Fun things to do in Yellowstone National Park

  • Great Fountain Geyser gives us a blast!
    Great Fountain Geyser gives us a blast!
    by Bwana_Brown
  • Pronghorn Antelope on road to kelly
    Pronghorn Antelope on road to kelly
    by Homanded
  • Street in West Yellowstone
    Street in West Yellowstone
    by grandmaR

Most Viewed Things to Do in Yellowstone National Park

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    Black Sand Basin

    by slabeaume Written Apr 24, 2003

    This is a short drive from Old Faithful Inn (or you can walk to it from geyser hill).
    We thought this basin had some of the prettiest hot springs in Yellowstone! Black Sand Basin is actually part of the Upper Geyser Basin, but is somewhat isolated from the rest of the basin. It was originally named the Emerald Group by A.C. Peale in 1878. But turn of the century tourists began calling it Black Sand Basin because of the small fragments of black obsidian sand which cover portions of the basin. We actually spent several minutes trying to find this black sand before we noticed the little bit of it by the parking lot!

    Black Sand Basin contains a small collection of geysers, and colorful hot springs. Emerald Pool is the most colorful and famous of these springs. It is a deep emerald green fringed by an outer ring of yellow and orange. My favorite pools were the rather large Caribbean blue Sunset Lake and Rainbow Pool. The walkway between them takes you right up into the steaming mist. Another colorful pool by the entrance is Opalescent Pool. This recently formed pool flooded a stand of lodgepole pine, creating a stand of white skeletons amidst another beautifully multi-colored pool. Near the parking lot, an unusual geyser formed on the bank of Iron Creek. It is Cliff Geyser and it erupts 30 to 40 feet high--several times a day and for quite a while each time.

    These basin is easily accesible and there's a lot to see in such a small area. Don't miss it!

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    Mud Volcano Area

    by slabeaume Written Apr 24, 2003

    The sounds and smells are what are so interesting in this area! You'll immediately notice a strong rotten egg like smell as soon as you get out of the car! Further along the trail, you'll be treated to interesting sounds from the belching and fizzling springs and geysers.
    This is one of the most acidic areas in the park. This makes it different from hot springs and geysers. The hydrogen sulfide gas deep in the earth at Mud Volcano is used by microorganisms and the resulting sulfuric acid then breaks down rock into wet clay mud. The steam and gases cause the volcanic action of the mud here. It was a lot more active in the days of the 1871 Hayden Expedition.

    There is a very large bacteria matt by the parking lot. Hydrogen sulfide produces the rotten egg like smell which is quite strong here. There were a couple little noisy geysers going off while we were there---only shot up about a foot, but crackled and fizzled like a sparkler.

    Dragon's mouth spring was an interesting noise maker, too. It is a hot spring that shoots sideways out of a cave opening. Hot water rising to the surface, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, and water vapor gases expanding create a pressure explosion in the cavern. The result is sloshing, belching, and steaming.

    The walkway around this area is another short easy walk. Along with your sense of sight, this is a great place for your senses of smelling and hearing, too!

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    • Photography

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  • slabeaume's Profile Photo

    Fountain Paint Pot

    by slabeaume Written Apr 24, 2003

    This is near Firehole Drive and between the upper and lower basins. Along this short walk you will see very good examples of most types of thermal features found in Yellowstone---such as some very pretty hot pools, steaming fumaroles, erupting geysers and probably the best and largest easily accessed mudpots in the park.
    The amount of acidity in the ground controls how thick a mudpot will be. The more acidic mud disolves the ground into wet clay mud. Precipitation and groundwater levels cause the mudpots to vary from time to time. Chemicals in the mud give it different colors, too. The area is highly active and at least one geyser is usually erupting here at all times.

    The pathways here are not tough. You'll be able to walk to and around the huge paintpot---it had gray and pink mud in it while we were there. You'll also come to a couple really pretty deep blue hot pools and a bunch of smaller geysers behind the hill that the huge paintpot is on. Along the path to and from the parking lot is another large bacteria mat.

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  • sunnywong's Profile Photo

    Fountain Paint Pots

    by sunnywong Written Feb 25, 2003

    These mud springs are caused by the action of fumaroles which lead to a basin below the water table. The bubbling effect is caused by steam rising through ground water which has dissolved local rocks into clays.

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    • Hiking and Walking

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    Horseback Ride

    by pulgaron Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Horseback riding in Yellowstone allows the non-hiker to go a little bit into the back country. It is excellent exercise. Next to hiking this is the best way to see the inside of the park.

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  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo

    Sheepeater Cliff

    by Jim_Eliason Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    This formation is named after the unusual rock formation that makes up the cliff. These cliffs are located just south of the Mammoth area.

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    • National/State Park
    • Eco-Tourism

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    Sheepeater Cliff area

    by Jim_Eliason Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Great shot of the stream that runs by the cliff. The area has a nice picnic area and can be good for wildlife viewing in the early morning hours.

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    • Eco-Tourism
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    • Adventure Travel

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    Roaring Mountain

    by Jim_Eliason Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    This is a series of steam vents located at the side of a mountain. The impression it gives is very surreal.

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    • Eco-Tourism

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  • GreenMtn.Man's Profile Photo

    Mud pots

    by GreenMtn.Man Updated May 13, 2003

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    These mud pots in spring boil and gurgle as there is moisture in the ground,come summer they dry up to a thick mud or clay like mixture.

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  • GreenMtn.Man's Profile Photo

    Mud Pots

    by GreenMtn.Man Updated May 13, 2003

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    There are signs everywhere that tell you to stay on the walkways, yet you see footprints in some areas where there are no walkways.I find this disturbing.

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    • Historical Travel

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  • sim1's Profile Photo

    Halfway between equator and north pole

    by sim1 Written Jan 15, 2003

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    The sign says : "45 parrallel of latitude, halfway between equator and north pole". I didn't know that's where I was... thought I was much closer to the north pole.

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    Travelling south towards Norris Geyser Basin

    by sim1 Written Jan 15, 2003

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    I am leaving Mammoth Hot Springs. This is a picture taken on the way to Norris Geyser Basin.

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  • dinhyen's Profile Photo

    Fountain paint pot

    by dinhyen Updated Sep 18, 2002

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    A leisurely hike on a raised wooden walkway takes you to many gurgling, bubbling mudpots. Also here are some large geysers.

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  • sunnywong's Profile Photo

    Dragon's Mouth Mud Volcano

    by sunnywong Written Feb 25, 2003

    Dragon's Mouth gets its name from the manner in which the water surges out from the superheated source - like a flicking, liquid dragon's tongue.

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    • Hiking and Walking

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  • Matze21's Profile Photo

    Mud Geysers

    by Matze21 Written Feb 25, 2003

    Mud geysers are nearly everywhere in YNP, you really can´t miss them. They are really impressive...and they stink a lot ;)

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Yellowstone National Park Things to Do

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