The Tower Roosevelt area in Yellowstone National Park is one of the least-visited areas of the park, yet there are many beautiful natural attractions that make a visit to this northeast corner of the park well worth it. Not only does Tower Roosevelt feature the 132-foot Tower Fall, where Tower Creek drops over a cliff surrounded by volcanic mountain peaks, it also has some of the best hiking in Yellowstone, especially in Lamar Valley.
Tower Fall is the second-most popular waterfall at Yellowstone National Park, after Yellowstone Falls, and some visitors argue it’s the most picturesque. At Tower Fall, Tower Creek flows over a sheer cliff down into a chasm where it eventually joins the Yellowstone River. The water has worn down the rock around the top of the falls, leaving tower-like pinnacles of volcanic rock standing like sentinels around the waterfall. You can access Tower Fall by car, and a viewpoint at the parking lot gives you a good view over the top of the falls, but a much better vista can be found at the foot of the falls via a half-mile trail, though keep in mind that the flow of water in summer can be less than at other times of the year.
Lamar Valley is one of the best places to hike in Yellowstone National Park. Unlike much of the park, Lamar Valley has no geothermal features, but it boasts its own beauty. The grassy meadows and beautiful forests are peaceful, and this area is one of the best places in the park to catch a glimpse of wildlife. In the winter, the milder temperatures of Lamar Valley attract elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep, and even the odd mountain lion. Lamar River is one of the best places in the park for fly fishing.
Another great attraction to visit is Specimen Ridge, home to the Yellowstone Petrified Forest. Specimen Ridge is located along the south side of Lamar Valley, and it has numerous fossilized trees and other plants. The trees are an awesome sight, as are the abundant minerals such as amethyst and opal that are dispersed throughout the region, though the trail here is exposed to the sun and hot during the summer. Another place to see fossilized trees is the Petrified Tree, a fossilized redwood that is easier to access than the Petrified Forest, via a trail that starts right behind Roosevelt Lodge. This trail also takes you by the Lost Lake and Lost Creek Falls.
For accommodation in this area, Roosevelt Lodge Cabins is a rustic way to spend the night without having to resort to tent camping. The cabins provide beds, a woodstove, and tables and chairs, but no bed linens. Bathrooms and showers are located in a separate building. Prices are very reasonable compared to other accommodation in Yellowstone, and there is also a restaurant and convenience store on-site.
A stay in the Tower Roosevelt area is highly recommended for those who love the outdoors. Even if you are not an avid hiker, the scenic drive from the Northeast entrance to Yellowstone National Park is one of the most beautiful in the park.