Allow some time on your next Yellowstone National Park trip to take a dip in the Boiling River. You’ll find this must-stop spot just south of the 45th Parallel Bridge, located in the Mammoth area of the park (so you should probably take a pit stop and snap a pic there, too!). It’s right near the North Entrance to Yellowstone accessed via Gardiner, Mont. As of early 2022, Boiling River was closed for swimming. Check the Yellowstone National Park website at www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/swimming-soaking.htm for up-to-date information in swimming in the Boiling River.
What is the Boiling River?
The Boiling River is created where a large hot spring enters the Gardner River, allowing the hot and cool waters to mix into a temperature comfortable enough to bathe in. The natural hot tub makes a great place to stop and relax while soaking in the warm water and soaking up the natural beauty of Yellowstone.
How to find Yellowstone’s Boiling River:
Yellowstone’s Boiling River is located approximately 2 miles north of Mammoth and 2.9 miles south of the park’s North Entrance.
Driving south from Roosevelt Arch on Hwy 89/N. Entrance Road, look for a sign that says “45th Parallel of Latitude Halfway Between Equator and North Pole.” Drive a short distance farther south (about three miles south of Roosevelt Arch) and look for a parking area on the east side of the road.
Park here, bring your towel and walk upstream about a half-mile from the parking area to where the footpath intersects with the river. Dress warmly if it is winter time since you do have to walk a half-mile. You’ll also want to keep your eyes open for elk that pass through the area. At the end of the flat trail, you’ll find the Boiling River, marked by large steam clouds.
When is the Boiling River open? What should I bring and wear?
Go during the day. The Boiling River is closed once dark hits. Visit in the winter, fall or late summer. The hotspot is closed during the spring when the river rises and becomes dangerous and often doesn’t open until mid-summer. Early 2022 NOTE: The Boiling River is closed to swimmers. Check the park website for the most up-to-date information on whether it is open or closed.
Don’t forget your swimsuit. Skinny-dipping is against the rules.
No alcohol. Libations aren’t allowed.
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