Geyser basins are fascinating, hauntingly beautiful places. They are also dangerous. Geysers are quite rare and there aren’t many places like Yellowstone on Earth.
With all the splashing, spurting, steaming and sometimes slopping thermal features, there’s a lot to take in. The sights, sounds and smells are new to most visitors. Myriad colors of bacteria and algae can be vivid and appealing, but beware, they can be encased in deadly steam and acid.
Boardwalks are provided to protect you and keep you safe as you view the hydrothermal features. They also keep you from damaging the fragile features. Be careful not to step off the platforms because the crust of the earth surrounding the geysers and springs can be very thin and you could step into boiling water just below the surface. Severe burns, even death, could result from exposure to hot steam or scalding water or acid.
Be mindful of wildlife in the geyser basins as well. If they are too close to the boardwalks or trails, you should go back the way you came so that you don’t approach them too closely. Never step off the boardwalks. Keep in mind that park animals, including bison, have no problem stepping up onto boardwalks (even over railings) and they can move quickly.
To obey the law and keep yourself safe, stay on the boardwalks and keep your distance from wildlife. Enjoy the beauty surrounding you but please be safe.