The Two Grands Of Yellowstone

I didn’t go to these on the same day, but decided to share the two most grand things in Yellowstone together: the Grand Prismatic Spring and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.  I’ll start with the canyon.

We hiked to the upper part of the falls.  The hike wasn’t too long, and it’s pretty easy going down.  It’s switchbacks down the side of a hill before coming out to a platform looking over the falls.  This is a pretty awesome view, but the platform was pretty crowded when we were there.  It was mid afternoon, so keep that in mind if crowds bother you.  It didn’t affect the views at all, though.


The hike back up was a little tougher, but nothing that isn’t doable.  If you’re not in great shape, it could be a little tough, but it’s not long.  We didn’t have time to hike to the lower falls, and we weren’t totally sure how to even get there.  That’ll be saved for another trip, along with quite a bit of other stuff.

Next up, the Grand Prismatic Spring.  We went here the day before the canyon, and I was pretty impressed, but I did like other things more.  This is a giant, incredibly colorful spring not too far after Old Faithful.  I would call it more of a walk to the spring than a hike.


It’s up some stairs, then a walk around a boardwalk over the spring.  I think it would be much cooler to see from above, of course, but it’s also really cool to see the steam coming off the top of the icy blue in the center.  I think these are both things you definitely need to see when you visit Yellowstone.  The canyon is so different than anywhere else in the park and, well, the spring, just look at it.

Helpful things:

  • For smaller crowds at either, go early in the morning, or later in the evening.
  • Pleeeeeease don’t be like these guys and walk on the spring.  That’s how it gets ruined and just, please don’t do it.
  • You could see both in one day if that’s all the time you have, just make sure you go early so you have the whole day.  They’re not that close either, so keep driving times in mind when you’re planning.
  • Like always, bring water and stay hydrated.  Also wear sunscreen.


Have you been to Yellowstone?  Did you see either of these?  What was your favorite thing there?  Do you want to go?

3 thoughts on “The Two Grands Of Yellowstone

  1. This is a cool article. There is a third Grand of Yellowstone: Grand Geyser, which put on one of the best shows. Unfortunately, Grand Geyser may require a long wait, because its eruptions can only be predicted to within about a 4-hour span. “When Grand finally begins, a wonderful roaring from underground will accompany a tremendous burst of water up to 150 or 200 feet (45–60 m). But that’s not all—Grand may put forth as many as four of these bursts—or even more. Some people claim the first part of the second burst is always the most fun” (page 91, Yellowstone Treasures, by Janet Chapple).

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