About Moose Falls
Moose Falls was a small 30ft waterfall with pretty healthy volume on Crawfish Creek near the Southern Entrance of Yellowstone National Park.
What was peculiar about this falls was that the water appeared to be geothermally heated.
In fact, you can see from the photo above that there was steam rising from the waterfall itself!
Crawfish at Moose Falls?
However, this waterfall was also once referred to as the “Crawfish Falls” since it sat on the creek with this name.
This was noteworthy because crawfish tended to thrive in the warmer waters of the Gulf Coast of the USA.
That said, in this instance, the geothermally heated waters of the creek allowed them to thrive even at the higher latitude and elevation of northwest Wyoming!
The geothermal heating of Crawfish Creek could also be why I spotted quite a few people swimming at the base of the falls during my first visit here back in June 2004.
Unfortunately on my August 2017 and 2020 visits, signs everywhere warned people that the creek had gotten dangerously hot and thus prohibited swimming.
Experiencing Moose Falls?
From a fairly sizable pullout just north of the bridge over Crawfish Creek (see directions below), I followed a well-used path leading me past the brink of the falls.
This path then descended some steps before reaching the banks of Crawfish Creek.
This was where I took the photo you see at the top of this page.
The 75-yard jaunt was short enough to consume as little as 15 minutes away from the car.
One thing I did notice that was unusual about my second visit to this waterfall was that there was a closure sign saying the immediate area was closed to both entry into the water as well as any off trail travel.
I suspect that this could be due to increased geothermal activity.
In my second visit (in August 2017), I showed up at the east-facing Moose Falls at sunrise where the area was getting a nice warm glow from the sun, but it also happened to be a bitterly cold that morning.
Even under such conditions, going into potentially boiling water was definitely not a wise thing to do!
Don’t Mess With Moose
Finally, attesting to the increased likelihood of seeing moose in the southern section of Yellowstone National Park, we happened to see one of them just south of the South Entrance while heading towards the Grand Tetons.
Prior to our June 2004 visit when this happened, we mostly associated moose with the cartoon Rocky and Bullwinkle.
However in reality, moose could be one of the most aggressive and dangerous land mammals, especially whenever they sensed any kind of disturbance.
So that was definitely something we learned to respect after going on that trip.
Moose Falls resides in Yellowstone National Park near West Yellowstone in Park County, Wyoming. It is administered by the National Park Service. For information or inquiries about the park as well as current conditions, visit the National Park Service website.
Moose Falls was just north of the south entrance of Yellowstone National Park.
We looked for the pullout on the east side of US89 just a little over a mile north of the Yellowstone South Entrance.
The pullout was immediately north of the bridge over Crawfish Creek.
Going in the other direction, the pullout was about 20 miles (30 minutes drive) south of the West Thumb Junction.
For additional geographical context, West Yellowstone, Montana was 58 miles (at least 90 minutes drive) south of Gardiner, Montana, 90 miles (over 90 minutes drive) south of Bozeman, Montana, 72 miles (under 2 hours drive) north of Flagg Ranch (near Yellowstone’s South Entrance), and 321 miles (about 4.5 hours drive) north of Salt Lake City, Utah.
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