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    West Thumb Geyser Basin Trail

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    Very Easy
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    1.6 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    18 m
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    Directions to Trailhead

    The West Thumb Geyser Basin Trail is a fantastic boardwalk past a series of geothermal features on the shores of Lake Yellowstone. This area does not have the dramatic geothermal activity of other basins but it is beautiful nonetheless. The trail around the West thumb Geyser Basin is family-friendly and appropriate for hikers of all ages and skill levels.

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    Route Description for West Thumb Geyser Basin Trail

    The West Thumb Geyser Basin Trail is a fantastic hike in Yellowstone National Park. This trail is not as popular as the nearby Mud Volcano trail, but it is still a popular tourist attraction and can get very busy. We suggest heading out on this trail in the early morning to beat the crowds. The West Thumb Geyser Basin is home to many hot springs and geysers though few remain active. This area, however, is still a great place to explore and learn about the natural history of Yellowstone National Park.

    The boardwalk that winds around the West Geyser Basin is a fantastic place to visit with kids to learn about the geothermal wonders of Yellowstone. With attractions such as the Abyss Pool and the Fishing Cone, this area is well maintained by the NPS and has lots of interesting and informative signage that teaches hikers about the cultural and natural history of the area. All in all, a stop at the West Geyser Basin is well worth your time on your visit to Yellowstone National Park.

    To hike the West Geyser Basin Trail, begin at the West Thumb Geyser Basin Trailhead and follow the boardwalk on your left to circle the inner section of the basin that passes by attractions such as the Thumb Geyser, the Perforated Pool and the Surging Spring. After completing this short loop, continue along the outer boardwalk to see the Abyss Pool, the Fishing Cone, and the Lakeside Geyser before making your way back to the trailhead where you began.

    If you are looking for an additional adventure in the area, check out the Yellowstone Lake Overlook Trail just across the road.

    Trail Highlights

    Abyss Pool

    The Abyss Pool is a stunning ultramarine-colored pool in the West Thumb Geyser Basin. At 16 m deep, this pool was named in 1935 by Chief Park Naturalist C.M. Bauer for its impressive depth.

    Fishing Cone

    The Fishing Cone is a hot spring on the shores of Lake Yellowstone. This hot spring used to be a popular tourist attraction where fishers would catch a fish in the lake then dunk it immediately in the spring to produce a rapidly cooked meal. Although spectacular in nature, this practice was not a very safe way to cook a meal and is now prohibited.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How deep is the Abyss Pool?

    The Abyss Pool in Yellowstone National Park is 16 m deep.

    What is interesting about the west thumb?

    The West Thumb Geyser Basin Trail is the largest geyser basin on the shore of Lake Yellowstone.

    Insider Hints for West Thumb Geyser Basin Trail

    • Don’t forget the camera! This trail is stunning.
    • In the late season, this trail can get icy. If you are hiking at the end of October we recommend bringing along a set of traction devices such as microspikes for extra grip.

    Getting to the West Thumb Geyser Basin Trail Trailhead

    This hike begins at the West Thumb Geyser Basin Trailhead off of Grand Loop Road.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground


    • When to do

      May to October

    • Pets allowed


    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


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    West Thumb Geyser Basin Trail Elevation Graph

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    West Thumb Geyser Basin Trail Reviews

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