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Mesa Falls in Idaho on the way to Yellowstone National Park

The Upper and Lower Mesa Falls on the way to the Yellowstone National Park from Idaho is a must-see place for nature lovers. Wrapped in wilderness and calm, the Mesa falls will instantly uplift your mood anytime. On our long drive to West Yellowstone from Idaho, I loved the short trip to Mesa Falls deep in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest and enjoyed a short hike from the Upper Mesa Falls to the Lower Mesa Falls.

Wrapped in wilderness and calm, the Mesa falls will instantly uplift your mood anytime. #Travel #Nature Click To Tweet

Upper Mesa Falls

On a hot summer day, after reaching the Upper Mesa Falls, I felt I have come to a shrine of nature. The droplets from the cascading curtain of water were so refreshing. The smell from the water-drenched soil flooded me with a feeling of well-being. The sky-hugging pine trees were full of music, thanks to all the colorful birds that make them their home. I wish I could live in such intimate proximity with nature forever. I remember sitting there on a bench and reading a few pages from The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, a timeless book I was carrying with me at the time. I spent some time on the viewing platform of the Upper Mesa Falls before hiking to the Lower Mesa Falls.

Mesa Falls in Idaho on the way to Yellowstone National Park, Travel Realizations
A well-organized and beautiful viewing platform to see the Upper Mesa Falls
The droplets from the cascading curtain of water were so refreshing. The smell from the water-drenched soil flooded me with a feeling of well-being #Travel #Naturelovers Click To Tweet

Mesa Falls facts

  • Upper Mesa Falls is 114 feet tall – as high as a 10 story building
  • At its peak, over 2.5 billion gallons of water pour over the Mesa Falls each day
  • The Mesa Falls is part of a watershed
  • This watershed is part of the greater Yellowstone ecosystem – the largest intact ecosystem in North America
  • Both the Upper and Lower Mesa Falls run over what is left of an ancient volcanic super-eruption
Upper Mesa Falls is 114 feet tall – as high as a 10 story building #Waterfall #nature #travel Click To Tweet

Upper Mesa Falls Video

TUMBLING, RUMBLING, TWISTING, MISTING, FOAMING, THUNDERING waterfall for you all
This watershed is part of the greater Yellowstone ecosystem – the largest intact ecosystem in North America #Travel #Nature #Naturelovers Click To Tweet

Water in any form has a long-standing allure to an adult and child alike. My 4-year-old daughter loved the fact that she could hear the sound of the waterfall before even seeing it. The sight of the waterfall filled her with unalloyed joy. I silently watched her being happy, a beautiful sight for any mother. She was like the innumerable showering drops of the waterfall – refreshing and constantly in motion! Later on, I gifted her a beautiful waterfall puzzle and whenever she solves it, I see her eyes sparkling with memories.

Mesa Falls in Idaho on the way to Yellowstone National Park, Travel Realizations

Mesa Falls Nature Trail

The Mesa Falls Nature Trail begins in the Upper Mesa Falls parking lot and ends just above the Lower Mesa Falls. The Mesa Falls Nature Trail which can be found on the south end of the parking lot is the best way to see the Lower Mesa Falls. It’s an easy and refreshing hike. I loved meandering through a quiet forest and finally arriving at the overlook of the Lower Mesa Falls – an equally picturesque and powerful waterfall.

Tip – Before beginning the hike, I took my all-time favorite, easily adjustable, strong, and lightweight hiking sticks from the car. I carry them whenever I go for a hike.

Mesa Falls in Idaho on the way to Yellowstone National Park, Travel Realizations
Upper Mesa Falls boardwalk trail

Mesa Falls Visitor Center

When we were there, the visitor center was closed. I wanted to buy a lovely souvenir, but there is always the next time. I loved the building and the surrounding. It has restrooms and you can refill your water bottle too.

Mesa Falls in Idaho on the way to Yellowstone National Park, Visitor center, Travel Realizations
Enveloped in green

Mesa Falls Maps

Maps always come handy no doubt. Refer to the visitor center area map if you can’t find the Mesa Falls nature trail and the area map for the location.

How to reach Mesa Falls

On highway 20, on your way to Yellowstone, turn east onto Highway 47 in Ashton, Idaho. Drive for about 15 miles to reach the Mesa Falls. After arriving at Upper Mesa Falls, you will find a self-service pay station and the price per vehicle is $ 5.00. The viewing platform has a sign with instructions on how to get there. Once you are ready to leave for Yellowstone, you can drive 13 miles north on Highway 47 until you return to highway 20. Continue 35 miles north on Highway 20 until you reach West Yellowstone.

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Whenever I see a waterfall, my first feeling or sensation is about the juxtaposition of power and beauty. The spectacular Mesa Falls didn’t disappoint. The sheer force of the waterfall is exhilarating. I cherished my moments in the mist and roar of the beautiful and gigantic volume of water hurtling down the rockface. I felt the same way when I saw the Lower Falls of Grand Canyon of Yellowstone on a fabulous trip exploring Yellowstone National Park the next day. If you are planning a trip to Yellowstone, then I highly recommend this tour which you can book in advance.

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The sheer force of the waterfall is exhilarating. I cherished my moments in the mist and roar of the beautiful and gigantic volume of water hurtling down the rockface #Travel #Naturelovers Click To Tweet

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Chirasree Banerjee

Hello. My name is Chirasree. I have been traveling for almost 11 years to places all over the world. I enter into a separate reality during my travels and enjoy the allure of escape from the mundane. I seek beauty through nature and human-made creations. Because beauty is powerful. I seek knowledge. I observe, absorb, and write about the places I visit and the profound realizations and inspirations that each place has to offer.

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4 Comments

  1. For a moment or two, your words transported me out of an extremely dull day. I could almost hear the thundering water of Mesa Falls and feel the mist spray on my face – Thank you.

  2. These falls are absolutely massive!

  3. Wow I don’t remember seeing anything like this when I drove through Idaho (to Yellowstone!). LOL this has happened so many times! We started our roadtrip in Vegas and a couple of weeks after we got back I was browsing through a magazine where I saw this amazing underground cavern only half an hour away from where we’d stayed!
    America always amazes me that there’s so many different types of things to see in each state 🙂

  4. Amit Sen

    From your description and the photographs, one can easily imagine the beauty of the place. Thanks for the article. Is it tour during Lockdown or before.

    Thanks for posting the article.
    Amit Sen

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