Yellowstone National Park in Park County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River
A Youthful Glow
The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River was born thousands of years ago, but is till young in geologic time.
After Yellowstone’s most recent icecap melted about 14,000 years ago, the Yellowstone River began excavating old rhyolitic lava flows. With help from wind, rain, and gravity, the river is still carving today.
The canyon’s color and texture are also changing. Heat and gases from Yellowstone’s volcano flow through the rock, transforming it from buff, pink, and grey to golden and ruddy hues, and softening the rock, making it more carvable.
Welcome to Inspiration Point
Trail to Inspiration Point
Step just below the canyon rim by following the path to the Inspiration Point overlook. Be prepared for more than 50 steps to the viewpoint, and an uphill return.
If you prefer, you can view the canyon’s radiant colors and glimpse Lower Falls from the walkway beside the parking area.
Stay safe! Do not leave trails or overlooks!
The place where I obtained the best…view of the canyon was a narrow projecting point [Inspiration Point] situated two or three miles below the lower fall. Standing there, or rather lying there for greater safety, I thought how utterly
Nathaniel P. Langford, 1870
The Discovery of Yellowstone Park
This exhibit made possible by a generous grant from The Yellowstone Association
Erected by The Yellowstone Association.
Location. 44° 43.499′ N, 110° 28.184′ W. Marker is in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, in Park County. Marker can be reached from Inspiration Point 0.8 miles east of Grand Loop Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Yellowstone National Park WY 82190, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Shifting Ground (a few steps from this marker); The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone (approx. half a mile away); Canyon Colors (approx. half a mile away); Artist Point (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Grand Canyon Of The Yellowstone (approx. 0.7 miles away); Grand View (approx. Lookout Point (approx. 0.9 miles away); Waterfall Makers (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Yellowstone National Park.
More about this marker. On the lower left are two photos with the caption, "Rhyolite is lightly colored. Volcanic heat and gases soften the rock and transform its color into radiant hues."
Also see . . . Yellowstone National Park. (Submitted on July 31, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
Categories. • Natural Features •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 31, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 489 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on July 31, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.