The 8 Best Waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park

Written by August Croft
Updated: July 3, 2023
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Lower Falls is one of the most photographed and visited locations in Yellowstone National Park.

As if there wasn’t already enough to see, are you wondering what some of the best waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park might be? If geysers aren’t your thing, or perhaps you have already done plenty of wildlife viewing in some of America’s fantastic national parks, you may be ready to explore something different. And what better opportunity is there than to experience waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park? 

In this article, we will go over some of the best waterfalls found within Yellowstone National Park, including how you can access them. We will also go over what the tallest waterfalls are, as well as which waterfalls are the most popular. If you are seeking a guide to waterfalls in Yellowstone, you’re in the right place. Let’s get started now! 

Best Waterfalls in Yellowstone

Whether you are seeking a day hike with a rewarding waterfall at the end, or perhaps you simply want a nice place to relax for a moment, there’s a waterfall in Yellowstone for you! 

©iStock.com/ChrisB

Yellowstone National ParkWaterfall Facts and Figures
Number of WaterfallsRoughly 50 named waterfalls, with countless more unnamed and undiscovered ones!
Most Popular WaterfallsUpper Falls, Lower Falls, Fairy Falls, Firehole Falls
Waterfall Hiking OpportunitiesFairy Falls Loop, Brink of the Upper and Lower Falls Trails, Mystic Falls Hike 
Tallest Waterfall in YellowstoneSilver Cord Cascade (1200 feet), or Lower Yellowstone River Falls (308 feet)
Most Underrated WaterfallsUnion Falls, Kepler Cascades

Waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park

best waterfalls in yellowstone

The Silver Cord Cascade waterfall is 1200 feet tall, but it isn’t nearly as impressive as the Upper Falls of Yellowstone!

©iStock.com/Bartfett

Given the fact that there are roughly 50 named waterfalls within Yellowstone National Park, with countless others unnamed, there’s no shortage of great viewing throughout the park. Whether you are seeking a day hike with a rewarding waterfall at the end, or perhaps you simply want a nice place to relax for a moment, there’s a waterfall in Yellowstone for you! 

Ironically, the tallest waterfall in Yellowstone National Park did not make our list of some of the 8 best waterfalls to view. This is largely due to the style of this particular waterfall, as it forms a single thin line down the cliff. The Silver Cord Cascade waterfall is 1200 feet tall, but it isn’t nearly as impressive as these other Yellowstone falls! Let’s check them out.

Upper Falls

best waterfalls in yellowstone

©iStock.com/Bartfett

Falling 110 feet down into the Yellowstone River, the Upper Falls waterfall is one of the most famous found in this National Park. It is easily viewed from a number of different locations and hikes, including the South Rim Trail and Uncle Tom’s Trail. Know that Uncle Tom’s Trail is particularly steep, but it offers visitors a direct descent down to the powerful force of this waterfall!

Lower Falls

Lower Falls of the Yellowstone. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA.

Lower Falls is the largest volume waterfall in the Rocky Mountains of the United States.

©Scott Catron, CC BY-SA 3.0 – License

While it isn’t taller than the Silver Cord Cascade, the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River is often considered the tallest waterfall in Yellowstone. Falling an impressive 308 feet, Lower Falls is one of the most photographed and visited locations in Yellowstone National Park, besides Old Faithful, of course! You can easily view Lower Falls from the road, or take a number of different hikes to see it up close and personal.

Fairy Falls

best waterfalls in yellowstone

Fairy Falls is over 200 feet tall, making it impressive and beautiful.

©iStock.com/spates

A great hike for families and visitors of all ages, Fairy Falls is charming and serene. You can access these falls after hiking the Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook, giving you the opportunity to view two undeniable legends in Yellowstone. Plus, Fairy Falls is over 200 feet tall, making it impressive and beautiful.

Gibbon Falls

Gibbon Falls in Yellowstone National Park

Gibbon Falls has a drop of approximately 84 feet.

©iStock.com/David Arment

Impressive and easily accessible along a paved, half-mile trail, Gibbon Falls is perfect for first-timers visiting Yellowstone. You can choose to take a brief but pleasant walk to view the falls directly, or you can view this scene from the road. You may opt for roadside viewing instead, given that the parking lot for Gibbon Falls fills up quickly!

Tower Falls

best waterfalls in yellowstone

As of now, the trails to the bottom of Tower Falls are currently under maintenance and repair, though you can still see the falls from above.

©iStock.com/Tim Speer

Another popular waterfall in Yellowstone has to be Tower Falls. It’s tall, at 132 feet, and it cascades between enchanting rock structures known to locals as ‘the towers’. As of now, the trails to the bottom of Tower Falls are currently under maintenance and repair, though you can still see the falls from above.

Firehole Falls

Firehole Falls in Yellowstone National Park

Firehole Falls are located approximately 0.5 miles upstream from the confluence of the Firehole and Gibbon Rivers at Madison Junction.

©WikiBunny11, CC BY-SA 3.0 – License

Formed along the Firehole River, Firehole Falls are impressive and unique year-round. You can view the falls from the roadside, and a few different overlooks, or you can do a moderately strenuous hike along the Firehole River. These falls are unique in that they are along the thermally charged Firehole River, emitting steam during the winter months

Union Falls

Union Falls on Mountain Ash Creek in Yellowstone National Park

Union Falls on Mountain Ash Creek is the second tallest waterfall in Yellowstone National Park.

©Metrodyne, CC BY-SA 3.0 – License

At 250 feet tall, Union Falls drips down a sheer rock cliff like a spiderweb. It is a beautiful sight to behold, though you may not get to see it in person. It is extremely difficult to reach, with a nearly 15-mile round-trip hike involved. Not only is that a load of walking, but you’ll be hiking through bear country and crossing rivers to do it! However, many people report that it is well worth the journey.

Kepler Cascades

best waterfalls in yellowstone

There’s no way to access the Kepler Cascades from its base, but you can take a pleasant boardwalk tour and observe it from above.

©iStock.com/Martina Birnbaum

If you are looking for a much more accessible waterfall, check out the Kepler Cascades. Viewable from an extremely short walk from a parking lot, you can check out this 150-foot-tall waterfall with ease. There’s no way to access this waterfall from its base, but you can take a pleasant boardwalk tour and observe it from above, right after doing the Upper Geyser Basin hike!

Summary of The 8 Best Waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park

RankWaterfall
1Upper Falls
2Lower Falls
3Fairy Falls
4Gibbon Falls
5Tower Falls
6Firehole Falls
7Union Falls
8Kepler Cascades
Summary Table of The 8 Best Waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park

The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Martina Birnbaum


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About the Author

August Croft is a writer at A-Z Animals where their primary focus is on astrology, symbolism, and gardening. August has been writing a variety of content for over 4 years and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Theater from Southern Oregon University, which they earned in 2014. They are currently working toward a professional certification in astrology and chart reading. A resident of Oregon, August enjoys playwriting, craft beer, and cooking seasonal recipes for their friends and high school sweetheart.

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