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Yellowstone National Park: Norris Geyser Basin (Porcelain Basin)

Connect a series of memorable thermal features, such as Whale’s Mouth, Whirligig Geyser, and Black Growler Steam Vent, on this easy, 0.9-mile loop in Yellowstone National Park’s Norris Geyser Basin.

Rating

This quick, 0.9-mile lasso loop in Norris Geyser Basin visits the ever-changing thermal features of Porcelain Basin. Boasting the hottest thermal landscape in Yellowstone National Park, Norris Geyser Basin is a memorable stop on your park tour. From the parking area, head west to the Norris Geyser Basin Museum. Stop at the museum to check out the exhibits, then head north to a 4-way junction. Continue straight at the intersection and enter the stark expanses of Porcelain Basin.
At the next junction, bear left to start the clockwise loop (you’ll find a geyser at every turn). Take your time and examine the wide variety of thermal features that surround the boardwalk—some bubble calmly before exploding in a shower of steamy water, while others sputter continuously like an old lawn mower. Fix a keen eye on the white rock surfaces near the trail to see it bubble and pulsate from the heat and pressure of water flowing just below. Lucky hikers may even see a new feature burst forth from the crust. At the end of the loop, turn left to return to the trailhead.

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

To Trailhead

From Gardiner, MT, head south on US 89. In roughly 26 miles, turn right at Norris Canyon Rd. Follow 0.3 mile to parking area.

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