Afternoon light filtered through clouds brings out the arresting colors and textures of America’s “second Grand Canyon,” the cleft in Yellowstone National Park left by the Yellowstone River. Not nearly as deep as the first Grand Canyon, it is nevertheless magnificent for its red and yellow volcanic slopes dropping directly to the raging green river below. It is the yellow sulfurous rock of this canyon that inspired the name of America’s first national park.
Nearly four million people visit Yellowstone in a typical year, and virtually all of them stand at this spot, Artist Point. They are looking in a different direction, however, and often miss this view. A 180-degree pivot away is the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River, so mesmerizing that everyone forgets to turn around. (Pricing Schedule D)