Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Called the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River this canyon has just what it takes to be a wonderful photographic destination. There are steep precipitous cliffs, psychedelic colors, two waterfalls, geothermal features along the edge and more. We focused on the Lower Falls, at 308 feet, which are the largest volume waterfalls in the Rocky Mountains. The waterfall is nearly twice the height of Niagara Falls. The colors along the canyon walls is due to the presence of sulphur and other elements that are found throughout Yellowstone. We made a point of being there about 9:45 in hopes of catching a rainbow at the bottom of the waterfall. We did get to see it but its intensity is not as we hoped and that was most likely due to the cloud cover that kept the sunlight from being its most intense.

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This is the view looking downstream from the waterfall.

This is the view looking downstream from the waterfall.

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Palouse Falls

Palouse Falls are about 4 miles upstream of the confluence of the Snake and Palouse River. The falls are 198 feet in height. There is a viewing area facing the falls but intrepid hikers can walk around towards the left and actually look down on the pool of water before it falls into the bowl below. There are signs everywhere warning about hiking close to the edge and swimming below the falls as there have been four deaths there this year. In 2014 the Washington House of Representatives passed a bill to make Palouse Falls the official state waterfall of Washington having been so deemed on Februar. The proposal for the bill originated when a group of elementary school students in the nearby town of Washtucna lobbied the state legislature.

We have been to Palouse Falls before and have never seen a the rainbow.  It was a very nice surprise!

We have been to Palouse Falls before and have never seen a the rainbow. It was a very nice surprise!

An interesting rock formation viewable from across the bowl.

An interesting rock formation viewable from across the bowl.

This photograph is a bit tricky to get.  One has to lay flat on a rock outcrop and handhold a very wide angle lens.  Tom was not too happy with my decision to try to get this image but both camera and this crazy photographer backed out safely.  Lens used was a rectilinear 14-24mm f/2.8.

This photograph is a bit tricky to get. One has to lay flat on a rock outcrop and handhold a very wide angle lens. Tom was not too happy with my decision to try to get this image but both camera and this crazy photographer backed out safely. Lens used was a rectilinear 14-24mm f/2.8.

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The drama of the adventure was spotting these young men swimming in the water within feet of the falling water column.  It was difficult to watch and concentrate on photography.  As best we could tell, they eventually got tired and made it to the edge along the side.  We have no idea how they hiked back and got out.

The drama of the adventure was spotting these young men swimming in the water within feet of the falling water column. It was difficult to watch and concentrate on photography. As best we could tell, they eventually got tired and made it to the edge along the side. We have no idea how they hiked back and got out.

Tetons Revisited

This was our second trip to the Grand Teton National Park and it was every bit as spectacular as the first time. One main difference was the weather which is obviously still clinging to the last gasps of winter even in late May. It rained, snowed or both every day and the mountains were often not visible at all. This time we had the pleasure of camping close to Jackson Lake which gave us several opportunities to photograph some reflections of the Teton mountains.

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