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Located in the northern section of Yellowstone National Park, Obsidian Cliff is a strikingly beautiful geological site. This magnificent cliff is made up largely of volcanic glass, known as obsidian, that was formed about 180,000 years ago during a volcanic eruption. The shimmering, glass-like rock forms an impressive landmark that attracts visitors from all around the world.


The Obsidian Cliff was used by prehistoric tribes of Native Americans to create tools and weapons. The glass-like obsidian was easy to shape and incredibly sharp, making it perfect for creating effective tools. Today, Obsidian Cliff is recognized as a National Historic Landmark due to its cultural significance.

How to Get There

The Obsidian Cliff is located near the Norris Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park. It can be easily reached by car or by taking one of the park’s shuttle buses. If you’re feeling adventurous, there are also several hiking trails that lead to the cliff.


  • Obsidian Cliff: The main attraction is the cliff itself. Its reflective, black surface makes for fantastic photos.
  • Indian Creek: Nearby is Indian Creek, a popular spot for fishing and picnicking.
  • Norris Geyser Basin: This is the hottest and most changeable thermal area in Yellowstone, just a short drive from Obsidian Cliff.

Ticket Information

Access to Obsidian Cliff is included in the entrance fee for Yellowstone National Park. As of 2022, the fee for a 7-day pass to the park is $35 per vehicle or $20 per person if entering on foot or by bicycle. Annual passes can also be purchased for $70.

Tips for Visiting

  • Wear sturdy shoes. The terrain around Obsidian Cliff can be rough and uneven.
  • Bring a camera. The unique, glassy surface of the cliff is quite photogenic.
  • Remember that removing obsidian from the park is illegal. It’s important to leave natural features as you found them for others to enjoy.
  • Check the weather before you head out. The area can be quite hot in the summer and cold in the winter.

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