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The Black Sand Basin, a part of the Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, USA, is a stunning geothermal area, renowned for its kaleidoscope of colors. This relatively small basin houses a collection of hot springs, geysers, and colorful run-off channels, making it a must-visit spot for nature lovers and photographers alike.


The Black Sand Basin was discovered in the 19th century, during the Hayden Geological Survey of 1878. Initially, it was considered a part of the Upper Geyser Basin, but later was named separately due to its distinct characteristics and location. The name ‘Black Sand Basin’ originated from the small fragments of black obsidian sand scattered throughout the area.

Getting There

To reach Black Sand Basin, one needs to head to Yellowstone National Park. The basin is located approximately 1 mile north of Old Faithful along the Grand Loop Road, making it easily accessible by car, bike, or on foot from nearby accommodations.


  • Spouter Geyser: Known for its nearly constant activity.
  • Emerald Pool: Named for its distinctive emerald green color.
  • Rainbow Pool: A hot spring with colorful run-off channels.
  • Cliff Geyser: Erupts from a rock cliff and has a beautiful blue pool.
  • Black Sand Pool: An impressive hot spring with crystal clear water.

Ticket Information

Entrance to Black Sand Basin is included in the Yellowstone National Park admission fee. Prices are $35 for private, non-commercial vehicles; $30 for a motorcycle or snowmobile; and $20 per person on foot or bike. Annual park passes are available for $70.

Tips for Visiting

  • Weather can change rapidly, so dress in layers and bring a rain jacket.
  • Stay on the boardwalks for safety, as the ground around the thermal features can be fragile and dangerous.
  • Keep a safe distance from wildlife and do not feed any animals.
  • Bring a refillable water bottle and snacks, as there are few amenities in the basin area.
  • Start your visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid crowds.

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