Brink of Lower Falls Trail

 10 votes

0.4 Miles 0.6 Kilometers


Paved Path

0' 0 m

Ascent

-248' -75 m

Descent

7,720' 2,353 m

High

7,473' 2,278 m

Low

13%

Avg Grade (7°)

40%

Max Grade (22°)

All Clear

87 days agoUpdate

This trail switchbacks steeply down to the very brink of the 308-foot Lower Falls.

Tom Carter

Overview

This trail contains steep drop-offs that are extremely dangerous for children. In 2014, a young girl lost her footing, stepped off this trail, and plunged 550 feet into the canyon.
Features: River/Creek — Views

Description

The Brink of Lower Falls Trail switchbacks steeply down a mostly forested section of the Grand Canyon to an observation platform perched at the top of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone. Here the mighty river thunderously plunges 308 feet into the heart of the canyon and hikers are afforded spectacular views down river into the vast, colorful canyon.

From the Brink of Lower Falls parking area, the trail (which technically doesnt begin until the end of the first switchback) drops more than 300 feet in 0.4 miles. This very popular trail is often quite crowded. It is even more crowed since the direction of the one-way North Rim Road was changed making this the first stop on the road. Now, many visitors stop here thinking its a short way to the viewpoint and are unprepared for this steep, somewhat difficult trail. So expect a slow hike down and an even slower hike back up. But the views at the bottom are amazing, making it a must-do hike for many.

In 1887, Owen Wister, gathering stories and inspiration later used in his classic western novel, The Virginian, described Lower Falls this way: "This is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. The water falls . . . 300 feet into a caldron of rock . . . the spray floats out into a rainbow that melts away into many-coloured moss, until you cannot discern which is moss and which rainbow."

Thanks to guidebook author, Tom Carter, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about visiting Yellowstone, check out his book, Day Hiking Yellowstone.

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4.7 from 10 votes


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Check-Ins

Sep 8, 2017
Adam Tilman
Aug 26, 2017
Jess B
Aug 14, 2017
Heather Klos
Aug 3, 2017
Radha P.
Well designed trail down into canyon. Very smooth and not too steep. Great views of waterfall and canyon along sides. 1mi
Jul 23, 2017
Ed Peredo
Pretty neat.
Jul 17, 2017
Mike Zane
0.4mi
Jul 15, 2017
Jennifer Shoemaker
Best view of the Lower Falls, bar none 4mi
Jul 4, 2017
Udeeb Shankhadev

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Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 10 votes

#36

Overall
  4.7 from 10 votes
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#2

in Wyoming

#36

Overall
337 Views Last Month
2,841 Since Sep 8, 2015
Intermediate Intermediate

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Conditions


All Clear 87 days ago
Some disrepair but clear
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