Yellowstone National Park Feature

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Canyon Tour

Savor the view from Artist Point, on the south rim, where there are two viewing levels, the lower one accessible by wheelchair. After you have peered into the canyon, take at least a short hike along the rim; then return to your vehicle and backtrack along South Rim Drive, return to the Grand Loop Road and proceed north to the North Rim Drive. If you are so inclined, you also can hike the 320 steps down to the river via Uncle Tom's Trail—though the joke is that it feels like 1,000 steps back up.

North Rim Drive is now a one-way, northbound loop, which gives you access to the Brink of the Lower Falls Trail where the waterfall drowns out conversation and the mist settles on your skin. Follow the North Rim Drive for access to Inspiration Point, Grand View Point, and/or Lookout Point, before the road deposits you conveniently in Canyon Village.

Park rangers at Canyon Visitor Center can give you specific details about hikes, and you can learn more about bison, geology, every volcanic eruption recorded in history and American Indians. For a great early-morning or late-evening side trip with opportunities to see a variety of wildlife, travel south of Canyon and into the open meadows of the Hayden Valley, which is home to hundreds of bison, waterbirds, and other wildlife.

Depending on how much hiking you want to do, it can take you anywhere from half a day to a couple of days to explore the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

Updated: 2014-03-12

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Compass American Guides: Wyoming, 5th Edition

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