If you are making plans to visit Yellowstone National Park , then here are 5 Waterfalls to see when Visiting Yellowstone National Park from Bozeman, Montana. Of course, you don’t have to see them all, but we have organized them in an order that starts in Bozeman and works its way down into Yellowstone National Park. These certainly aren’t the only waterfalls either. We picked these because of accessibility and distance. If you have any questions about these sites, your trip at all, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We can provide you more details on how to get to the falls listed below and help you plan an itinerary.
If you are looking for transportation from Bozeman to Yellowstone, make sure you reserve a Jeep with us today!
5. Palisade Falls
This trail will take about 45 minutes to drive to if you are in town. The trail is about 1.2 miles round trip, paved and relatively easy.
If you are landing in Bozeman and then plan on heading to Yellowstone National Park (YNP), then we suggest you spend at least a day in Bozeman. We have a really nice downtown area, several restaurants that you can enjoy and relax, and a wonderful recreation area with some beautiful hikes. Palisade Falls is located in the Hyalite Recreation Area just south of town.
You will take 19th street south until it curves to the west. You will take that to Hyalite Cyn Rd and make a left. Follow this road all the way to the top. At the top is a large reservoir and a parking lot. You can stop here if you like, but if you are heading to the waterfall, you’ll need to stay to the left and cross the dam. This will take you to a dirt road.
Follow the dirt road to the fork where you will see a sign that says Palisade Falls Trhd. Follow the road to the left.
After a little ways, you will cross a small bridge and the parking lot for Palisade Falls will be on the left. It is a paved lot.
The trail is also paved. Just follow the pavement up to the top and you’ll get to the Falls. If you decide to hike up near the falls be extremely careful. It is very rocky and THINGS FALL FROM THE TOP! We have seen some relatively large tree branches (trunks) fall from the top. It’s 80 feet tall!
4. Grotto Falls
Grotto Falls is located in the same Hyalite area as Palisade Falls. You can do both of these in the same day if you wanted. The trail to this falls is a little longer (1.5 miles) but it goes quickly. This is a nice place for a picnic as there are some picnic benches there.
If you are going here instead of Palisade Falls, you would stay to the right when you get to the sign at the fork, following the road for Upper Hyalite Trhd. If you are at Palisade, hop back in your Jeep and go back to the fork in the road. Instead of turning right to head back to the reservoir, turn to the left.
Take this road all the way to the parking lot at the end. Then hike 1.5 miles out. It will go by real quick as this hike is fairly flat. You will find the falls at the end of the trail.
3. Ousel Falls
Once you have spent a day or two in Bozeman and you are ready to start making your trek down to West Yellowstone, you should make a stop in Big Sky. You will be taking Highway 191 to get down to West Yellowstone and Big Sky will be the next ‘city’ you hit. There will be a traffic light at Lone Mountain Trail. Make a right and drive up to Ousel Falls Rd and make a left.
If you want to just have some quiet time at the falls, you won’t be disappointed if you grab a sandwich at Roxy’s Grocery Store and have lunch at the falls.
Follow Ousel Falls road until you get to Ousel Falls Park (entrance on the right). The hike is farily easy. Most of it is downhill with enough switch backs that it is not too painful. You’ll follow the trail to the end where you will see the falls. Down at the falls be careful. It can get slippery.
2. Mesa Falls
After you head out of Big Sky, your next stop would be West Yellowstone. Take note that if you need gas, get it in Big Sky. There is nothing between Big Sky and West Yellowstone.
If you have plans to stay in West Yellowstone for a day or two, you can put Mesa Falls on your list. Mesa Falls is located near Ashton, Idaho.
You are going to want to take the Targhee Pass Hwy (I-20) tothe Mesa Falls Scenic Byway. Make a left and follow that until you see the signs for Mesa Falls Scenic Area – Upper Falls. Make a right. There is a visitors center that is open during the summer.
1. Lower Falls
Lower Falls, Yellowstone
We have saved the biggest for last. I think there are a million pictures like this. You can take your own!
The Lower Falls are located in the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. it’s about 308 feet tall. You cannot tell by the picture, but there is an observation deck to the right of the falls. There are people there. Follow your Yellowstone map to the Brink of the Lower Falls to get there. THis is an amazing one to see in person.
If you are visiting Yellowstone, you’ll need a few days. Make sure that one day includes exploring this area of the park and seeing this Waterfall!