Terraced Falls Hike - Countdown: 15 Days

August 10, 2012 Posted by: DL

Terraced Falls
Terraced Falls
NPS Photo/RG Johnsson

Terraced Falls is a beautiful set of waterfalls along the Falls River in the southwest corner of Yellowstone National Park (called Cascade Corner for the many cascades and waterfalls found in this area).  This is one of the easier hikes to waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park, although not one of the easier trailheads to access.  Hiking distance: approximately 4 miles roundtrip. 

This trail starts on Grassy Lake Road about 13 miles from Flagg Ranch and 1.5 miles west of Grassy Lake Reservoir.  Look for the sign for Cascade Creek Trailhead on the right (north); parking is available on both sides of the road.  From the trailhead, the trail follows an old roadbed for about ¼ mile and then comes to a trail junction.  The right fork of this junction immediately crosses Cascade Creek and then travels about a mile to meet the Grassy Lake to Union Falls Trail.  To go to Terraced Falls, choose the left fork of the trail; about 25 feet past the trail junction, you will see a trail sign for the falls. (1)

Falls along Cascade Creek
Falls along Cascade Creek
NPS Photo/D. Lehle

The trail continues for 1.4 miles through forests, traveling along first Cascade Creek and then Falls River, before reaching Terraced Falls - a multiple waterfall in a spectacular volcanic canyon.  It's a great short hike, especially in the fall when the mosquitoes have died down.  Once at Terraced Falls, the trail ends.  From the south side of the river there is no good view of the base of the falls; the best viewing is from the top down.  The falls consists of six tiers totaling about 140 ft.  The first tier, 35 feet high, is located upriver from the main section of the falls.  The main section consists of 5 tiers with heights of 25, 50, 5, 10, and 5 feet. (2)  

Terraced Falls
Lower Terraced Falls
NPS Photo/Danielle Lehle


(1) Marshall, Mark C. and Joy Sellers Marshall. Yellowstone Trails. Yellowstone: The Yellowstone Association.  2008.

(2) Rubinstein, Paul, Lee H. Whittlesey, and Mike Stevens. The Guide to Yellowstone Waterfalls and Their Discovery. Boulder: Big Earth Publishing. 2000

Upper Terraced Falls
Upper Terraced Falls
NPS Photo/Danielle Lehle

Last updated: August 12, 2012

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