Grand Prismatic Spring is not only the largest hot spring in Yellowstone National Park, but one of the largest in all of North America. More than its size though, the spring is famous for its colors that radiate from a deep-blue center out to green, yellow, and red. It’s a spectacular sight unlike anything else in the park.
One of the best ways to see Grand Prismatic Spring is on a Yellowstone Lower Loop tour, which might take you to the springs as well as other attractions like Norris Geyser Basin, Excelsior Geyser, and the Fountain Paint Pots in just one day. Once you arrive at Grand Prismatic, take a walk around the wooden boardwalk circling the spring and admire views of the colorful surface. Be warned, though, that the water itself is far too hot to touch. For the best view of the spring, take a short hike up one of the nearby hills (such as Midway Bluff) for a panoramic vantage point.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Secure your belongings to avoid accidentally dropping anything into the spring.
- For safety purposes, stay on the boardwalk and don’t walk on the edge of the spring.
- Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Dress for the weather with lots of sun protection.
- Plenty of photo opportunities make this a top choice for photographers.
How to Get There
Grand Prismatic Spring is located in the Midway Geyser Basin on Yellowstone’s Grand Loop Road. It’s approximately 15 minutes north of Old Faithful, set near the banks of the Firehole River. From the parking area, it’s a short walk on a wooden boardwalk to reach the shore of the spring.
When to Get There
Though it may be extra steamy, the springs show their brightest colors under midday sun. Plan your visit for a summer afternoon for the best chance of seeing the famous colors.
Visiting from Nearby
Even if you're not staying in Yellowstone National Park, it's possible to visit Grand Prismatic Spring in just one day. Look for guided tours from Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Hole, and more to visit with the ease of transportation and a tour guide. Or, opt to drive yourself on a Lower Loop self-guided tour to visit on your own schedule.