Yellowstone – Day 4 – Chambers in the Canyon

Map from Fishing Bridge RV park to Washburn Hot Springs Overlook
Map of our Canyon Day

This was our fourth day at Yellowstone National Park.

With our guided tour complete and our laundry done, we were ready to spend the day exploring the park on our own.

We basically mapped out our tour guide’s suggestions and added one viewing point and one place for lunch which we brought along.

Brink of the Upper Falls & South Rim Drive

We left our campsite in Fishing Bridge RV park and drove through Hayden Valley, land of the bison jams. Our first stop was the “Brink of the Upper Falls.” The trail to see the “Brink of the Upper Falls” was just a short walk from the parking lot.

After seeing the Brink of the Upper Falls, we continued on South Rim Drive. We stopped at Discovery Overlook which is opposite of the Brink of the Upper Falls. In other words, we looked across at where we had just been. I include a map for illustration. There are numerous hiking trails throughout the 20 mile canyon area.

Brink of the Upper Falls
#1 on the Map
Map of the Canyon area with the Upper and Lower Falls, viewpoints, and hiking paths.
If you continue to the right on the map, South Rim Drive ends at Artists Point.
Betty and Dan at viewpoint with the Upper Falls in the background.
Discovery Overlook
(of the Upper Falls)

We continued our drive along South Rim Drive. There were two other Upper Falls Viewpoints, in addition to Artists Point. Even though we had stopped at Artists Point on our guided tour, we went there again. The views are absolutely magnificent.

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
Lower Falls
at Artists Point

Washburn Hot Springs Overlook

We left the South Rim Drive and headed north to the scenic Washburn Hot Springs Overlook. This was just a short stop to enjoy a view.

According to an information sign at the overlook, we were looking out at a caldera – the remnants of a collapsed magma chamber which is the heart of Yellowstone. We were standing on the northeast rim. Mt. Sheridan, which is 32 miles away on the southwest rim, can also be seen.

Washburn Hot Springs Overlook
Photo Credit Dan Chambers

Also, according to the sign, Washburn Hot Springs, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons can be seen from this vantage point. We saw some of these, but we could have seen and identified more had we had our binoculars with us.

Unfortunately, our binoculars were back at our travel trailer. So, take a lesson from our mistake. Binoculars are not just for wildlife viewing. Maybe keep them in the car?

This was as far north as we would go on this day. After enjoying the view, we headed south, just a bit to lunch.

Dunraven Pass

Just a bit south of the Washburn Hot Springs Overlook is Dunraven Pass. This is a 6 mile trail to the top of Mount Washburn. The views of it online look spectacular. However, we took a pass on the Durnraven Pass and instead found a picnic area and enjoyed our lunch and a game of Scrabble.

Picnic table with Scrabble game set up on it.

Picnic areas are noted on the map given out when entering the national park. This picnic area had about six picnic tables spread out, and there was also a restroom which looked kind of rustic. But hey, I’m not complaining!

I’ll also mention we had put on our bug spray. Even in the daytime, bug spray is needed. And just to be extra safe, we put the bear spray on the picnic table, just in case a bear wanted to play Scrabble with us.

Canyon Visitor Education Center

Yellowstone has ten Visitor Centers and information stations located throughout the park. Even though the Fishing Bridge Visitor Center was closed for remodeling during our trip, an information tent had been set up near the main area and was staffed by national park rangers during our visit. We stopped there and got information about short hikes in the area.

At one of the ranger programs, we talked with a park volunteer who had been coming for years. With so many visitor centers, I asked which ones were the best to visit. This person said the movie at the Canyon Visitor Education Center was the best. So, that is what we did at this stop.

Mud Volcano

We continued our drive south, through Hayden Valley and stopped at Mud Volcano. Mud Volcano was another area recommended by our tour guide. This hot, steaming, muddy area was really cool.

