Rocky Mountain Waterfalls

Rocky Mountain Waterfalls

 When you’re climbing mountains, if you’re lucky, you get to see waterfalls!

Waterfalls have a way of mesmerizing me.
Constant forward movement.
Chattering noisily, wearing away mountains, ever so slowly.
Refreshing. Enchantingly stimulating! Powerful.

I thought I’d put together a post with some waterfalls I’ve gotten to enjoy over the years, but the list was so long I knew it would be best to break them down in some fashion. I’m beginning with the twelve waterfalls I saw in the Rocky Mountains.

I often reminisce about the time Nathan and I spent the better part of two weeks hiking and camping in the Rockies. We drove from Massachusetts to Colorado, working our way north from Rocky Mountain National Park, to Glacier National Park in Montana. And of course we visited Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming along the way.

Each waterfall was pretty amazing. Most of the falls we saw were fairly easy to get to, and therefore crowded. Somehow, I don’t really remember the people. Only that there were people everywhere (random people in my photos prove this no matter how I remember it).

Some stories have already been told from this spectacular vacation, and then some stories I’m telling for the first time.

Rocky Mountain National Park (CO)

A link is posted below each photo for RMNP with stories I’ve already told.

Fern Falls
Hike: Fern Lake Trail
August 19, 2013

 

Alberta Falls
Hike: Andrews Glacier
August 20, 2013

 

Horseshoe Falls
Last Day in Colorado
August 21, 2013

 

Grand Teton National Park (WY)

August 24, 2013 – We stayed at the Jenny Lake Campground and began our hike from our campsite. Most people get ferried across Jenny Lake (for a fee). Nathan and I decided to hike around instead (about an additional 2 miles). The most popular hike in the park is to Inspiration Point. Hidden Falls is a short detour from the trail that leads to Inspiration Point. Needless to say, there were a lot of people.

The most memorable part of this hike was seeing a bear! It got disturbed by some people, and in its need to escape humans ended up at the viewing platform for Hidden Falls. I didn’t get close to the bear after I saw it cautiously walking amongst the bushes. Nathan on the other hand… got pictures.

Black bear near Hidden Falls.

 

Hidden Falls

 

Yellowstone National Park (WY)

Waterfalls aren’t necessarily the main attraction at Yellowstone National Park considering all the hydrothermal features, but they are refreshing to see in the midst of everything else. Nathan and I saw three roadside falls throughout our stay in the park, and we also went exploring around the Canyon Area to see the falls on the Yellowstone River.

Lewis Falls
Approximate Height: 30 ft (9.1 m)
Located near the South Entrance.
August 26, 2013

 

Firehole Falls
Approximate Height: 40 ft (12 m)
Located in Firehole Canyon, a two mile one-way road.
August  27, 2013

 

Gibbon Falls
Approximate Height: 84 ft (26 m)
Located near Madison Junction.
August 28, 2013

Yellowstone Falls

August 29, 2013 – Stairs. So many stairs. Stairs. Both Uncle Tom’s Trail and the Brink of the Upper Falls have an excruciating amount of stairs! The view. That feeling. The power of the water that flows in the Yellowstone River is truly breathtaking and magically energizing.

Upper Falls
Chittenden Memorial Bridge behind the Upper Falls.

 

Upper Falls
Height: 109 ft (33 m)

 

A view of the Lower Falls from Uncle Tom’s Trail.
Height: 308 ft (94 m)
I can’t believe I didn’t take a single picture of the stairs!

 

Lower Falls
Nathan and I at the bottom of the stairs, aka Uncle Tom’s Trail.

 

Glacier National Park (MT)

September 3, 2013 – Three falls in one hike! Such a memorable hike for me. My kind of hiking weather and so many water features in a fairly short distance.

Baring Creek, St. Mary River, and Virginia Creek cutting their way down the mountains, leaving waterfalls behind, on their way to St. Mary Lake.

Baring Falls

No one was around.

Me in front of Baring Falls.
Elevation – 4572 ft

St. Mary Lake

No one was around. A slight sprinkle of rain, painted the rocks a more vibrant red, if that’s even possible. I remember just standing in awe of the mountain tops that surrounded me on the lake shore. Water so blue. Peaceful. Tranquil.

Little Chief Mountain behind St. Mary Lake.

St. Mary Falls

Amazing colors! From the rocks to the water. Unfortunately, this is a popular destination and fairly easy to hike to, so the human element is all around. Luckily, most people don’t venture much farther, so by continuing on we were able to leave most people behind.

St. Mary Falls
Elevation – 4560 ft

 

The Continental Divide Trail takes you to Virginia Falls, running along Virginia Creek. As we hiked up we saw several different sets of cascades worthy of acknowledgement.

Little Chief Mountain 9,541 ft (2,908 m)
A view from the Continental Divide Trail.

 

Small cascade along the trail to Virginia Falls.

 

Nathan relaxing by another cascade along the trail to Virginia Falls.

Virginia Falls

We weren’t alone, but enough so that it was easy to pretend we were the only one there.

Me in front of Virginia Falls.
Elevation – 4802 ft

 

I couldn’t find information on the different falls heights, but I did find elevations for each from a photo I took of a sign near the St. Mary Trailhead.

Nathan – My travel companion, partner in crime… my better half.

All photos were taken by me or Nathan (unless we’re in a photo together… then we have to thank a passerby for offering).