Standing here at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is always an impressive thing, but standing here in the winter is something to behold. This is not only one of the most remote spots in the lower 48; it is one of the most beautiful.
The artist that shaped this American treasure continues to work on this unique place today. The 671 mile Yellowstone River, which flows through the canyon, is the longest undammed river in the United States.
Upstream from the canyon, the Yellowstone seems quiet and peaceful. The deep color of the water is in direct contrast to the white pillows of snow along the river bank. The peacefulness ends at the 109 foot Upper Falls.
But it is below the 308 foot Lower Falls that the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is most spectacular. In winter, when somewhere around 5,000 gallons of water a second is dropping over the falls, an ice and snow mound builds up from the canyon floor.
The contrast between the white snow and the colorful canyon walls makes the journey here worth the planning. The colors are a sign of this area’s volcanic past. The yellows, pinks and reds are caused by iron oxidation. It’s rust. The rock in this area continues to be altered by thermal activity.
When you get here, stay alert. Keep a safe distance from the edge and use the rails when they are available. The trails will be icy.
The skiing in the canyon area is excellent. A variety of machine and skier groomed trails were designed to help you explore the area. Check on current conditions at the Canyon Village warming hut and always ski within your abilities.
To plan your winter trip to Yellowstone's Grand Canyon, checkout the Plan-Your-Visit page on our website. An adventure into this winter wonderland awaits you and your family. This is a place you won't forget.