Gibbon Falls

Yellowstone National Park / Park County, Wyoming, USA

Rating: 2     Difficulty: 1
Gibbon Falls
Gibbon Falls was a long and ribbon-like cascade on the Gibbon River tumbling a reported total of 84ft in height. We got a top down look at this waterfall from a roadside pullout, and I was able to use the hard barriers here to steady the camera for the pleasing long exposure photo you see at the top of this page. Indeed, this waterfall seemed well suited for that silky effect.

It turned out that this was the most common way to view the waterfall. However, there was apparently another way to get to the base of this waterfall though it seemed to be by far a less common way to see the falls. I only learned about it from the book Rubenstein, et al. book on Yellowstone Waterfalls, but given how that book also talked about some pretty dangerous scrambling, it was hard to tell if we were putting our lives at risk or if that alternate access to the falls was reasonably doable.

In any case, we didn't go that other way. And we most certainly didn't bother trying to find a direct way to the bottom of this waterfall from that roadside pullout. That would have been total folly.

Further down the road towards Madison, we also spotted a different place to view Gibbon Falls more directly. Unfortunately, morning wasn't the best time to do the viewing because the sun was shining against us.

Directions: The roadside pullout/car park is along the stretch of the Grand Loop Road between the Madison Junction and the Norris Junction. It's about 4.7 miles east of Madison and 8.6 miles southwest of Norris.

The start of the hike to the base of the falls was said to be at Gibbon Meadow (another mile downstream from the official pullout and overlook of the falls where we stopped at). We can't really say more about it since we didn't do it, but perhaps on a future trip here, we might give this way a try.

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Nearby Gibbon Falls is the otherworldly and geothermically active Norris Geyser Basin.  I could see why this called this part the Porcelain Basin
The Madison area also seemed to be a good place for wildlife viewing.  We spotted this bison in front of the so-called Purple Mountain
Another look at Gibbon Falls from the popular lookout spotAnother look at the falls from the popular lookout spot

Contextual view of Gibbon Falls from a different pullout further downstream of the more official and popular pulloutContextual view of the falls from a different pullout further downstream of the more official and popular pullout

Closer look at Gibbon Falls from that alternate viewing spotCloser look at the falls from that alternate viewing spot. Notice how morning on a sunny day didn't seem to be the time to view the falls from here.

Another look at Gibbon Falls from the other viewing spot, but this time with Julie's cameraAnother look at the falls from the other viewing spot, but this time with Julie's camera

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For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.

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