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Yellowstone National Park Rivers, Streams and Creeks



The Yellowstone River is the largest and thee major river of Yellowstone National Park. Its origin is just outside the southeast area of the park (northwestern Wyoming). The Yellowstone River starts where the Yellowstone North Fork and the Yellowstone South Fork converge. The North Fork and South Fork of the Yellowstone flow from two different drainages of Younts Peak. Thorofare Creek, which merges into the Yellowstone River, flows from the northern slopes of Thorofare Mountain. The Yellowstone River flows northward through Yellowstone National Park, feeding and draining Yellowstone Lake. Yellowstone Lake, is the largest lake in the park and the largest high alitude mountainous lake in North America. The Yellowstone flows from the lake north through the park to Livingston, Montana, and then northeast into western North Dakota where is joins the Missouri River. It is one of the major tributaries of the Missouri River. "The Yellowstone River, the longest undammed river in the contiguous United States [692 miles long], retains most of its natural habitat characteristics and flows" (Ryckman, 2000).


Yellowstone River GPS Locations
Location North West Elevation in Feet
Confluence of the North and South Forks 43°59'16.31" 109°55'42.53" 8515
Confluence of the Yellowstone and Thorofare 44°09'37.87" 110°07'24.58" 7828
Yellowstone River Enters Yellowstone Lake 44°18'41.45" 110°12'24.39" 7744
Yellowstone River Exits Yellowstone (Reese Creek) 45°04'00.55" 110°46'18.82" 5160
Confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers 47°58'45.52" 103°58'55.69" 1863


Confluence of the Yellowstone River and the Thorofare Creek by Kayla Michael © Copyright All Rights Reserved
Confluence of the Yellowstone River and the Thorofare Creek



Confluence of the Yellowstone River and the Thorofare Creek by Kayla Michael © Copyright All Rights Reserved
Confluence of the Yellowstone River and the Thorofare Creek


South Fork of the Yellowstone River as viewed from the Continental Divide by Kayla Michael © Copyright All Rights Reserved
South Fork of the Yellowstone River


Yellowstone River Basin - USGS Image


Yellowstone River Basin




Other Major Rivers of Yellowstone National Park


This list includes the Bechler, Firehole, Gallatin, Gardner, Gibbon, Lamar, Lewis, Madison, and Snake Rivers.


The Firehole and Gibbon Rivers join in the park to form the Madison River. The Madison flows west and north and joins the Jefferson and Gallatin Rivers at Three Forks, Montana. These three rivers combine to become the headwaters of the Missouri River. The Missouri River flows east into the Mississippi which flows into the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic.


The Gardner and Lamar Rivers flow into the Yellowstone River in the park. The Yellowstone flows north and east into the Missouri River which flows into the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic.


The Lewis River flows into the Snake River. The Bechler River flows southwest into the Falls River which flows west into the Henrys Fork of the Snake River and Snake River flows south and west into the Pacific.


Other smaller rivers are: Falls, Heart, Little Firehole, and Little Lamar.




Yellowstone National Park Rivers


Yellowstone National Park Rivers
Bechler Lamar
Falls Lewis
Firehole Little Firehole
Gallatin Little Lamar
Gardner Madison
Gibbon Snake
Heart Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park River Flow Links


Yellowstone National Park River Flow Links
Crecelius Cascade Madison River
Firehole River - Madison Snake River
Firehole River - Old Faithful Soda Butte Creek
Gardiner River at Boiling Spring Tantalus Creek
Gibbon River Yellowstone River - Yellowstone Lake
Lamar River Yellowstone River - Near Corwin Springs, MT



Yellowstone National Park Creeks


Yellowstone National Park Creeks
Agate Columbine Juniper Rescue
Alum Corner Lava Richards
Alluvium Cottongrass Little Buffalo Rock
Amethyst Cougar Little Cottonwood Rocky
Amphitheater Cowan Little Robinson Secret Valley
Antelope Coyote Little Thumb Sedge
Arnica Crawfish Lost Sentinel
Arrow Crevice Lupine Shallow
Aster Crooked Lynx Shoshone
Astringent Crystal Magpie Sickle
Bacon Rind Cub Mallard Slough
Badger Cutoff Maple Snowslide
Basin Daly Middle Soda Butte
Bear De Lacy Miller Solfatara
Beaver Deep Mirror Fork Solution
Bearverdam Dogshead Mist Sour
Black Butte Dry Mol Heron South Cache
Blacktail Deer Duck Moose Specimen
Bluff East Side Moss Spirea
Bog Electric Mountain Spring
Boundary Elk Mountain Ash Spruce
Bridge Elk Antler Nez Perce Stellaria
Broad Elk Tongue Obsidian Straight
Buffalo Escarpment Opal Sulphur
Buffalo Fork Fairy Otter Summit
Burnt Falcon Outlet Surprise
Cabin Fan Ouzel Thistle
Cache Fawn Oxbow Thorofare
Calfee Flint Panther Thumb
Campanula Forest Passage Timothy
Canyon Glen Pebble Tower
Carnelian Gneiss Pelican Trappers
Cascade Grayling Phlox Trout
Chalcedony Grouse Plateau Violet
Chipmunk Harebell Polecat Weasel
Clear Hellroaring Proposition West Fork
Cliff Heron Quartz White
Clover Howell Raven Willow
Cold Indian Red Winter
Cold Mountain Jasper Reese Wrong

This is not an exhaustive list, there are many more creeks in Yellowstone.


Information provided by USGS, the NPS, and the book: "Freshwater Wilderness - Yellowstone Fishes & Their World" by John D. Varley and Paul Schullery.




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