A Day at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone


Yellowstone National Park is truly enormous. There are many natural wonders to explore but they are spread far and wide and so you face a lengthy drive to each destination. This fact makes checking the weather before you set out a very good idea but this is precisely what I didn’t do on the day I wanted to visit the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

A Turn for the Worse

I was travelling by RV and the camp site was in the centre of the park leaving a significant drive to reach the canyon. The weather was perfectly OK when I set out but by the time I arrived at the parking lot snow was falling in clumps and I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face let alone a canyon and a waterfall. I was crestfallen. You can experience some strange weather in that part of the world but I wasn’t expecting snow in June!

Cold and Wet

The temperature had dropped dramatically and I had been plunged quickly into the depths of winter. I jumped out of the motorhome and walked over to what I guessed was the rim of the canyon but could see nothing at all. Felling that I had probably picked the worst day of the entire year to admire the scenery, I retreated to the RV and sat with a blanket around me for a while to warm up before making a run for the café.

Warming Up

A hot chocolate was in order and I downed the drink feeling rather miserable. Eventually I decided that I would have to drive back to the campsite and figure out what else to do but when I opened the door and walked outside the snow had stopped and blue sky was appearing. I was now even more confused. How could it look like the world was coming to an end one minute and then so glorious the next?

The Canyon

I spent the rest of the day exploring the rim of canyon and taking in the undeniably stunning views of the landscape and waterfalls. It was a truly wondrous place with plenty to admire and copious wildlife. The temperature rose quickly into the 70’s and the sun shone for the rest of the day. I walked every trail, visited every viewpoint and was grateful that the journey had not been in vain.

The Photographs

When I look back at the pictures that I took at the canyon I always have to laugh. Snaps of my fellow travellers with hoods up standing in a blizzard are alongside all of us basking in the sunshine wearing t shirts. It is hard to imagine that the transformation took place in under an hour!

Later that evening it snowed again and the following morning I went white water rafting on the Gallatin River in temperatures that were only marginally above freezing. The next time I book a trip to Yellowstone I will pack for both an Arctic expedition and a  tropical beach because you never know what you are going to get!


Article by Sally Stacey