Photo: Rainbow at Yellowstone Falls

I took this photo in 2012 in Yellowstone National Park.

You can purchase prints of my photos  in my Etsy store. Sales will be used to fund a replacement for my broken camera before my Pacific Crest Trail hike, so orders are greatly appreciated!


I slept in my car, so I could wake up before sunrise to get a specific picture. On my first Yellowstone visit in 2004, I tried to get a photo of the falls, but it didn't turn out very well. I wanted to try again.

I wasn't the only person who lugged a camera and tripod up to the view of the lower falls in "The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone." A row of photographers were already there quietly watching the sunlight melt down the canyon's yellow rock.

I did have the oldest crappiest equipment though. I felt like a kid from the Mighty Ducks with a worn-out jersey and hockey stick held together with duct tape, just trying to compete against the spoiled rich kids with their expensive new gear.

I still wasn't happy with the pictures I was getting, but I heard that from a certain angle, the sun and the mist from the falls produces a rainbow around 9:30, so I searched for a better place to set my tripod.

In the end it was worth waking up cold and groggy in my car. I'm much happier with the picture this time. There is just something about devoting an entire morning to getting a specific photo that makes me love this one even more. There are hours of great memories packed into this fraction of a second.
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A Backpacker's Life List by Ryan Grayson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.