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Boiling River, Yellowstone National Park
Fast Facts




Mammoth Hot Springs
Yellowstone Nat'l Park
Wyoming 82190
Hot Springs
Points of Interest Nearby

Gardner River, Yellowstone


Photo by Alfredo De Simone

Boiling River is an off-map must. This five-star hot tub, one of only two safe (and legal) soaks in Yellowstone, offers a fun break from family touring. Amble the paved ½-mile trail. Watch birds, bison and elk. Soak in a natural spa, a mix of hot (hot spring stream) and cold (Gardner River). But before you pack your suit, water shoes and towel take note of the following things. The rocky riverbed is often slick. The water isn't potable. Boiling River is the worst-kept secret in Yellowstone; there are crowds on hot summer afternoons.
Getting There
Boiling River is situated midway between Mammoth Hot Springs and Yellowstone's North Entrance, 2.3 miles from each, and is accessible from the North Entrance Road. Parking is available on both the east and west side of the road. The trailhead is located in the east parking lot. Of note, Boiling River is not marked on official park maps nor named on most other maps. The car park is unmarked.
Getting Around
The easy, paved trail is ½-mile one-way. Bathing is permitted from dawn to dusk. The area is closed in spring due to high water levels and oftentimes in summer to protect trailside vegetation. Inquire at the ranger station before you set out.
Things to Keep in Mind
Pack drinks (alcohol is prohibited) and snacks as well as water shoes and towels. Wear your swimsuit to the river; there are toilets but no dressing rooms. The early morning and late afternoon are the best times of day to soak in summer.
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Travel Trivia
The age of the Saguaro Cactus is determined by:
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