Tower Fall was one of the more graceful and picturesque waterfalls that we’ve seen in Yellowstone. It was a beautiful 132ft waterfall that got its name from the tower formations looming over the canyon it was nestled in. In the morning, we were fortunate to see rainbows in its mist adding to the lovely scene.
In order to get to the view you see at the top of this page, we had to hike down a mostly paved but somewhat steep 1/4-mile trail. After a large chunk of the descent was done, we then followed Tower Creek upstream to the trail’s end where some railings indicated where the end of the trail was. It was also from here that we could see the gorgeous waterfall flanked by the namesake towers that really added to the scene.
However, that photo you see at the top of this page may not be feasible (at least in a sanctioned way) due to the closure of that last section of trail following Tower Creek. I suspect that the trail was closed because of erosion of the banks of Tower Creek cutting into the trail.
Personally, I thought it wasn’t too bad when I managed to do it way back in late June 2004 (admittedly, I hopped the barricade), but I can easily see why the officials erred on the side of caution. After all, if they allowed thousands of visitors a day putting pressure on the unstable stream bank undercutting the paved path, then I’m sure the rate of erosion would dramatically increase and would eventually result in people getting hurt falling into the creek if the banks would cave and slide into the creek.
Since the time I last visited this falls in 2004, I haven’t heard any news as to whether this trail had been re-opened or if it will ever re-open.
So assuming the view from the base of Tower Fall wouldn’t be available, the alternate would be a somewhat disappointing view (at least in comparison) from the upper overlook, which was near the start of the steep descent just a few paces from the car park. The view from here was disappointing because there were trees obstructing the bottom sections of the falls, but at least the towers were more prominent and visible from this vantage point. Nonetheless, the rating I gave was based on our experience of viewing the waterfall from its base. That score would probably be more on the order of 2 or 2.5 if we had to settle for the upper overlook only.
The well-signed car park is on the Grand Loop Road in the northeast part of the park just past the bridge over Tower Creek about 2.5 miles south of the Tower Junction.
Tower Junction is about 30 minutes drive (18 miles) east of Mammoth and over 30 minutes drive (19 miles) north of Canyon Junction via Dunraven Pass. Mammoth and Mammoth Hot Springs is about 90 minutes drive from Bozeman. Canyon Junction is about an hour drive (40 miles) east of West Yellowstone (which itself is about 4.5 hours drive north of Salt Lake City). Canyon Junction is also about 3 hours drive north of Jackson Hole.
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