Norris Geyser Basin

#6 in Best Things To Do in Yellowstone
Norris Geyser Basin picture1 of 2
Norris Geyser Basin2 of 2
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Price & Hours

Free
24/7 daily

Details

Natural Wonders, Recreation, Sightseeing, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.5

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Old Faithful may be Yellowstone's most well-known geyser, but this geothermal hot spot in the Norris area is the park's oldest and hottest. From its boardwalks, visitors can see rare acid geysers like Echinus Geyser, as well as the tallest active geyser in the world, Steamboat Geyser.

Although the basin's geysers rarely erupt, recent travelers highly recommend checking out this geothermal area, saying it's an "other-worldly place" and the "best geyser basin in Yellowstone." A few, however, caution that it can get crowded and run out of parking spaces at the main lot, so consider arriving early or late in the day. Sunrise and sunset are especially beautiful times to visit.

North Geyser Basin sits near two museums and a campground, which are open daily between mid- or late May and late September or early October, though exact hours may vary by season. Meanwhile, the basin's geysers can be visited 24 hours a day during the summer season. All of the region's facilities are free to use, but a Yellowstone park pass (valid for seven days) is required.

The only way to reach the area (which sits about 20 miles south of Mammoth Hot Springs) is by car or tour bus. Travelers can reference the National Park Service's Norris Geyser Basin Online Tour when planning their North Geyser Basin itineraries. Additional information is provided on NPS' Norris Area page.

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More Best Things To Do in Yellowstone

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Type
Time to Spend
#1 Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Formed over thousands of years of erosion caused by wind, water and other natural forces, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is the primary attraction in the Canyon Village area and one of the park's most popular hiking spots. The canyon stretches approximately 20 miles long and nearly a mile wide. Just as remarkable as the canyon's terra-cotta hued cliff walls is its river, which is the longest undammed river in the country, meandering for more than 600 miles through Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota.

"Amazing," "beautiful" and "fascinating" are just a few adjectives recent visitors used to describe this natural wonder. Most praised its hiking trails (like Artist and Lookout points), but a few said to check the National Park Service's Canyon Area Construction Projects page before you arrive since several paths are either partly or completely closed for renovations. Another tip: Get to the canyon early or late in the day to avoid rubbing elbows with hordes of tourists.

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