willing to take the time to see it.
Lower Falls is the most popular waterfall in the park.
The Yellowstone River carved out what’s known today as Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The steep canyon walls and yellow rocks that line it are how the park got the name “Yellowstone.”
You can view the 308 foot Lower Falls from various points along both sides of the canyon rim.
The North Rim Scenic Drive is a short one-way road along the north rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. It has limited parking. Visit this area in the morning to avoid the crowds.
There are several stops along the North Rim Scenic Drive where you can park and enjoy breathtaking views of the canyon and the Lower Falls.
PHOTO TIP: Stop at all the view points, as each one offers a unique vantage to experience and photograph the Lower Falls and canyon.
Inspiration Point, Grand View and Lookout Point are the easiest view points to access. Red Rock Point and Brink of Lower Falls Trail are a bit more strenuous but definitely worth the short walk.
Located about a mile and half from the South Entrance to the park, the trail to Moose Falls is an easy 100 yards.
Tower Fall is 132 feet and surrounded by eroded volcanic pinnacles. The overlook is 100 yards from the parking lot.
We were disappointed the trail down to the base of the waterfall has been permanently closed since the early 2000’s due to seismic activity in the area, a landslide, and a high rate of erosion from the heavy foot traffic.
PHOTO TIP: Hike the trail to access a wonderful section of beach where Tower Creek meets the Yellowstone River. There are many photographic possibilities here so let your creativity take flight!
The trail is 3/4 mile long and a bit steep in some places so be prepared for the extra effort to hike back up.
The serenity of this location combined with the sound of running water made it one of our favorite stops. It was nice to find a quiet spot away from the tourists who were only focused on seeing Tower Falls.
Virginia Cascades is a drive by waterfall, literally. It’s a 60-foot cascading waterfall on the Gibbon River located along a two mile one-way narrow road with steep drop-offs on the passenger side.
There aren’t many pullouts along the road. We found one a bit down the road after we passed the falls and had to walk back to find a location to view and photograph them.
PHOTO TIP: Due to the narrow road, the space to set up a tripod and spend time photographing is limited…and could be dangerous if the traffic is heavy. It’s also difficult to find the ‘right spot’ along the road to get a good view of the waterfall.
This is one waterfall I would skip in favor of the many others in the park that provide parking and space to safely see and photograph them.
Our next trip we plan to go late spring and compare the water volume for these waterfalls. We also want to visit the remaining falls in the park.
Don’t forget to purchase the US National Park Pass – it’s a good deal!
We rely on our Camera Gear Checklist to make sure that all necessary, and possibly needed, equipment is packed in our camera bag ready to go. We recommend the following items for Arches National Park photography:
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