9 Most Dazzling Yellowstone Hot Springs

Grand Prismatic Springs

The volcanic activity that bubbles just below the surface of the Yellowstone Caldera produces so many amazing natural elements like the many dazzling Yellowstone hot springs. Yellowstone National Park is our nation’s first official national park and it is as unique as it is breathtaking.

When you explore Yellowstone on an early morning when the air is crisp and cool, it is evident that the land beneath you is alive as plumes of steam from boiling rivers, streams, and hot springs ascend into the sky everywhere you look. 

Some of the Yellowstone hot springs you have to hike to see, but others can be seen easily just by pulling off the side of the road.   There’s even one little known hot spring that allows swimming!

Yellowstone National Park is truly one of my favorite places in the world and I’m so happy to partner with Hotels.com to bring you the most dazzling Yellowstone hot springs in the park.  

There are popular Yellowstone accommodations like Canyon Lodge or Old Faithful Inn inside the park and lodges, cabins, and hotels in the gateway towns just outside the park entrances.

1. Grand Prismatic Spring

yellowstone itinerary
yellowstone hot springs
Grand Prismatic Springs / Photo Credit: Lauren R. Gay

It’s not called “grand” for nothing.  Grand Prismatic Spring is a massive multicolored spring and the 3rd largest hot spring in the world.  It is 121 feet deep and 370 feet in diameter, which is bigger than a football field. 

Where: Midway Geyser Basin

Tips: Get there early to avoid the massive tour bus crowds.  The parking lot does fill up. If you want to see the spring from a bird’s eye view, drive down to the Fairy Falls parking lot and hike up to the lookout point. 

2. Excelsior Geyser

Despite its name, this geyser has been dormant since 1985.  The water in this hot spring is an amazing jewel-colored blue. The water overflows its banks down into the Firehole River creating a spectacular sizzling sound as the hot water hits the cooler river waters. 

Where: Midway Geyser Basin

3. Egeria Spring

yellowstone hot springs
Egeria Spring / Photo Credit Lauren R. Gay

Small but beautiful pool along the beginning of the Fairy Falls trail.

Where: Fairy Falls Trail Parking Lot

4. Mammoth Hot Springs

yellowstone hot springs
Mammoth Hot Springs/ Photo Credit: Lauren R. Gay

Mammoth Hot Springs is actually made up of over 50 springs.  There are 2 levels of terraces that can be explored on a boardwalk trail.  The springs look like they are covered in snow but in fact, the white chalky material is mineral deposits. 

Where: Mammoth Springs is just south of the Yellowstone North Entrance.

5. Canary Hot Springs

yellowstone hot springs

This overlook of Canary Springs is just south of the Mammoth Hot Springs terrace.  It can be explored up close by boardwalk but there are also great photo ops along Hwy 89 at designated pullover spots. 

Where: Just further along Hwy 89 south of Mammoth Springs.

6. Beryl Spring

yellowstone hot springs

A small spring directly adjacent to the road as you head south toward Gibbons Falls.  In the light it shines a bright bluish green and with temperatures just below boiling it is one of the hottest hot springs in Yellowstone.  

Where: Just off the Grand Loop and north of Gibbons Falls

Tip: If you visit this Yellowstone hot spring during the cooler temperatures like in early morning, it produces massive plumes of steam that fog this stretch of the highway.   Plan to visit a bit later in the day when the sun is out to see the colors of the spring better.

7. Morning Glory

yellowstone hot springs

Small brightly colored spring with a piercing blue in the center and yellow around the outside. 

Where: Old Faithful area

8. Thumb Geyser Abyss Pool

Thumb geyser  colorful dormant geyser in the West Thumb Basin along the shores of Yellowstone Lake.  It is far from other points of interest but worth the drive. 

Where: Southern half of Yellowstone National park near Grant Village 

9. Abyss Pool

yellowstone hot springs

A deep blue hot spring in the West Thumb Basin along the shores of Yellowstone Lake. Abyss pool is 53 feet deep with amazingly clear visibility.

Where: Southern half of Yellowstone National park near Grant Village

Bonus: Boiling River 

boiling river yellowstone hot springs

The Boiling River is the result of a large hot spring entering the Gardener River.  This allowed the hot water to mix with the cool waters and make the temperature perfect to bathe in.

Where: North of the Mammoth area.  Enter from a parking area on the side of the road and walk about half a mile to the spot. 

Tip: While much of Yellowstone is closed in the winter, this area of the park is open.  Dress warmly for the half mile hike to the safe swimming area.

Plan your visit with this Yellowstone Itinerary!

Tips for Visiting Yellowstone Hot Springs Safely

With more than 10,0000 hydrothermal features in the park, these 9 Yellowstone Hot Springs are just some of the most beautiful that should be added to your Yellowstone itinerary.

  • With exception of the Boiling River, none of the hot springs mentioned in this post are safe for swimming. 
  • Stay on the boardwalk or designated path at all times when viewing the springs. The land surrounding these springs is fragile and could give way to fatally hot water beneath the surface.
  • Do not touch the water.  It is extremely hot and people have died by falling into the springs.
  • Do not throw objects or trash into the springs.  It adversely affects the water quality, and over time, changes the appearance of the spring.
  • Do not try to visit the hot spring areas at night.
  • Pets are not allowed in the geyser basins near the hot springs. 
  • Use extreme caution with small children around the hot springs.  Some boardwalks do not have railings. A stroller is highly recommended to keep little ones from running off.

Safety Disclaimer: Confirm what current COVID-19 health and safety protocols and guidelines are in place by all tour vendors, accommodations, and city/county/state guidelines prior to booking. Those choosing to travel during this time, do so at their own risk.

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