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Brink of Lower Falls Trail



0.4 mile 0.6 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 0' 0 m
Descent: -248' -75 m
High: 7,720' 2,353 m
Low: 7,473' 2,278 m


Avg Grade: 13% (7°)
Max Grade: 40% (22°)


No Dogs
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Trail shared by Tom Carter

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

Tom Carter

Features River/Creek · Views

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.


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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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Flora & Fauna


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Sep 23, 2019
Sara Wells
Sep 19, 2019
P Nauert
0.4mi — 9h 15m
Sep 13, 2019
Darren McPherson
Great view of lower falls 0.9mi
Sep 3, 2019
Bree Cefaratti
Steep, pavement has come undone in some spots. Worth it. 0.4mi
Sep 2, 2019
泓 孙
Aug 22, 2019
Madi Bagley
Aug 19, 2019
Andy Markevicus
Aug 9, 2019
Jean-Baptiste Perriot

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Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 36 votes


  4.7 from 36 votes
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in Wyoming


149 Views Last Month
10,403 Since Sep 8, 2015



At the brink of Lower Yellowstone Falls.
Sep 10, 2015 near Canyon…, WY
Yellowstone Canyon.
Mar 7, 2016 near Canyon…, WY
Falls of the Yellowstone.
Sep 9, 2015 near Canyon…, WY


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