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Gibbon Falls

Waterfall in Wyoming

Travel Tips

Best Time to Visit and Weather

Best visited in April, May, or October to avoid crowds and enjoy excellent weather. 1

Wildlife Viewing and Activities

Visit geysers, hot springs, and enjoy wildlife viewing across three states. 2

Drive through Hayden and Lamar valleys for bison, wolves, and bear sightings. Visit geysers and hot springs. 3

Use a long lens for wildlife photography and stay in designated areas. 4

Accommodation and Lodging

Stay at Lost Creek Ranch & Spa for a rustic-luxe experience. 5

Stay in the park lodges for an early start to geyser watching. Check eruption schedules. 6

Stay at campsites like Bridge Bay Campground to enjoy the park's many free activities. 7

Travel and Transportation

Nearly 8 hours and 20 minutes drive from Denver. Most of the park is in Wyoming. 8

Drive time from Idaho Falls is approximately 1 hour and 53 minutes. 9

General Tips

Old Faithful erupts every 45 to 125 minutes. 10

Open year-round. Entrance fees are $35 per vehicle. 11

Introduction

Location and Access

  • 📍 Location: Gibbon Falls is situated in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA.
  • 🛣️ Road Access: The falls are located roadside, 4.7 miles upstream from the confluence of the Gibbon and Firehole Rivers at Madison Junction on the Grand Loop Road.
  • 🚗 Parking: There is a designated parking area near the top of the falls.
  • 🚶‍♂️ Trail: A paved trail above the river offers multiple viewpoints.
  • 🗺️ Coordinates: 44°39′14″N 110°46′16″W.

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History

  • 📜 Discovery: Gibbon Falls was first described by William Henry Jackson during the second Hayden geological survey of 1872.
  • 📖 Historical Descriptions: The falls have been described in various historical accounts, including those by Henry J. Winser in 1883 and Hiram M. Chittenden in 1895.
  • 🏞️ Name Origin: There is no historical record of how the falls got their name, but they were referred to as Gibbon Falls by the mid-1880s.

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Scenic Views

  • 📸 Photogenic: Gibbon Falls is known for its trapezoidal shape and brush-like texture, making it a popular spot for photography.
  • 🌅 Best Lighting: The falls are best viewed in the afternoon for optimal lighting.
  • 🚶‍♂️ Viewpoints: Several viewpoints are available along a paved trail, offering different perspectives of the falls.
  • 📏 Trail Length: The total round trip distance to view all viewpoints is approximately 0.6 miles.

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Nearby Hikes

  • 🚶‍♂️ Little Gibbon Falls: A nearby hike to Little Gibbon Falls is family-friendly and has a round trip distance of 1.2 miles.
  • 🌲 Trailhead: The trail starts at the Wolf Lake trailhead, located 3.7 miles east of Norris Junction.
  • 🦋 Wildlife: Along the trail, you may see Clark’s nutcrackers, squirrels, and chipmunks, with occasional bear sightings.
  • 🌼 Terrain: The trail runs through a meadow and climbs slightly towards the end to reach the falls.

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Safety Tips

  • 🔥 Hydrothermal Features: Never touch hydrothermal waters—they can scald you.
  • 🐻 Wildlife: Observe safe distances from all wildlife.
  • 🛡️ Barriers: Stay behind fencing, guard rails, and ledges.
  • 💧 Water Safety: Use caution around park waters—they are cold and fast.
  • 🤝 Courtesy: Show patience and courtesy to other people.

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Fish and Wildlife

  • 🐟 Arctic Grayling: Historically common in the Gibbon River below Gibbon Falls, now occasionally present.
  • 🐻 Wildlife: The area around the falls is home to various wildlife, including bears, squirrels, and chipmunks.
  • 🦅 Birds: Clark’s nutcrackers are commonly seen along the trails.

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Best Time to Visit

  • 🌅 Afternoon: The falls are best viewed in the afternoon for optimal lighting.
  • ❄️ Seasonal Access: The road to Gibbon Falls is closed in the winter.
  • 📸 Photography: For the best photos, visit in the afternoon when the lighting is ideal.
Travel Information
📞   Phone: (617) 906-4033
🌐   Website: https://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm
📍   Address: Grand Loop Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

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