Best time to travel to Yellowstone National Park

Morning Glory Pool in Yellowstone National Park

Stunning beauty of this natural pool is vanishing due to pollution

Best time: March–November

Morning Glory Pool
Morning Glory Pool
Morning Glory Pool
Morning Glory Pool

The Morning Glory Pool is one of the most famous tourist stops in Yellowstone National Park. The pool features an amazing variety of colors, which appeared due to bacteria that lives in the water. Once it has been a gorgeous delicate blue pool, nowadays it has changed the colors to yellow, orange, red and green. Red and yellow circles appeared due to the accumulation of other bacteria.

Unfortunately, this beautiful natural sight was damaged by trash and coins thrown by tourists. It influenced the circulation of water and changed the temperature and the colour of the pool.

From time to time, on rare occasions, the pool erupts as a geyser due to seismic activity in the nearby area. Scientists hope that such eruptions will clear the pool in a natural way. It’s a great spot to visit and marvel the nature’s beautiful diversity, just be respectful of nature.

It might be more challenging to reach the spot in winter months, thus we recommend visiting the Pool from March to late November.

Practical info

What is the Morning Glory Pool in Yellowstone National Park?

Located in Yellowstone National Park, Morning Glory Pool is a vast, natural hot spring popular among tourists. It features an array of colors, ranging from yellow to green and red. The colors are a product of pigmented bacteria that exists in the water, thriving in varying temperatures. Measuring approximately 213 feet, it is one of the large geothermal springs present within the park. Show more

What caused the different colors of the pool?

The pigmented mats at the bottom of Morning Glory Pool produce the different colors in the pool. The heat-loving bacteria living in the mineral-rich water cause these pigmented mats, which reflect light to form kaleidoscopic hues. The intensity of the colors varies, primarily as a result of differences in temperature, with the center being the hottest and reaching a temperature of 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Color changes can also occur due to fluctuations in water temperature and additional seeping geological materials contributing to the pool. Show more

How was the Morning Glory Pool damaged by tourists?

To Morning Glory Pool's detriment, tourists have littered and thrown objects into the pool. Some people have thrown coins into the pool, thinking it brings good luck, clogging up vents. Trash and other debris worsen circulation, while introducing disruptive microbial imbalances to the water. The garbage, large objects, and visitors carving their initials have also caused silica layers to peel away. The park imposes fines to deter individuals from damaging the pools and other natural attractions by promoting responsible and respectful behavior. Show more

Is it possible to see the pool erupt as a geyser?

While admired for its beauty, Morning Glory Pool can unexpectedly erupt as a geyser. Geyser activity involves steam and superheated water building pressure underground before being expelled to the surface. Geothermal conditions change over time, resulting in periodic geyser activity being sporadic. However, seismic changes such as earthquakes and thermal adjustments can trigger them. Geologists do not monitor the pool regularly, so the likelihood of witnessing the event is rare. Show more

When is the best time to visit Yellowstone National Park and the Morning Glory Pool?

Yellowstone National Park's Morning Glory Pool is open year-round but visiting from March to November is highly recommended. Winter months can bring unpredictable weather conditions that make access to the park challenging, with some facilities and roads closed. Wildlife emerges from hibernation during spring, and summer brings verdant greenery ideal for hikes. Visitors should adhere to park guidelines and exhibit responsibility and respect for the environment, no matter the season. Show more

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