Things to Do in Norris Geyser Basin

If you like to visit the unique landscape of the earth, Norris Geyser Basin is one of the extreme environments with one of the largest thermal basins in Yellowstone. It is the hottest area of the park and the most changeable thermal area. Old Faithful may be the most popular geyser in Yellowstone, but this is the park’s oldest it is said to be more than 115,00 years and 459 degrees Fahrenheit. 

You get a closer view of the Thermal from its boardwalks, you can see rare acid geysers like Echinus Geyser, and also the Steamboat Geyser, the tallest active geyser in the world. The geyser basin is so hot due to two intersecting fault lines that lie below the area’s surface. You should stay on boardwalks or trails that are officially marked for your safety.

Fish the Gibbon River

The Gibbon rises in Grebe Lake and lowers from Wolf Lake through the Norris area. The river has several major waterfalls along its course divides the fishery and isolates distinct fish populations. The river can be easily accessed from the road, you even have many hiking options. When you go fishing, be careful of Grizzly bears. Before you go fishing, learn the rules and regulations.  

  • You need to stay on established trails.
  • Do not dispose of fish waste or entrails along stream banks as they can attract bears.
  • Bears can appear frequently in these areas so watch for bears and bear signs.
  • Have bear spray and make sure to know how to use it.
  • Avoid fishing alone, stay with a group of three or more.

Drive by Scenic Virginia Cascades

The drive is a three-mile section of road that takes you past 60-foot high Virginia Cascades. Virginia Cascades is a short, one way drive through forests and along the Gibbon River with stunning views of waterfalls. Most of the road has narrow steep drop-offs with amazing views and even offers areas where you can pull over and get a clear view of waterfall.

Explore Norris Geyser Basin Museum

The Norris Geyser Basin Museum, was built in 1929-30. The museum is one for the historic landmark of Yellowstone. Norris Geyser Basin Museum also known as Norris Museum. The museum is located 1/4 mile east of Norris. The museum exhibits on geothermal geology, hydrothermal features, and life in thermal areas.

Go for Hiking 

If you love boardwalk trails or just a short trail to Artist Paint or if you want to try something challenging and escape the crowds on Solfatara Creek Trail. Norris Geyser Basin has many options to choose from. Start by strolling through the Norris Geyser Basin along boardwalk trails in the Porcelain and Back Basins. Just south of the Norris area, the short trail to Artist Paint Pots is worthwhile. Or try something longer and escape the crowds on Solfatara Creek Trail.

Norris Geyser Basin Trail: 

Norris Geyser Basin is one of the hottest and most acidic of Yellowstone’s hydrothermal areas This is a boardwalk trail through Porcelain and Back Basins covers 2.4 miles. You also get to see a number of interesting geothermal features, including the famous Steamboat Geyser.

The basin has two areas: Porcelain Basin and the Back Basin. Porcelain Basin is a ¾ mile trail with ground and boardwalk trail that also gives you a unique sensory experience of sound, color, and smell. Back Basin is 1.5-mile of  boardwalks and bare ground trail; it is a moderately trafficked loop with more trees scattered throughout the area. 

Artist Paint Pots

Artists’ Paintpots Trail is located 3.7 miles south of the Norris Geyser Basin. The trails contain a few large hot springs, several geysers, and colorful mud pots. Artist Paint Pots is a very short hike This very short hike of 1.2 miles offers access to a series of colorful pools.

Grizzly Lake Trail

Grizzly Lake Trail is a short 3.6-mile trail that follows through meadows and toward the lake through the burned and unburned forest. The trail is located a few miles north of the Norris area. It has a lake and also the trail offers a number of activities. The lake is marshy and is surrounded by thick forest.

Ice Lake Trail

Ice Lake Trail leads to a small beautiful lake that is an easy to access 3.5 miles trail. You can walk through the pine forest until you reach the lake. The trail starts from north of  Norris and ends at Howard Eaton Trail. It is also one of the best trails for wildlife watching. You can look out for deer, elk, moose, and bison.

Monument Geyser Basin

Monument Geyser Basin Trail is 2 miles round trip, it is an active hydrothermal area. You get to climb 500 feet pine-covered mountain with views of Mount Holmes and a section of the Gibbon River.

Solfatara Creek Trail

Solfatara Creek Trail is a moderate 6.3-mile trail that starts at the Norris Campground. There are two trailheads, Loop C in Norris Campground and 75 miles south of Beaver Lake Picnic Area. You get to see a few minor thermal areas with amazing colors in Amphitheater and Whiterock Springs. You also get to spot elk, bison, and moose.

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