Sheepeater Cliff

A wall of hexagonal rock forms a cliff.
Columnar basalt of Sheepeater Cliff

Quick Facts
Mammoth to Norris road

Sheepeater Cliff is made up of columnar basalt deposited by lava flows roughly 500,000 years ago. The Gardner River flows through the valley, exposing the flow and forming the cliff. The basalt of Sheepeater Cliff are known as columnar basalt due to the hexagonal fracture lines that formed in the basalt when it cooled.

The cliff and associated picnic area are named after the Tukudika, or Sheep Eaters—a band of Eastern Shoshone Indians.

Yellowstone National Park

Last updated: July 21, 2021