Monday, June 1, 2009

Yellowstone's Grand Canyon

On this visit to Yellowstone, we headed north from Fishing Bridge to Canyon Village.

From the roadway, we could hear the sounds of the LeHardys Rapids, a turbulent part of the otherwise peaceful Yellowstone River. The trail of wooden stairs and wooden walkways led to an observation deck at the river's edge.

Nearby information signs noted that spawning season for the cutthroat trout would occur in June and July. We were a bit early for all the activity associated with the trouts' efforts.

Taking the side road to Artist Point, we came to the first major waterfalls, the Upper Falls.

Near the Upper Falls, we saw this waterfall through the forest.

When we reached Artist Point, these were the views that greeted us. Called Yellowstone's Grand Canyon, this section of the park is a sharp contrast to the geysers and springs in the southwestern part of the park. The walls appeared to have a "softer" quality, in contrast to the Grand Canyon, due to their muted colors.

After seeing the walls of the canyon, 19th century artist Thomas Moran observed: "Its beautiful tints were beyond the reach of human art."

It is hard to explain, but the colors seemed to have a magnetic pull on me, making it very difficult to move on to the next viewpoint.

The Lower Falls provide a beautiful beginning for the water that courses through the 1200-foot-gorge between the brilliantly-colored canyon walls.

There were a good number of trails in this section of the park, and as we traveled parts of them, we were rewarded with beautiful view after beautiful view.

We traveled the North Rim route and found the one-way loop to Inspiration Point. These last two photos show the views from this Point.

It would have been difficult to rush past these scenes even if we had wanted to--the pull of these scenes was that strong.

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