West Thumb Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

Located along the shore of Yellowstone Lake, West Thumb Geyser Basin is one of the smallest but most scenic geyser basins in Yellowstone National Park. Aside from geysers, the basin also features hot springs, pools, mud pots, and fumaroles (openings in the earth's crust that emit steam and gases). The most popular feature of this basin is Fishing Cone, found on the shore of the lake. This geyser was named for the fact that fishermen used to stand on the cone to fish, and then they'd parboil their catches in the vent of the geyser. Abyss Pool--with a depth of 16 m (53 ft)--is the deepest pool in Yellowstone; its dark green waters give the impression that it's bottomless. Plan your West Thumb Geyser Basin visit and explore what else you can see and do in Yellowstone National Park using our Yellowstone National Park trip itinerary maker.
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West Thumb Geyser Basin Reviews
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  • August 13, 2017
    The West thumb geyser basin is not so widely as the upper or the Norris geyser basin. However, also here to find mudpots, several hot springs and even sources in the Yellowstone Lake, the so-called fishing cone. Definitely worth a visit.
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  • August 11, 2017
    One of MANY stops you could make along Yellowstone's main route; good info boards on what you're seeing. Loved the historic perspective on how the site has changed since humans have been recording the...  more »
  • August 9, 2017
    Enjoyed the walk on the boardwalk. Make sure you stay on boardwalk. Signs warn you, but not enough to put fear in you. Very nice to see and nature is very impressive. We would go back.  more »
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  • March 6, 2017
    Great place. It was the first place we visited in the park. Just next to the parking lot easy to travel you can also see the lake..
  • July 9, 2016
    Get here early and enjoy minimal crowds in a really nice setting. Having some of these geysers right next to and even in the lake makes this a unique and gorgeous spot. A few of the thermal features are especially impressive, such as Black Pool (the photo attached to this review). The size and color of this pool, with a backdrop of the lake itself, is so very cool. And yes, it isn't as grand as, say, Grand Prismatic, but this is a must visit in Yellowstone.
  • March 16, 2017
    Great spot to have a picnic and enjoy the lake.
  • September 2, 2016
    A good place to get out and stretch your legs. Not the most amazing basin in the park, but I love being able to see the hot pots, pools, and small geysers next to the lake.
  • August 23, 2016
    An interesting place to view the geysers since it is right next to the big lake! You can see the colors form the geysers run off into the lake as well.

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Where to stay in Yellowstone National Park

As one of the U.S.'s most popular national parks, Yellowstone provides plenty of options for sleeping within its boundaries. Choose from lodges, inns, cabins, hotels, motels, and campgrounds throughout the park. Most of the structured accommodations lie in the park's most-visited areas, such as Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower Falls, Old Faithful Geyser, and Yellowstone Lake. Staying on the northern side of the lake puts you right in the heart of the park, making it relatively convenient to visit other areas. Resorts, lodges, and guest ranches line the road just outside the park's east entrance, and a cluster of motels and hotels fills the town of West Yellowstone near the west entrance. You can also opt for lodges and inns to the north in Gardiner, Montana, or find nearly every type of accommodation to the south in Jackson, Wyoming. Staying outside the park is fine if you plan to drive through in a day and catch the highlights, but you'll want to spend at least one night inside the park if you plan to explore it more thoroughly.
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