Best time to visit Yellowstone National Park

Swim in Boiling River in Yellowstone National Park

Take a relaxing dip into the warm waters of the Boiling River

Best time: mid-July–February

Swim in Boiling River
Swim in Boiling River
Swim in Boiling River

One of the most unique activities in Yellowstone National Park is to take a dip in the famous Boiling River. The Boiling River is a place where a large hot spring meets the cold waters of the Gardner River. When they mix together they create a perfect water temperature for a pleasant bath. It is a great spot to relax in the warm waters surrounded by the stunning nature of the park.

You can enjoy bathing in the Boiling River during the day, as it is closed as soon as it gets dark. Mid-summer, winter, and fall are all great times to visit. Don't forget to take a swimming suit and flip-flops. Only during the spring time the hotspot is closed due to the rising water level.

Practical info

When is the best time of year to swim in the Boiling River?

The Boiling River, located in Yellowstone National Park, is only open to visitors from mid-July through February. High water levels during the spring season can make the water too hot to swim. Mid-summer, winter, and fall are ideal for taking a dip in the warm waters of the river. Swimming is allowed only during daylight hours and visitors swim at their own risk. Show more

Where is the Boiling River located in Yellowstone National Park?

Found in the northern part of Yellowstone National Park, the Boiling River is situated just south of the entrance to the North Entrance Road, close to Highway 89. It is easily accessible from the parking area with just a short walk. The Mammoth Hot Springs region of the park can be found nearby, which is well-known for its unique geographical features and natural beauty. Show more

How hot is the Boiling River compared to a regular hot tub?

Compared to a normal hot tub, the Boiling River is a lot hotter with varying temperature depending on the location within the water. The temperature of water near the hot springs reaches about 140 degrees Fahrenheit, while further downstream, it can be as low as 70 degrees Fahrenheit. In comparison, a hot tub is typically set to 102 degrees Fahrenheit. One should get accustomed to the temperature variations before taking the plunge in Boiling River. Show more

Are there any safety measures in place for swimming in the Boiling River?

Swimming in the Boiling River in Yellowstone National Park is done at visitors’ own risk as there are no lifeguards, but park rangers keep a close watch and frequently patrol the area. Safety signs are posted throughout the area to help visitors. Any visitor should avoid immersing their heads in the water and be mindful when walking on the slippery bottom of the river. Show more

Can you swim in the Boiling River at any time of day?

The Boiling River in Yellowstone National Park is available to visitors in daylight hours only and closes at dusk. The area is quite remote and may have limited services, so visitors should plan to ensure they are prepared at all times. A visit to the Boiling River could be an unforgettable experience, as it is not every day one gets to experience such unique and exciting natural wonders. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin