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Ways to Experience Norris Geyser Basin
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All reviews geyser basin emerald spring longer loop thermal features steam vents active geyser old faithful hot springs mile loop nice walk geothermal activity parking lot mud pots board walk easy walk park ranger beautiful colors
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Reviewed 1 week ago

Okay, so Old Faithful is great, but did you know Norris Geyer Basin has a geyser that shoots higher than OF? The variety of pools and geysers and colors and landscape at NGB is outstanding. The trails are easy to hike and offer vistas from various angles. Trails are well marked and vary in length, but there are no facilities once you leave the main buildings, so plan accordingly.

Thank GrannyB47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

one area of the geyser was shut so we could only go down one section. this was stunning. not as explosive as others but neither the less was stunning. the colours are more pastels and beautiful. the sulfur smell can be strong

Thank debbie1961255068
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Nice stroll on boardwalks; so many different geysers, springs, vents and fumeroles to see. Incredible features here...don't miss this area

Thank KathyB127
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

It takes about 2-3 hours to see the geysers here because it is a very large place. Lots of geothermal activity. It is worth the time to see it all. Be prepared to do a lot of walking.

Thank LUCKYME72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

The world’s tallest geyser, Steamboat, is here but is very unpredictable. It had just erupted 32 hours before we arrived! It has had several eruptions this year. It can go years between eruptions! There’s a decent path and/or boardwalk so you can tour yourself through the area, just don’t leave the paths! There are several options for walking about, depending on how far you wish to walk. The longest is probably 1.5 miles.

Thank dixiepeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2018

So many geysers in this area of all different shapes and sizes. There was a small geyser along the boardwalk that was just showing off like crazy.

Thank PTOGreer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2018

Norris Geyser Basin has much to boast about. It is the hottest and most dynamic geyser basin in Yellowstone National Park. It was the earliest recorded geyser activity in the park. It hosts 550 geothermal features, including Yellowstone's tallest active geyser, Steamboat Geyser, which spouts water more than 300 feet in the air but whose eruptions may be years apart. Its last eruption took place on July 31, 2013. Did you know that Norris Geyser Basin periodically undergoes a large-scale thermal disturbance lasting a few days to a few weeks? Visitors can take a two-mile trail through Norris Geyser Basin, leading through such features as Back Growler Steam Vent, Ledge Geyser (the basin's second highest geyser) and Porcelain Basin (whose hot springs are coated in the milky color of silceous sinter). Go early in the morning to avoid midday crowds. A museum and book store are located at the Museum of the National Forest Range, housed in the Norris Soldier Station, one of the few remaining soldier stations in the park.

Thank Taylor B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2018

Every area of Yellowstone is beautiful, and the Norris Geyser Basin is no exception. We visited most of the geothermal areas, and each one has its own character and beauty, and all are worth visiting.

Norris has two distinct areas, the Porcelain Basin and the Back Basin sections. If you don’t want to do a lot of walking, you can get a great overview at the top of the Porcelain Basin just past the entrance. That was enough for us, since walking the boardwalks is a lot longer than what you think by looking at the guide. You can see the sulfur clouds and beautiful colors of the geyser pools from this birds eye view. As others have commented, it almost looks like a lunar landscape. It is very surreal!

The Back Basin is completely different. The area is very green as it is filled with lodge pole pines, and you can only see each of the separate geothermal pools by walking up close to each one. This involves a great deal of walking on the boardwalks, and many of the boardwalk paths involve grades and or steps. Back Basin is also much larger than Porcelain Basin. We actually visited Steamboat Geyser in the Back Basin the day before it recently erupted. Several “groupies” were camped out in lounge chairs waiting for it to erupt. We’ve heard that Steamboat Geyser is now erupting about every five days or so, but it’s still a matter of being there at the right time, unless you have a lot of time to spend here just waiting. That’s why Old Faithful is such a draw. It erupts within 10 minutes of the predicted time! We didn’t spend a lot of time at Back Basin because of the extensive walking. We saw Steamboat Geyser, Emerald Spring and Cistern Spring which are very close and easy to see in the Back Basin area.

Make sure you have a guide with you or download the app while walking the boardwalks if you really want to know what you are looking at. The one thing we noticed in the park in general, is very poor signage. Some areas were nicely marked and others were completely missing. This is true for road directions, parking lot directions, and just signs on each of the sights. They are marked on the guide, but not necessarily at the site.

Since we visited in late September, the crowds were much smaller and we had no trouble finding parking at most places including Norris. We also got an early start right at sunrise. Even the construction area to Mammoth Springs was only a 7 minute delay.

The Norris Geyser Basin area is completely different from the Old Faithful area. It is much quieter and less theatrical and very beautiful. It is definitely worth spending a couple hours here.

Thank spitzy135
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2018

Not as spectacular as some of the other geothermal areas as on the whole the geysers and springs are not as colourful. Some erupt and some don't.

There are two walks around, but at the time we visited part of the Porcelain basin trail was closed meaning you couldn't walk the loop but could still access most of the sights by backtracking. We opted for the longer loop and saw a couple of explosions. I would recommend doing this walk clockwise so that you do the steps/slope first and see the most impressive geysers (towards Echinus). It's mainly boardwalk despite what the guide says, but as you get further round, the seats dry up, just when you could do with a few more to rest. There's a gentle gradient to get back to the start.

Plenty of toilets at the entrance but be warned there are none round the basin walk itself. Vending machine only for drinks. The car park is large but also gets very bust, so there is now overflow parking on the main grand loop road. It's quite a walk from here before you even start the basin walks.

Thank Julie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2018

If you are visiting outside of the crazy peak summer season, you should find the parking situation only slightly atrocious. (Summer, all bets are off.) This basin is broken into two distinct areas, each with its own paths of boardwalks. Both are well worth seeing. Do take advantage of one of the scheduled ranger talks. If you are lucky, you might get to see the Steamboat geyser erupt: the tallest in the world, currently on about a 5-day interval schedule. If not, at least there is a small geyser right down the path that erupts every few minutes, sure to please.

Thank Ken B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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