The Brink of Lower Falls is a moderate 1 mile round-trip hike to the brink of the gorgeous Lower Falls in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. Note that if you don’t hike often, you’ll find this to be more on the strenuous side. It’s one of numerous viewpoints along the canyon, but only one of two that allow you to peer over the edge of a waterfall. In this case, the viewpoint overlooks the 308-foot drop of Lower Falls. Be prepared though – the trail drops nearly 400 vertical feet in just shy of 0.5 miles.
Brink of Lower Falls Trail Description
The trail begins at the first parking area along the North Rim Drive. The trail begins paved, and continues as such throughout the duration of the hike. However there are a few mildly rough patches here and there, but nothing that poses too much of a hazard.
You’ll immediately begin descending the steep switchbacks, consistently dropping in elevation at a rapid rate. Along the way you’re occasionally treated to beautiful views up the Yellowstone River, the roar of the falls always audible along the trail. As you near the last switchback, a stunning view down the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River comes into view, teasing a bit of what’s to come.
Finally at the actual Brink of Lower Falls, the unparalleled sight of seeing a rushing river of clear blue-green water sweeping over the rim of the canyon, with the pastel canyon extending miles into the distance, can be quite overwhelming to many. It’s a scene well worth relishing, especially given that you have to climb back out. When you’ve had your fill of the view, head back out the way you came in.
From the Canyon Visitor Education Center in Canyon Village, head out to the four-way stop with the Grand Loop Road. Turn left and continue south along Grand Loop Road for 1.2 miles. Turn left onto North Rim Drive and park in the first parking lot (if available).
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