Soak in amazing natural hot springs and experience the wildlife of Yellowstone up close. It's only a quick 1.25 mile roundtrip hike to the springs.

Boiling River Hot Springs is an awesome year-round place to experience the geo-thermal energy of Yellowstone in a more personal way. The Boiling River emerges out of a spring at boiling temperature and cascades down to the banks of the Gardiner, where they intercept and form a series of pools which are a mixture of the boiling hot and freezing cold waters.

A short walk of only 1.25 mile round trip makes for easy access off the side of the North Entrance Road into Yellowstone NP. The trail leads upstream of the carpark, bringing you into a small meadow before opening out into where the Boiling River emerges from the earth.

After getting changed at the end of the trail (no changing rooms) and edging along the rocks into the water, getting into the pool can be quite challenging at first with the sudden changes in water temperature. Finding a happy medium can be the hardest part of the adventure, but eventually you do find one and it makes a great spot to relax.

It was the intimacy with the Yellowstone Wildlife that made this particular hot springs soak so different from all others. On the hike from the carpark to the springs there was a small herd of Bison moving downstream, casually strolling next to us on the trail. Bald Eagles flew overhead in search of food and a Bull Elk hovered in the distance. It made for a special atmosphere at the springs knowing you were in their natural habitat.

Pack List

  • Swimsuit
  • Towel
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Backpack
  • Hiking shoes
  • Hiking clothes
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RT Distance 1.25 Miles
Activities Chillin, Photography, Swimming, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Hot Springs
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Swimming Hole

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Go in the Winter!

The Boiling River in Yellowstone is a great place to spend a day to soak in the hot springs. There are usually bison or elk near the river. Keep your distance, but enjoy a refreshing soak in the Boiling River.

Great Soak

Still kept somewhat primitive. There is a trail with railing and can be somewhat packed at times. Only thing I did not like was there was a mandatory closure at 9pm every night by park rangers

Excellent Visit

While I never got to swim, I'm glad I decided to visit. I highly recommend this location, but so does every tour guide in the area. I recommend coming a little early to ensure a good time :)


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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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