Mammoth Hot Springs and the Boiling River

Published: 10/11/13 3:49 AM in National, North America, Travel.

Upon returning to the town of Bozeman, Montana we all decided we couldn’t sit still and agreed to head south for a day trip to Yellowstone National Park. During this trip we stayed in the northern part of the park as we visited Mammoth Hot Springs and took a dip in the Boiling River. It was a shame that we couldn’t spend a little more time in Yellowstone National Park since any trip there is beautiful and unique.

Checking out Mammoth Hot Springs

Mammoth Hot Springs is one of the first major areas you come across when you enter the park from the northern entrance making it a pretty tourist heavy area to visit. However there are typically a ton of Elk hanging around the grounds of the hotel and gift shops in the area so you have a great chance to do some wildlife watching! Unfortunately for us, the elk had moved down the river so the grounds of the hotel were completely devoid of and Elk or Mule Deer.

Mammoth Hot Springs was created over thousands of years as hot water from the spring cooled and deposited calcium carbonate. Over two tons of calcium carbonate flow into Mammoth each day. Boardwalks leading you through the area allow you to view all of the different springs that make up Mammoth Hot Springs.

The contrast of the white calcium deposits against the colors of Yellowstone National Park fills your view with stark drama. The texture the deposits create are also very beautiful and interesting to observe. They are made even more beautiful by the fact that it is all made by nature.

Taking a Dip in the Boiling River

The Boiling River is amazing! Located near the border of Wyoming and Montana, it is a designated swimming area where hot, thermal water from the Boiling River mixes with the icy water of Gardner River. The effect is incredible and unlike the typical sensations while swimming.

As you move through the designated area, half of your body will be almost scalding hot from the thermal water while the other half will be relatively cold from the icy water. The experience is pretty unique and visitors are able to gravitate toward their preferred temperature. The most interesting moment is when you are starting to get used to one temperature then suddenly the current changes and you get an intense dose of an extremely different temperature!




We were all happy we took the day trip to Yellowstone National Park since we got to spend an additional day in another beautiful National Park. The northern entrance to the park is definitely worth visiting since it has the Roosevelt Arch with the famous words of Theodore Roosevelt: “For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People”.



Kevin felt the need to strike some more asian-inspired poses while hanging out in Yellowstone. He likes to represent his heritage in the oddest of ways sometimes.



The years of build up have made Mammoth Hot Springs a very dramatic sight. The colors and the textures of the spring are a beautiful natural mosaic that looks striking in pictures.




The only thing that made our trip to see Mammoth Hot Springs slightly unpleasant was the almost unbearable heat that day. I know I am biased because I am particularly effected by the heat, but visiting a hot spring on a hot day was a double application of heat that made the trip to the Boiling River necessary.



The Boiling River is a designated swimming area that was built our using rocks to create a natural border between where you can swim and where you shouldn’t. This border also retains the water for a bit longer, creating a shallow pool that can be walked through or sat in.






This Elk was hanging out for a bit upstream from the swimming area. She splashed about in the water like she was also trying to cool off from the heat of the day.



We all thoroughly enjoyed our time in the Boiling River and all had a slightly different experience. I preferred to stay in the cold water because it was refreshing on such a hot day. Gerry mostly stayed in the hot water, taking a break in the cold every now and then. Alicia stayed relatively in the middle of the two temperatures while Kevin moved all the way down the designated swimming are to a point where the two mixed for a pleasantly warm temperature.



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6 years 6 months ago

I know there was a better picture of me and Ger lol