Explore the Mammoth Hot Springs Area

Whether you are planning your visit or browsing, here are some of our favorite things to do in the Mammoth Hot Springs area.

Watch the Inside Yellowstone episodes about visiting the Mammoth Hot Springs Area (approx. 2 min. each)

Large brown sign reads "Visitor Center" with NPS arrowhead on it standing before the stone building that is home to the Albright Visitor Center.
Step back inside the Albright Visitor Center to explore Yellowstone's history and to learn about wildlife.

NPS / Neal Herbert

Visit the Albright Visitor Center

Talk to a ranger at the Albright Visitor Center (originally quarters for single Army officers) and learn more about the history and wildlife of Yellowstone. Get help planning your day and stamp your passport. Kids can become Junior Rangers and explore the children's area. Watch the Officers' Row webcam.

American flag in foreground with tan wooden homes with red chimneys and red tile roofs beyond.
In this wilderness outpost, the US Army applied discipline and hard work. Soldiers arrested poachers, educated visitors, provided medical care, managed wildlife, fought fires, and expelled squatters.

NPS / Neal Herbert

Tour Historic Fort Yellowstone

Yellowstone's first superintendents struggled with poaching, vandalism, squatting and other problems. In 1886, US Army soldiers marched into Mammoth Hot Springs at the request of the Secretary of the Interior and took charge of Yellowstone. Soldiers oversaw Fort Yellowstone's construction—sturdy red-roofed buildings still in use today as the Albright Visitor Center, offices, and employee housing.

A visitor standing on a boardwalk watches the sunrise through mist rising from the Mammoth Hot Springs.
Mammoth Hot Springs is Yellowstone’s only major thermal area located well outside the Yellowstone Caldera. The terraces change constantly—sometimes noticeable within a day.

NPS / Neal Herbert

Explore the Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces

Walk on boardwalks above the steaming hydrothermal features or take a drive around the vibrant travertine terraces. In the winter, ski or snowshoe among the whiffs of sulfur along the Upper Terraces. Watch the Mammoth Hot Springs terraces webcam.

A family of two adults and three children hiking through an alpine meadow.
More than 900 miles (1,449 km) of hiking trails cross Yellowstone. Plan your visit, lace up your boots, and hit the trail!

NPS / Jim Peaco

Go Hiking!

Many trails into Yellowstone's wilderness begin in the Mammoth Hot Springs area, including day hikes. Plan a short day or extended hike with our day hiking guide featuring eight hikes selected by park rangers. Always carry rain gear, extra food and water, and other emergency equipment when venturing into the backcountry. Be sure to obtain current trail condition and bear activity information at visitor centers.

Woman riding her bike down a dirt road.
Visitors can bike, hike, and drive the Old Gardiner Road for scenic views of the area. Remember to check for conditions before you go and be safe.

NPS / Neal Herbert

Travel the Old Gardiner Road

Follow the paths of soldiers and early visitors on this dirt road to Gardiner, Montana. Cars may only travel one-way to Gardiner, bicycle traffic may travel both ways. The roads is also open for hiking, but travel safely and know what to do if you encounter wildlife. From the Old Gardiner Road, you can see the Yellowstone River. Yellowstone is named for Mi tse a-da-zi, the Minnetaree Indians' name for the Yellowstone River, inspired by bluffs many miles downstream from the park.

Front of the stone building that houses many of the park's artifacts and research objects.
Located near the iconic Roosevelt Arch, the Heritage and Research Center is for storage and research and its architecture is similar to the nearby Art Deco transportation warehouses rather than the traditional "parkitecture" of a visitor center.


Check out the Heritage and Research Center

The Heritage and Research Center in Gardiner, Montana (5 mi or 8 km from Mammoth Hot Springs), is a state-of-the-art facility that is home to Yellowstone's museum collection, archives, research library, historian, and archeology lab. Read about museum highlights, quirky staff favorites, and newly acquired collections on the collections blog. Visit the small rotating exhibit in the lobby or plan ahead and take a behind-the-scenes guided tour. Tours are generally available twice a week from June to September; reservations are strongly recommended.

Photo of people watching wildlife in Lamar Valley

Things To Do

No matter how you like to spend your day, we’ve got you covered.

Someone using a cell phone by Yellowstone Lake.

Goods & Services

From cell phone service to RV repair, see what's offered in the park.

Photo of crowds at Old Faithful


General information about accessibility in Yellowstone's major areas.

Last updated: March 6, 2019

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168



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