the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
Our fourth day in Yellowstone we took a Snowcoach trip in to visit the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. We had wanted to do this on Snowmobiles, but none of the guide companies were running the trip to the east side of the park yet, so a snowcoach it was. I had seen pictures of the canyon before, but they certainly never did it justice. The geology of this canyon is very different from the other Grand Canyon. The rock which makes up the canyon was from a lava flow which has been weakened thermally by hot gases and water from a thermal basin. This altered rhyolite was easily eroded, and it has been helped along by periodic glaciation. Anyhow, the thermally altered rhyolite has many different colours, and makes vivid vertical walls up to 900 feet high.
While the canyon was our ultimate goal for the day we saw many other things on the way there and back. Elk, coyotes, buffalo, swans, eagles, thermal features and beautiful vistas were all there as well. Unfortunately we really didn’t get to spend all that much time at a given location, so I’ll really have to go visit again sometime. Oh well.