Great Falls (310 ft.) From Below, Head of Grand Canyon (20 Miles Long), Yellowstone Park, U.S.A.
figureposted on 01.01.1906, 00:00 by E.W. Kelley
The Great Falls of the Yellowstone are the most prominent feature of the Grand Canyon. Three hundred and ten feet high, this great waterfall is more than twice the height of Niagara. The source of this ever flowing tide is Yellowstone Lake, seventeen miles away. The surface drainage of 1,900 square miles pours over this precipice and finally joins the Missouri River, 350 miles beyond. The river bed above the Great Falls has been narrowed down to less than 100 feet, and here the great flood plunges over the granite wall to the rocks far below. The precipice which alone has been able to resist the water's action is a ledge of trachyte. Erosion, which in its varied forms has been the chief agent in the excavation of the Grand Canyon, has failed here in its power of decomposition. Ninety thousand cubic feet of water pass over this unyielding cliff every minute. If falls in a graceful sweep into the great while cloud of mist in which the lower part is ever enveloped. The mist is constantly striving, but in vain, to reach the top of the gorge. The upper portion when viewed from a short distance, "Appears like a spotless robe of ermine, surmounted by an emerald clasp." In striking contrast to this spray enveloped torrent of angry water, is the splendidly colored gorge at its sides. Steep and rugged, the banks of this brilliantly tinted ravine flank the precipitous bluff to its top, when they begin to open out in shelving slopes about 900 feet in height. To quote one tourist: "This is the grandest spot of that small region of the earth's surface so noted for its variety of scenery." It is the river with its mightily fall that gives life to the otherwise passive canyon.