Yellowstone National Park is justifiably famous for its spouting geysers and bubbling mud pots. But I was surprised when on the first morning of our first visit to the park, we drove to a viewpoint overlooking the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. I wasn’t prepared for the beauty of the brilliantly colored slopes of the canyon with the ribbon of blue water at the bottom.

We were parked at Grand View on the North Rim Drive at about 9:30 in the morning. I stood watching the shadow of clouds dance on the walls of the canyon. An artist had set up his easel to paint the scene. I loaded my Hasselblad with fine-grained Fuji Velvia transparency film and shot several rolls to capture the fleeting changes in the light.

The image below is my favorite from my first encounter with the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and I selected it for my first portfolio of photographs from along US Route 89. To purchase a print, click on the image to go to my portfolio website.

Yellowstone River in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming (James Cowlin)

To find your way to the Yellowstone National Park, go to the Jackson to Gardiner Road Trip Guide.