The Boiling river has been so high on my destination list since I first heard the name! Last year when I was in Yellowstone at this time it was closed. I remember wondering “why would they close a boiling river? Maybe it was too hot?” This year again it was closed, and more insight taught me the trail was closed when the river was high. Like during spring runoff when the waters fast and It’s just not a safe destination for a tourist in the USA.
The Boiling River which doesn’t actually boil is the only public accessible hot spring in YNP. Bathing is only allowed where the hot river and the cold river (the Gardner river) meet. There are plenty of signs stating this along with several barricades to keep the people, and the springs safe. The hike in is flat and super easy only lasting 1/3 of a mile max one way. The river opens at 7am and closes about 9pm and is frequented by the park rangers. The park has just redone some of the trail and signage in the area and it looks great. The guide books on these springs are oudated as the trail has been updated and the mileage is in your favor!
The springs themselves were completely packed and so was the parking area. Positioned 2.5 miles into the North entrance of Yellowstone, it’s truly the first real destination. The Mammoth area in general is often busy though. Despite clambering around the rocky river bed and finding a small spot to soak, I was quite content. I do like the hot and cold swirling temperature pools. I would have liked to stay longer but it seems rude while people are piling up to get in too. I felt lucky at even getting to go this early in the season.
Well that ends the Yellowstone adventure and wait untill you guys see what’s coming up in the near future!