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Tower Fall
Yellowstone National Park

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Tower Fall - Yellowstone National Park - by John William Uhler © Page Makers, LLC Tower Fall - Yellowstone National Park - by John William Uhler © Page Makers, LLC
Tower Fall - Yellowstone National Park - by John William Uhler © Page Makers, LLC Tower Fall - Yellowstone National Park - by John William Uhler © Page Makers, LLC


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Tower Fall ~ Yellowstone National Park

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Tower Fall is located in the north central area of Yellowstone, about two (2) miles east of the Tower / Roosevelt Junction on the main loop road.

Tower Fall is named, not for its towering height, but for the "towers" of stone that surround the top of the falls. One story relates that the Washburn expedition of 1870 voted on the name. One suggestion was “Minaret” while the other was “Tower.” Minaret won by a slight majority. The next day the proponent of “Tower” accused the originator of “Minaret” of naming the falls for his fiancee, Miss Minnie Rhett. The group switched its decision to “Tower.” Both suggested names were for the pinnacles at the falls. ¹

Tower Creek flows under and beside the Grand Loop Road to plunge 132 feet in a straight fall over Eocene conglomerate, a volcanic gravel which is easily eroded. The “towers” were formed by larger boulders which shielded the underlying conglomerate from erosion. Older photographs of Tower Fall reveal a large boulder precariously perched at the brink of the falls. Members of the Hayden expedition in 1871 placed bets as to the hour the stone would be pushed over the edge. The boulder fell unobserved in June 1986, an example of gelogic change which occurs on a non-human timetable. ¹

Immediately about the head of the falls the rocks were worn into curious and fantastic shapes, looking, in daylight, like spires or steeples, rising from thirty to sixty feet above the falls; but, in the moonlight, reminding one of the portal of an old castle, or a number of the fabled genni standing ready to hurl adventurous mortals into the gorge below, which was envelped by the shadows of the night in impenetrable darkness.” -- Walter Trumbull, 1870 ²


Tower Fall Information
Location 44° 53' 37.87" N / 110° 23' 13.75" W
Elevation 6,340 feet / 1,932 meters
Fall Type Plunge
Height 132 feet / 40 meters
Stream Tower Creek
Access Two (2) miles east of the Tower / Roosevelt Junction on the main loop road

¹ This information is from the book "Waterfalls of Yellowstone National Park" by Charles Maynard.

² This information is from the book "Yellowstone Waterfalls and their Discovery" by Paul Rubinstein, Lee H. Whittlesey, and Mike Stevens.


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