Here is a map of the trail. The trail is 2/3 of a mile. Click through the slideshow to see each of the features named on the trail map.

After exploring the Mud Volcano Trail, we headed back to our campsite. Our Chambers self-guided tour was over for the day.

A few days ago, when we took the Circle of Fire tour, Tony, our guide, said Fishing Bridge should really be called “No Fishing Bridge.” That night, we found out why. We attended a ranger program about the “History of Fishing Bridge”, and there we learned the bridge was closed to fishing in 1973.

The bridge was closed because it is a major spawning area for the Cutthroat Trout and also because of over-fishing. Yellowstone Lake has an issue because a non-native Lake Trout was introduced in the Lake. Actions were taken to return the lake to its natural balance. People still walk across the bridge to watch the fish. Like everything we have seen in Yellowstone, Fishing Bridge is also a very scenic spot.

National Park Ranger standing on stage with screen behind her and a podium in front of her.
Thank you for attending.

42 comments

  1. Another fabulous tour with great photos, Betty! We’ve driven through West Yellowstone in the winter, but didn’t stop anywhere. All I remember is the extremely deep snow piled up by the ploughs on both sides of the highway. It was like driving through a tunnel. I’d love to visit the national park some summer, and your posts about it have definitely moved it up on my bucket list. I love your personalized Scrabble board, by the way. It looks like it rotates, which is ideal for Scrabble. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Terry. I saw online that the services in Colter Bay (GTNP) were closing on 9/23. It was in the 90s here yesterday! But I guess winter comes early and stays late out there. Before Covid, Dan and I played in a number of official Scrabble tournaments. We had that board made. It didn’t help our game though. 🙂 Enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Linda. There are lots of interesting places and things to see! I do like to visit the Visitor Centers and see the movie, if there is one. It’s a great way to learn about the site. Hope you have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

        • From what I remember – it is a major spawning ground for the cutthroat, and there was over-fishing. There is a problem in Yellowstone Lake with a non-native species being introduced there years back. So, actions were taken to keep the natural balance. Fishing is restricted for about a mile around the bridge. People do go stand on the bridge and watch the fish. I did gloss over why the bridge was closed in this post. I think I was starting to get tired. 🙂 Thank you for your interest and for asking!

          Liked by 1 person

        • Linda, I’ve updated the post to include the information about Fishing Bridge. Your comment prompted me to do this. So, thank you for helping me to improve this post. I do want to make my posts as best as they can be. Enjoy your day!

          Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Beth. You are right – so many fun options. We also saw people rock climbing, kayaking, fishing, bike riding, horseback riding, . . something for just about everyone. We focused on seeing things. 🙂 Enjoy your day!

      Like

  2. My wife and I have been through most of that area. Looking at the pictures bring me back to bein there. Obviously not the same but if I had never been there I could not imagine the enormity of all that is there. A wonderful drive and do not get out for bison selfies

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my gosh, Gary. You are so right about the enormity of it all. I haven’t even addressed that in any of my posts about Yellowstone. What we saw on this day, took us all day! You do not have to worry about me getting out of the car for bison selfies. Even if I had had my bike, I wouldn’t have ridden it out of the campground either. It is such beautiful country.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kind words. I do hope my posts are beneficial to my readers – in some way. I also write the details to help me remember the trip as time goes by. 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful day!

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  3. Wow! The picture of the Grand Canyon is amazing. I can’t imagine what it would be like to see it in person. My daughter and her husband were there earlier this year. They said pictures do not do it justice. But pictures are better than nothing. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your daughter is right! It is hard to capture the beauty and the vastness with a picture. However, pictures can be really beautiful and can give us a really good sense of what a place is like in person. How wonderful your daughter and her husband were there earlier this year! I hope you enjoy your day!

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  4. Thank you for another excellent guided tour with lots of beautiful photos. My favorite was the Lower Falls at Artists Point and I can see why it is named so as artists must flock there to paint it.

    Liked by 1 person

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