The Dye Clan
  • Overview
  • Map
  • TR: Jul 2003

Tower Fall Overlook

An interpretive sign at Tower Fall Overlook.

Tower Fall is a 132-foot waterfall in the Tower-Roosevelt region of Yellowstone National Park. The hike to the overlook is very short (150 yards) and easy.

Interactive Map

Download KML file to view in Google Earth.

Waypoints

Waypoint Latitude Longitude Description
Trailhead -110.3867521521364 44.89205460056  
Tower Fall Overlook -110.385730666772 44.89324030636632  
Tower Fall -110.387030051243 44.89374147864476  

Trip Report: July 13, 2011

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.

When we went in 2011, the hike to the base of Tower Fall was closed.

Tower Fall Overlook

Hanging Valley

Tower Fall Overlook

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.

Tower Fall Overlook
Tower Fall Overlook
Tower Fall Overlook
Tower Fall Overlook
Tower Fall Overlook
Tower Fall Overlook