The Red Rock Point Trail uses a combination of paved paths and wooden stairs to descend 260 feet into the spectacular Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. It affords runners with one of the closest and finest views of the 308-foot Lower Falls.
The 0.3-mile trail to Red Rock Point begins along the short walkway to Lookout Point. It descends gradually at first, then more steeply as it enters a series of stairs. Near the bottom, notice how Red Rock Point is connected to the canyon wall by an earthen hinge. Geologists have determined that the small depression between Red Rock Point and the north canyon wall was once occupied by an ancestral channel of the Yellowstone River. During the Pleistocene epoch, glaciers flowed across the top of the canyon, dropping ice into the canyon and damming the river's course. As the ice melted, the resurrected river followed a new course on the opposite side of Red Rock Point and continued cutting another 400 feet deep into the canyon floor.
The red color of Red Rock Point is a result of thermally-altered rhyolite and exposed iron oxides. Well-known artist Albert Bierstadt painted a famous canvas from this point in 1881. Chances are you'll paint beautiful memories on a run to Red Rock Point!
Thanks to guidebook author, Tom Carter, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about visiting Yellowstone, check out his book, Day Hiking Yellowstone