There was once a time in the 19th century when you could hear Yellowstone’s mud volcano from over a half mile away. Today, however, the volcano has calmed to a crater of bubbling mud—which in itself is a fascinating sight that serves as a Yellowstone highlight. It’s said that when these mud‐filled pools first erupted up from the Earth, that they covered the surrounding trees in mud with their violent, explosive fury. When walking the area’s boardwalks today, it’s mostly steam that rises to the treetops as opposed to blankets of mud, but there’s no denying the creepy nature of literally watching the ground boil. At Dragon’s Mouth Spring, watch as puffs of thick white steam emerge from the mouth of a cave—which legitimately creates a vision of dragons lurking somewhere within. Add in shimmering turquoise pools and the smell of sulphur on the air, and the mud volcano area is an easy stop for experiencing Yellowstone’s fury.
The mud volcano area is accessed via a mile‐long boardwalk loop that is broken into two sections. One of the loops is very short—only 1⁄4 of a mile—whereas the longer loop continues to complete the nearly mile‐long trail. Because it’s located on the Grand Loop Road, the mud volcano area is only accessible by car when traveling in summer.