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Lower Falls of the Yellowstone
Yellowstone National Park

Lower Falls of the Yellowstone - of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Lower Falls is located in the eastern central portion of Yellowstone National Park in the Canyon area.

"This cataract, long believed to be the park's tallest at 308 feet, is also one of the great waterfalls of the North America continent. It has had more words written about it than any other park waterfall. Nearly half the historic visitor reactions to Yellowstone waterfalls we collected were written about Lower Falls and its upstream campanion, Upper Falls.

A note in William Clark's journal of his famous 1802-07 expedition stated that the Yellowstone River had "a considerable fall" somewhere in the mountains. Clark then wrote "No" after it, an indication that even he did not believe what he had heard.

But the waterfall was real. Native Americans had probably seen it for years. We may never know what Euro-Americans first looked upon it, but French fur trapper Baptiste Ducharme claimed to have seen Lower Falls in 1824, 1826, and 1839. Explorers Jim Bridger and James Gemmell visited the falls in 1846. In 1851, Bridger drew a map for Father Jean DeSmet that showed "Falls 250 feet."

Traveling prospectors of the 1860s brought stories back to the Montana Territory of a huge waterfall on the Yellowstone River that appeared in frontier newspapers. One such article claimed the falls was "thousands of feet" high while another said it was 1,500 feet and called it "the most sublime spot on earth."

The 1869 Folsom expedition gave the name to both of the great Yellowstone waterfalls, from their positions on the river, and attempted to measure their heights. Their map carried the notation "Lower Falls 350 feet." However, early visitors also referred to it as the "Great Fall" or "Grand Fall" of the Yellowstone.

A notch in the riverbed causes the green color of the water that extends partway down from the top of the falls. This allows the river to retain some of its green color instead of immediately breaking into spray. In 1872 Dr. A.C. Peale mentioned this green streak was present at that time."

Lower Falls of the Yellowstone Information
Location 44° 43' 12.39" N / 110° 28' 47.45" W (Artist Point Parking area - Elev. 7667')
Fall Type Plunge
Height 308 feet
Width 70 - 80 feet at the crest of the falls
Stream Yellowstone River
Flow 63,500 gallons a second in spring ~ 5,000 gallons a second in fall
Access About 1.5 miles south of Canyon Village

The above information is from the book "Yellowstone Waterfalls and their Discovery" by Paul Rubinstein, Lee H. Whittlesey, and Mike Stevens.

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Video was filmed at the Upper Geyser Basin ~ Old Faithful Area of Yellowstone Canyon Area Map

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Yellowstone Waterfall Videos

Yellowstone Waterfall Videos
Cave Falls Mesa Falls Undine Falls
Gibbon Falls Rustic Falls Upper Falls
Lower Falls Tower Fall Wraith Falls

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