Tower to Canyon Section of Grand Loop Road
The Grand Loop Road in Yellowstone is the main method of travel through the park. It is shaped like a giant figure eight. Sections of this road are usually referred to by the two “junctions” that the section runs between. Below is the description of the road between Tower Junction and Canyon. For an index of all road sections in the park, see the Yellowstone Roads index.
Mile 0 – Tower Junction
The Grand Loop Road and the Northeast Entrance Road intersect at Tower Junction. The Northeast Entrance Road heads northeast to the town of Cooke City, Montana. The Grand Loop Road heads to the west on the Mammoth to Tower section and south to Canyon Junction, as described below.
Mile 1.6 – Calcite Springs Overlook
On the left is a good sized parking area for the Calcite Springs Overlook. The view is reminiscent of a small scale Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, minus the waterfalls.
Mile 2.4 – Tower Fall area
The road arrives at the Tower Fall area. On the left is a large parking area for the Tower Fall Trail and a general store. Note that the Tower Fall Trail has been closed several times due to severe erosion, but a less than ideal view of Tower Fall can still be had from the overlook. To the right of the road is the Tower Fall Campground. For more on the campground, see Yellowstone Camping.
Mile 8.7 – Chittenden Road
A road on the left heads toward Mount Washburn. This is the Chittenden Road.
Mile 13.7 – Mount Washburn Trailhead
The road goes by the parking area for the Mount Washburn Trail. This is a relatively easy (considering it’s a mountaintop trail) dayhike to the summit of Mount Washburn. This area is known as Dunraven Pass.
Mile 16.1 – Dunraven Road Picnic Area
The road passes by the Dunraven Road Picnic Area.
Mile 17.2 – Cascade Lake Trailhead
The road goes by the parking area for the Cascade Lake Trailhead. This is an easy and popular 2.5 mile hike to the 36 acre Cascade Lake.
Mile 18.6 – Canyon Junction
The road arrives at Canyon Junction. A right turn enters the Norris to Canyon section. Straight ahead, the Grand Loop Road continues from Canyon to Fishing Bridge. A left turn leads to Canyon Village and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone Area.