Boiling River

Steam rises from exposed rocks on a bank alongside a river.

NPS / Jacob W. Frank

Quick Facts
North Entrance Area

No swimming at Boiling River. Currently, swimming is not possible at Boiling River because of the impacts to the river from the 2022 floods.

More Soaking & Swimming

Swimming is not recommended in Yellowstone, and is occasionally prohibited, because most lakes and streams are dangerously cold. Firehole Canyon, near Madison Junction, has a swimming area in summer.

Think Safety, Act Safely

From burning hot hydrothermal features, to unpredictable wildlife, to steep terrain, Yellowstone is a dangerous place. You are responsible for your safety. As such, please remember these safety tips:

  • Never touch any hydrothermal waters—they can scald you.
  • Observe safe distances from all wildlife.
  • Stay behind fencing, guard rails, and ledges.
  • Use caution when around park waters—they are cold and fast.
  • Show patience and courtesy to other people.

Aquatic Invasive Species

Red-rimmed melania, a small snail imported by the aquarium trade starting in the 1930s, was discovered in the Boiling River swimming area in 2009.

An aquatic invasive species disrupts ecological processes because it is not indigenous to the ecosystem. Invasive organisms can cause species extinction, with the highest extinction rates occurring in freshwater environments.

Red-rimmed melania is unlikely to survive downstream of the Boiling River during the winter, but it could become established in other thermal water in the park.


The first 50 yards of the compacted soil trail is accessible. Beyond this point, there are rocks, eroded trail surfacing, and drop-offs, as well as a couple small hills with up to a 20% grade.

Yellowstone National Park

Last updated: March 3, 2024