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 (which you can see from the steam rising in the picture at the top of this page). The falls was named after the local fauna who tend to prefer the swampy southern section of Yellowstone National Park. 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, but in this instance, the geothermally heated waters of the creek allowed them to thrive even at the higher lattitude 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.
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 then descending 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, which I suspect could be due to increased geothermal activity.
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 when they would sense disturbance. So that was definitely something we learned to respect after going on that trip. In my second visit (in August 2017), I showed up at the east-facing waterfall at sunrise where the area was getting a nice warm glow from the sun, but it also happened to be a bitterly cold morning.
Look for the pullout on the east side of US89 just a little over a mile north of the South Entrance of Yellowstone National Park. 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. The Yellowstone South Entrance was about 57 miles (75 minutes drive) north of Jackson and 70 miles southeast of West Yellowstone, Montana.
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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