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Yellowstone National Park: Mud Volcano

Bubbling mud pots, spewing hot springs and turquoise pools are jam-packed into this quick, 0.9-mile roadside jaunt in Yellowstone National Park.

Rating

Tour Mud Volcano’s collection of bubbling mud pots, lively hot springs, and colorful pools on this memorable, 0.9-mile boardwalk stroll. From the parking area, hike south toward Black Dragons Caldron. The area’s ever-changing landscape is apparent as you stroll around the boardwalk: barren slopes are visible where trees once stood.
After 0.3 mile, turn left onto a spur trail to Black Dragons Caldron. At the end of the spur, look over the railing for the rainbow of bacteria at the edge of Black Dragons Caldron. Bubbles rising out of the waters indicate constant geothermal activity. At the next spur trail, turn left to visit a turquoise pool.
Next, head north to the Mud Volcano’s most popular thermal feature: Dragons Mouth Spring. Located inside a hillside cave, Dragons Mouth is a turbulent and noisy spring. Stay for a few minutes to listen to the spring’s belching noises and to watch water and steam surge out of the cave’s opening. Follow the boardwalk southeast back to the trailhead.

MORE PARK INFO: Yellowstone National Park, (307) 344-7381; nps.gov/yell/.
-Mapped by Jeff Chow

To Trailhead

From West Thumb, head northeast on Grand Loop Rd. In 20.4 miles, continue straight at 3-way junction. In 5.7 miles, turn left into parking area.

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