Upper Falls, Lower Falls, and Artist’s Point Trail

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Moderate
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
1.5-2h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
6.1 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
141 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead

The Upper Falls, Lower Falls, and Artist’s Point is a fantastic hike in Yellowstone. This trail is moderately challenging but still family-friendly. With beautiful views and impressive waterfalls, this trail is a must-do.

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Route Description for Upper Falls, Lower Falls, and Artist’s Point Trail

The Upper Falls, Lower Falls, and Artist’s Point Trail is an essential route to check out on your visit to Yellowstone National Park. This trail gets extremely busy, especially in the summer at the height of tourist season. We suggest heading out on this hike early in the morning to beat the crowds.

Alternatively, you can check out this trail when most folks have cleared out for the night. This route travels over uneven terrain; proper hiking footwear is strongly recommended for this one. Don't forget a water bottle and a snack too, and you will definitely want to pack the camera; this hike is absolutely stunning

The Falls of the Yellowstone River draw thousands of tourists from all over the world every year. The larger of the two, the Lower Falls stands almost twice the height of Niagara Falls and claims the title of “highest volume waterfall in the American Rocky Mountains.” However, the Upper Falls are not something to miss either. At 34 m tall, the Upper Falls are an impressive sight.

To hike the Upper Falls, Lower Falls, and Artist’s Point Trail, begin at the Wapiti Lake Parking lot and cross over South Rim Drive. Follow the South Rim Trail north for 0.6 km to the Upper Falls. There is a good viewpoint here, but if you continue along the trail for another 0.5 km, you can get a great, picture-perfect view of the Upper Falls from Uncle Tom’s Overlook. From Uncle Tom’s, continue just 0.3 km along the South Rim Trail to the Lower Falls. Head down and check out the Lower Falls before continuing along the South Rim Trail for another mile to Artist’s Point.

Artist’s Point is a great place to rest and soak in the incredible views of Yellowstone Canyon and the Lower Falls. Then, when you are ready to head home, simply retrace your steps back to the trailhead where you began.

For a different perspective of the Upper and Lower Falls, check out the North Rim Trail across the river.

Trail Highlights

Upper Falls

The Upper Falls of Yellowstone National Park is an impressive 110-foot tall waterfall along the Yellowstone River.

Lower Falls

The Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River is the waterfall with the largest volume in the American Rocky Mountains. At 94 m tall, these falls are almost twice the height of Niagara Falls. The best time to see the Lower Falls is the late spring when the meltwater swells the river.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the largest waterfall in Yellowstone?

The Lower Falls on the Yellowstone River is the largest waterfall in Yellowstone National Park.

Insider Hints for Upper Falls, Lower Falls, and Artist’s Point Trail

  • This trail is not long, but give yourself lots of time to enjoy this hike. There are so many incredible views along this trail and you won’t want to rush.

Getting to the Upper Falls, Lower Falls, and Artist’s Point Trail Trailhead

This hike begins at the Wapiti Lake Trailhead parking lot on South Rim Drive.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    No

  • When to do

    April to October

  • Pets allowed

    No

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Upper Falls, Lower Falls, and Artist’s Point Trail Elevation Graph

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Upper Falls, Lower Falls, and Artist’s Point Trail Reviews

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