As if the bison, waterfalls, canyons, lake, grizzlies, and geysers weren’t enough, Yellowstone Park is home to some of the world’s most stunning hot pools. There are parts of the park where mud literally bubbles, and others where the ground simply steams, but none can compare to the rainbow colored beauty of Grand Prismatic Spring. At 370 feet across, and 121 feet deep, Grand Prismatic Spring is the largest hot spring on the North American continent. The center of the spring, due to extreme heat, is an enchantingly deep color of blue, while the edges are tinged in rainbow colors from green to yellow and red. The multi-hued nature of Grand Prismatic Spring is due to the presence of bacteria, which turn different colors dependent upon the changing temperature of the water. A wooden boardwalk encircles the spring—which is far too hot to touch—and steam is often found rising from the surface and matched by a pungent smell. For the best view of Grand Prismatic Spring, climb one of the short hills that are just outside of the spring. Midway Bluff is a popular choice, and offers aerial, elevated views for best admiring the colors.
Grand Prismatic Spring is located in the Midway Geyser Basin on Yellowstone’s Grand Loop Road. It’s approximately 15 minutes north of Old Faithful, and set near the banks of the Firehole River. From the parking area, it’s a short walk on a wooden boardwalk to reach the shore of the spring.