Mud Volcano Trail
The Mud Volcano Trail is an easy, accessible hike through a unique area of Yellowstone National Park. This trail passes by bubbling mud pools, and steamy hot springs in an area known as the “Mud Volcano”. The Mud Volcano Trail follows a boardwalk and is both wheelchair accessible and stroller-friendly.
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Route Description for Mud Volcano Trail
The Mud Volcano Trail is a weird and wonderful hike in Yellowstone. The first thing you’ll notice about this trail is the smell. Gasses released from the mud volcano emit a strong “rotten-egg” stench. If you have a sensitive nose (or stomach), this might not be the trail for you.
If you are willing to stomach the smell, the Mud Volcano is a fascinating area to explore. Bubbling mud pools and spitting hot springs, this area is truly otherworldly. The trail circling the area follows a well-maintained boardwalk that is both wheelchair accessible and stroller friendly.
To hike the Mud Volcano, begin at the Mud Volcano Trailhead and follow the boardwalk counterclockwise. On your hike, you will pass by The Dragon’s Mouth, the Grizzly Fumarole, and the Black Dragon’s Cauldron before circling back to the trailhead where you began.
Mud Volcano Area
The Mud Volcano region of Yellowstone is defined by a collection of mudpots and hydrothermal features with a particularly pungent smell. The microorganisms that live in these features convert hydrogen sulfide to sulfuric acid, a compound that emits a strong “rotten egg”-like smell. In this area, the escaping gasses and scalding hot groundwater cause the mud on the earth’s surface to bubble and boil like a witch's cauldron. The first feature you’ll see on your hike: Dragon’s Mouth is a stormy hot spring with a cavernous “mouth” that spits out hot steam like a dragon’s breath. Next, you’ll pass the Grizzly Fumarole: a large steam vent that is transformed into a burbling mud pot after a rainstorm. The third feature you’ll see along the trail is the Black Dragon’s Cauldron: a dark and brooding mud pot that burst through the earth’s surface in 1948.
Frequently Asked Questions
How hot is the Mud Volcano in Yellowstone?
The Mud Volcano in Yellowstone sits at approximately 184 degrees Fahrenheit (84.5 degrees Celsius).
Is a mud volcano a real volcano?
No, a mud volcano is not technically a real volcano. True volcanoes are driven by molten rock, where mud volcanoes are fueled by hot water and natural gas.
Insider Hints for Mud Volcano Trail
- Keep an eye out for bison in the area. If you do see wild animals, do not feed them and admire from a safe distance
- Take the time to read the signs, the National Park Service has done a great job of providing educational information about this area
Getting to the Mud Volcano Trail Trailhead
This hike begins at the Mud Volcano Trailhead on the east side of Grand Loop Road, approximately 15.6 km south of Canyon Village.
Mud Volcano Trail Elevation Graph
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Mud Volcano Trail Reviews
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