Yellowstone National Park is known for its amazing geologic features, and the Boiling River is one that you should not miss! The short hike is just over a mile round trip, and it leads out to where the steamy Boiling River converges with the icy cold Gardner River. The path is flat, easy, and filled with ample opportunities for sightseeing and wildlife watching. These natural hot springs are a great place to relax after a day of adventuring.
The Boiling River is located close to the 45th parallel, the Wyoming and Montana border, and the north entrance of Yellowstone National Park. From the parking area the flat trail follows the banks of the Gardner River. As you round a bend in the trail you will see steam rising from the hot springs. Be sure to stay on the trail to minimize erosion of the riverbank. The Boiling River itself is too hot to enter and can cause extreme burns, but when it mixes with the cooler waters of the Gardner River it’s just right to a long soak on a cold winter day! Enter the Gardner River using the rock stairs at the end of the trail and make your way down stream where the Boiling River enters. It may take a few minutes to find the sweet spot, you'll be set once you do.
Herds of bison and elk can be seen all around the area. Take the opportunity to sit back and enjoy the beauty of the nation’s first national park.
There is a single vault toilet near the parking area. During the busy summer season the parking area can fill up quickly and the area can become congested.
Soaking in the hot springs is seasonal, and the springs are typically closed during spring and early summer due to the high water flow of the Gardner River. Check the posted signs and at the ranger stations for current conditions. Swim at your own risk. Do your part to help protect this natural wonder by sticking to the trail. Also, bathing suites are required, and soap, alcohol, and night use are all prohibited.