Yellowstone National Park

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Firehole Falls is a waterfall on the Firehole River in southwestern Yellowstone National Park in the United States. The falls are located approximately .5 miles upstream from the confluence of the Firehole and Gibbon Rivers at Madison Junction. Firehole Falls has a drop of approximately 40 feet. The falls are located within Firehole Canyon on Firehole Canyon Drive, a one-way road that parallels the main Madison Junction to Old Faithful road.

At one point the channel narrows to 150 feet, and is shut in by perpendicular rocks. There is dense timber and steep ravines, until you reach a level bottom, on the river, at the junction of a large creek coming in from the northeast. Although the falls were commented on in the Washburn and Hayden explorations, there is no historical record as to how they got their name. By the mid-1880s, they were routinely referred to as Firehole Falls in both government and commercial accounts of the park.

When the Washburn party traveled through the Firehole River geyser basins in 1870, the river above Firehole Falls was barren of fish, the falls being a natural barrier to upstream migration. Unlike the Yellowstone drainage, the upper Firehole was isolated from any connection to drainages on the Pacific slope. The absence of fish was overcome in 1889 when the first Brook trout were introduced into the river above the falls. In 1890 Brown trout were introduced into Nez Perce creek a Firehole tributary and in the 1920s, Rainbow trout were introduced into the river. Today, the falls still block upstream migrations of spawning trout from the Madison River, but the upper Firehole has become a world class trout fishery because of these introductions.

 

 

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Yellowstone National Park
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