Things To Do In West Thumb Geyser Basin

West Thumb Geyser Basin is the largest geyser basin that lies on the shores of Yellowstone Lake. It is home to many other geysers, hot springs, mud pots, and it also includes the Abyss pool. The heat source of these hydrothermal features in this place is said to be close to the surface which is about 10,000 feet down. The West Thumb of Yellowstone Lake was created by a large volcanic explosion that occurred 150,000 years ago. As a result, the collapsed volcano was later filled with water forming a Yellowstone Lake. The hydrothermal features are not only found on the shores of the lake but also on the surface of the lake. You can see bears, bison, and elk frequently. And this basin is a favorite for snow coaches and snowmobilers, especially during the winter season. 

Things to do  in the West Thumb, Grant Village, and the South:

  • Hydrothermal Features- Abyss Pool, Fishing Cone, and West Thumb Geyser Basin
  • Other Natural Features- Lewis Lake and West Thumb
  • Visitor Services- Grant Village Campground, Grant Village General Store, Grant Village Lodge, Grant Village Marina, Grant Visitor Center, and West Thumb Information Station
  • Waterfalls- Lewis Falls

Most popular things to do near West Thumb Geyser Basin

Grant Visitor Center

The Grant Visitor Center is located on the shore of Yellowstone Lake which is one mile off of the main road of the park at the Grant Village Junction. You can learn about the ecological process in the exhibit hall, get the park information and trip ideas, shop for souvenirs in the store of the park, join the ranger program, use the restrooms, etc. 

It is about 1.7 miles from the West Thumb Geyser Basin.

Shoshone Lake

Shoshone Lake is the second largest lake in this park which is located at the head of the Lewis River which is at the southwest of West Thumb. This lake is about 205 feet at its maximum depth and has an area of about 8,050 acres that contains lake trout, brown trout, and Utah chubs. Shoshone Lake was barren of fish cultivation to the waterfalls on the Lewis River. Then the two trout were planted in 1890 and the Utah chub was introduced by bait fishermen. This large lake is the main source of the Lewis River that flows to the Pacific Ocean through the Snake River system. The US Fish and Wildlife services think that Shoshone Lake is the largest lake in the lower 48 states and it cannot be reached by road. 

It is about 6.5 miles from the West Thumb Geyser Basin.

Fountain Geyser

Fountain Geyser erupts two to five times per day depending on the time of the year. Watch it closely to see the flashes of bright blue as steam bubbles explode and push water from the crater. Though it is not tall as Old Faithful nor erupting as frequently. 

It is about 4 miles from the West Thumb Geyser Basin.

Natural Bridge Trail

The Natural Bridge is about a 51 feet cliff of rhyolite rock that cuts through Bridge Creek. The hiking trails follow the forest for about 1.2 km. Then it connects to the service road and continues to the right for 0.6 km to the Natural Bridge. The short and steep switchback trail to the top of the bridge starts in front of the interpretative exhibit. The top of the bridge is closed for hiking and biking to protect fragile resources. The trail then crosses a creek and then continues along the cliff before reconnecting the road. Be prepared to go on a hike because it has wet and slippery rocks.

It is about 9.6 miles from the West Thumb Geyser Basin.

Heart Lake Loop

Heart Lake Loop is a scenic hiking trail that is surrounded by an amazing lake and it is great for hikers and anglers. The trail to the West Side of the lake offers beautiful views of Mount Sheridan and Heart Lake itself. The south side trail was fully woodland and the occasional shore view ends up by crossing the Heart River.

It is about 6.9 miles from the West Thumb Geyser Basin.

Lewis River Channel Loop

Lewis River Channel Loop trail offers you a good feel for Yellowstone’s backcountry. You will have to hike through the forest to the crystal clear waters of the Lewis River Channel. You can see the eagles and osprey fishing for trout in the shallow waters. 

It is about 6.7 miles from the West Thumb Geyser Basin.

Lewis Lake Picnic Area

Lewis Lake Picnic Area is located in the southern part of Yellowstone on Lewis Lake. It is about 8 miles south of Grant Village and it is a basic campground but a satisfactory picnic area. 

It is about 9.6 miles from the West Thumb Geyser Basin.

Best experiences near West Thumb Geyser Basin

  • Yellowstone Old Faithful, Waterfalls and Wildlife Day Tour
  • VIP Safari of Yellowstone from West Yellowstone
  • Yellowstone National Park – Full-Day Lower Loop Tour from Jackson Hole
  • Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone Rim and Loop Hike with Lunch
  • Yellowstone Lower Loop Full-Day Tour

Other things to do near West Thumb Geyser Basin

  • Bodies of Water
  • Hiking Trails
  • Kayaking & Canoeing
  • Hiking & Camping Tours
  • Private Tours
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