Uncle Tom’s Trail of the Grand Canyon in Yellowstone National Park

Uncle Tom’s Trail of the Grand Canyon in Yellowstone National Park

Location: Yellowstone National Park, Grand Canyon Area

Distance: 0.6 miles (roundtrip)

Elevation Gain: 373 ft

GPS Coordinates: N 44 42.913 W 110 29.772

Uncle Tom’s Trail is fabulous and unusual trail that takes tourists from the top of Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon to the base of the biggest waterfall in Yellowstone to the 308-foot-high Lower Falls.

Take these 328 steps down and enjoy the rainbow that is seen through the splashes and mist. Don’t worry that you won’t make it, you will because there are many benches and special places for rest. But it should be said that the trail is very steep. The elevation gain is 373 ft.

To get to the trailhead, drive along Artist Point Road, then park at Artist Point. Uncle Tom’s Trail is well-marked, before you get to the steel steps, you will descend down several paved switchbacks.

Uncle Tom’s Trail is the oldest and most famous trail into the canyon, and the closest trail to the base of the famous Lower Falls. The trail was constructed in the late 1800s by Uncle Tom Richardson. In 1890s the National Park Service allowed him to take visitors on special tours. He took them across the Yellowstone River, led them along the south rim of Grand Canyon and at the end of the tour Uncle Tom took visitors to the base of Lower Falls, using special rope ladders. Before turning back the tourists would enjoy a picnic, taking delight in the beauty of the Yellowstone’s nature.

Lee Whittlesey, a historian once mentioned that it was very difficult to climb those robes and robe ladders for most people, and for women Uncle Tom would bring pins to pin their dresses for making a hiking easier.

Though this trail is very steep it is worth hiking, because the views along the way and at the end are rewarding! If you plan your visit to Yellowstone National Park, don’t miss this trail, this is the trial where history, geology and nature’s beauty are combined together.

Photo: Roman Khomlyak

Photo Editing: Juliana Voitsikhovska

Information: Marina Petrova

Pictures taken: 28.06.2016

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