What is the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and How Deep is It?

waterfalls in yellowstone
© iStock.com/ChrisB

Written by August Croft

Updated: August 10, 2023

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Did you know that there is a location known as the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River? While it may not be quite as impressive as the infamous Grand Canyon in Arizona, Yellowstone National Park has its very own canyon that wows visitors year after year. But what exactly is the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and just how deep is it?

In this article, we will address everything you need to know about the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, including how deep and long it is. We’ll also give you some insider information about some of the best viewing locations along this natural wonder and what hikes you might find most impressive. Let’s get started now!

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Formed by the eruption of multiple calderas in the area, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is just another impressive aspect of this wild landscape!

©iStock.com/ChrisB

Yellowstone National ParkGrand Canyon Facts and Figures
Canyon DepthOver 1,000 feet deep
Canyon Length20 miles long
Best Trails Near the Grand CanyonBrink of the Falls (Upper or Lower), Inspiration Point, Red Rock Points Trail, Artist Point
Length of the Yellowstone River692 miles, undammed
Things to KnowThe Upper and Lower Falls are two of the must-see spots along this stretch of river!

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River: An Overview

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

No matter the time of year that you choose to visit Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Canyon and the Yellowstone River are always stunning!

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Formed over 150,000 years ago, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is just another geological feature to marvel at in Yellowstone National Park. Not only are there geysers and volcanic formations to see, but there’s also a deep and lengthy canyon to explore too. Formed by the eruption of multiple calderas in the area, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is just another impressive aspect of this wild landscape!

There are a number of trails and overlooks to explore in this section of the park, and you may find there’s too much to do in Yellowstone National Park. But just how deep and long is the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone National Park, and how does it compare to the actual Grand Canyon? Let’s take a closer look at the facts and figures now!

Where is the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone on a Map?

If you are wanting to locate this canyon, it is in the northwestern corner of Wyoming. It is southwest of Mount Washburn, WY, and there is a 12-mile hiking loop that connects the two landmarks. Driving north from Yellowstone Lake, it takes about 35 minutes or so to arrive.

How Deep is the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone?

The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is over 1,000 feet deep and roughly 20 miles long. Compared to the actual Grand Canyon located in Arizona, the Yellowstone Canyon isn’t quite as impressive. Given the fact that the Grand Canyon in Arizona is over a mile in depth and nearly 300 miles long, there’s hardly a comparison to be made.

However, this isn’t to say that there aren’t plenty of scenic spots and worthwhile places to visit along the Grand Canyon- far from it! Not only are there plenty of hiking trails along this region of Yellowstone. You can also drive along the rim of the canyon, stopping and checking out multiple viewpoints all without needing to hike! Let’s talk about some of the most scenic spots near the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone now.

Scenic Spots and Trails Near the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

If you want a sweeping look of the entire Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, you should definitely plan on stopping at the Grand View scenic viewpoint area.

©iStock.com/Martina Birnbaum

There are a number of locations that you should check out along the Yellowstone River, should you have the time during your visit. No matter the time of year that you choose to visit Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Canyon and the Yellowstone River are always stunning!

Brink of Upper and Lower Falls Trails

You can see two of the best sights in all of Yellowstone from one trail. Taking the slightly advanced Brink of Lower Falls trail gives you towering views of both waterfalls. As the trail name suggests, you will be brought directly to the brink of the Lower Falls along the Yellowstone River. The Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River cascade over 300 feet down into the river below, so it is well worth the trek!

Grand View

If you want a sweeping look of the entire Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, you should definitely plan on stopping at the Grand View scenic viewpoint area. Accessible via car, you can drive along Grand Loop Road to see the canyon from afar. You should also check out Inspiration Point for another beautiful and breathtaking view of the valley- all accessible via a short walk from distinctly labeled parking lots!

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Artist Point is arguably one of the most popular spots for photographing the Grand Canyon, and there are a number of other trails that you should check out from this viewpoint!

©iStock.com/spates

Tower Fall

Another fantastic waterfall that is visible from a few different roads and turnouts, the Tower Fall offers visitors a beautiful view as well as great wildlife opportunities. You can no longer hike to the base of the waterfall for your own safety, but Yellowstone National Park has recently renovated a few trailheads so that you can see these spectacular views with ease.

Artist Point

Taking South Rim Drive and parking at the end of the road gives you access to Artist Point. This location is easily accessible from the parking lot and it offers you some of the most spectacular views of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, just via a short walk! Artist Point is arguably one of the most popular spots for photographing the Grand Canyon, and there are a number of other trails that you should check out from this viewpoint!


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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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