Hike-in Required
ADA accessible
Guided tours
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Black Sand Basin is a smaller geyser basin just across the road from the Old Faithful area in Yellowstone National Park. It has a short boardwalk and a handful of thermal pools and small geysers. The setting is beautiful, as with all the Yellowstone thermal areas. Black Sand derives its name from the volcanic glass sand that permeates the area and contrasts with the white and soft-colored mineral deposits.

The Cliff Geyser is small, but it erupts nearly continuously from its perch near a stream. The Emerald Pool is spectacular, with its green water and yellow border. As in other geyser areas, the dead trees add a starkly beautiful element to the landscape, as does the continuous steam escaping from vents in ground. This is a lower-priority thermal area to see, but for those with time, it is worth the short stop.

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Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass


Near Old Faithful area. Nice thermal features.


Minor thermal area compared to others.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed


Geologically significant
Hot springs
ADA accessible


Nearby Lodging + Camping


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