At Mammoth Hot Springs, geothermal waters heated in Yellowstone’s caldera valley emerge through cracks and fissures, depositing minerals to create terraced travertine formations. Visitors traverse boardwalks above the steaming hydrothermal features, taking in one of Yellowstone National Park’s most impressive natural wonders.
About 50 hot springs lie within this area, accessed by upper and lower boardwalk trails. There’s more to the area than the hot springs as well. Parkgoers can watch for wildlife in the Gardner River Canyon, climb to the top of Bunsen Peak, cross the 45th Parallel, soak in the Boiling River hot spring, or learn about the area’s human and natural history at the Albright Visitor Center.
Multi-day trips offer the chance to take in Yellowstone’s highlights, including Mammoth Hot Springs, as well as the Upper Geyser Basin (home of Old Faithful), Lamar and Hayden valleys, and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Winter cross-country skiing and snowshoeing tours typically include Mammoth Hot Springs as well.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Mammoth Hot Springs is a highlight of Yellowstone and a must-see for first-time visitors.
- Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces, and don’t forget to bring sun protection.
- The Mammoth Hot Springs area is wheelchair-accessible; wheelchairs are available to rent, and there are wheelchair-accessible restrooms.
- The Albright Visitor Center at Mammoth Hot Springs offers free Wi-Fi.
How to Get There
Public transportation is not available to Yellowstone National Park or to Mammoth Hot Springs. The best way to get there is to join a guided tour of the park, or to drive. The Mammoth Hot Springs area sits 5 miles (8 kilometers) from the north entrance to the park, near the town of Gardiner, Montana.
When to Get There
Mammoth Hot Springs remains open throughout the year and is one of the few areas that can still be reached by vehicle during the winter. During the summer and autumn, this is one of the best areas to view elk in the wild.
The Mammoth Hot Springs Historic District comprises 35 historic structures dating from the 1890s and early 1900s. Among the structures still standing are the log mail carrier’s cabin of Fort Yellowstone, the Mammoth post office, and the Roosevelt Arch.