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West Thumb Geyser Basin

West Thumb Geyser Basin is an enchanting geological marvel located within Yellowstone National Park. This traveler’s guide aims to provide the necessary information, ensuring an unforgettable visit to this captivating hot springs and geyser basin.

History

The West Thumb Geyser Basin was formed by a volcanic explosion approximately 162,000 years ago. The basin’s name, “”West Thumb””, was derived from the thumb-like projection of Yellowstone Lake where the basin is situated. This region has a rich history, filled with geothermal features that have captivated visitors for centuries.

How to Get There

The West Thumb Geyser Basin can be reached by taking US Highway 20/89/191/287. It’s roughly a 45-minute drive from the south entrance of Yellowstone National Park. There are signs within the park to guide travelers to the destination.

List of Attractions

  • Black Pool: This deep, emerald green pool is one of the largest springs in the area.
  • Thumb Paint Pots: These mud pots vary in color due to variations in temperature and oxidation states of the iron minerals.
  • Abyss Pool: The deepest-known pool in Yellowstone, it’s captivating with its deep blue color.
  • Fishing Cone: A famous geyser located on the shoreline of Yellowstone Lake.
  • Lake Overlook Trail: A 1.5-mile trail offering great views of Yellowstone Lake and the basin.

Ticket Information

The West Thumb Geyser Basin is situated within Yellowstone National Park, so regular park admission fees apply. As of 2021, the fee for a private, non-commercial vehicle is $35, valid for seven days. Annual passes are also available at $70.

Tips for Visiting

  • Ensure to stay on boardwalks and trails for safety as the ground around geysers can be unstable and dangerous.
  • Be prepared for variable weather conditions. Even in summer, temperatures can fluctuate.
  • Bring binoculars for wildlife viewing.
  • Respect the wildlife and maintain a safe distance.

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