Yellowstone National Park - Winter Edition
Hot Springs in the Wintertime
If you are adventurous enough, especially in the wintertime, you can take a swim in the Boiling River. Another benefit of soaking in the wintertime is the lack of people. Try going here in the summertime and you’ll be in for a surprise. It is also the ONLY place you can soak in a hotspring in the park. The Boiling River is a hotspring that flows into the Gardner River. The park has established, with the use of larger stones and boulders, small pools in the intersection between the river and the hotspring. Like other parts of Yellowstone, the tectonic plates constantly shift. Not long ago those tectonic plates right under the boiling river shifted again, and an even warmer temperature arose. Last time I swam in the boiling river I was way too hot and had to lean over to the ice cold river to cool off my arms, W on the other hand seemed perfectly fine in the Boiling River.
If you drive from Gardiner the Boiling River is only about a quarter mile from the entrance. There is a limited number of parking spots by the Boiling River (to the left), and this is mostly a problem in the summertime. There is another parking lot on the other side of the road too, you just have to cross the road then to get to the trail that takes you to the hot spring. We have never had any problems finding parking in the wintertime. We usually go to the Boiling River in the morning, so that might also be why we usually don’t see that many other people here. After you find your parking you will have to walk for about 10 minutes before you get to the actual boiling river. There is a bathroom by the parking lot, but no changing rooms available by the river and the hot spring. We always bring our towels and such in a backpack on the short hike down to the hot spring. Don’t forget to bring a pair of Chaco’s or Tevas, you will be walking a short distance on snowy and cold stones to get down to the hot spring pools, and the stream bed is rocky so we always bring our Tevas. You gonna have to trust the other people using the area, or just don’t bring any valuables. One thing worth noting when swimming in hot springs that contain sulphur is that sulfur and silver react. If you are wearing any silver jewelry it might get stained. It’s just a chemical reaction and it’s reversible so just soak the jewelry in water with aluminum foil on the bottom and add some baking soda.
Have you ever taken a swim in any hot springs?