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Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, United States

Tower Fall Overlook - Yellowstone National Park

Tower Fall is a 132-foot waterfall in the Tower-Roosevelt region of Yellowstone National Park.

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Difficulty: Easy
Length: 0.1 miles / 0.2 km
Duration: 1 hour or less
Family Friendly
 
Overview: This popular waterfall on Tower Creek was named by members of the 1870 Washburn expedition. It first was called "Minaret Creek," but one member objected, stating that the name violated their agreement to naming objects for their friends. He claimed the name was in reference to "Minnie Rhett," a sweetheart of one of the other members. By unanimous vote, the name was reconsidered and the names "Tower Creek" and "Tower Falls" were applied.

The 132-foot waterfall plunges as a near-perfect water column until it crashes onto the rocks at its base. Until 1986, a precarious boulder was perched on the lip of the falls, and in the spring of that year, without witnesses, it plunged to the bottom. Tower Creek has cut through the basalt formation, which make up the walls of the gorge. At the brink of the falls are eerie-shaped minarets or towers sculpted from rhyolitic basalt.


Tips: Hydrothermal features are fragile rarities of nature. Yellowstone preserves the largest collection of hydrothermal features on the planet. You have an unparalleled opportunity to view hot springs, geysers, mudpots, and fumaroles in a natural setting.

Change takes place naturally in a hydrothermal area, but people can disrupt these processes and cause irreparable damage. Rocks, sticks, and other objects thrown into a hydrothermal feature may be permanently cemented in place, choking off water circulation and ending all activity.

For the sake of all who follow, never throw objects into any feature. Stay on established walkways for your safety and to protect fragile formations that have formed over thousands of years.

It is illegal to collect any natural or cultural objects or to remove, deface, or destroy any plant, animal, or mineral in Yellowstone's hydrothermal areas. Bring drinking water; take out all trash.

While viewing or photographing the area, protect your camera, glasses, and binocular lenses from hydrothermal heat and stray.

Toxic gases exist in Yellowstone. Dangerous levels of hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide have been measured in some hydrothermal areas. If you feel sick, leave the location immediately.

Help preserve Yellowstone for the future.

Points of Interest

Viewpoint
map

Overlook

Hanging Valley

Like many of Yellowstone's waterfalls, Tower Fall began as a low ledge at the junction of two different bedrocks. Rock at the brink and underlying the fall is a tough volcanic breccia; the weaker downstream rock erodes faster. Where Tower Creek drops into space, imagine the missing streambed—a channel of softer rock long since worn away.

Just downstream from the base of the Fall, the Yellowstone River enters a narrow, swift-running gorge. Rower Creek cannot downcut fast enough to keep pace—and is left hanging high above the river.
Pictures in this guide taken by: mdcristi, xingren, burnsdye, jcrizzu, ysato_JAPAN, Shufru

Tower Fall Overlook - Yellowstone National Park Trail Map


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