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West Thumb Geyser Basin – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

West Thumb Geyser Basin, one of the smallest yet most concentrated geyser basins in Yellowstone National Park, can easily be counted as the most scenic thanks to its location on the shores of Yellowstone Lake—along the extensive boardwalk you will encounter fumeroles, hot springs, pools, mud pots, cones and of course, geysers.

The boardwalk, configured as a double loop, allows up-close viewing of several spectacular hydrothermal features—highlights include Thumb Paint Pots, Lakeshore Geyser, Fishing Cone, Big Cone, Black Pool, Abyss Pool (the deepest pool in Yellowstone at 53 feet deep), Twin Geysers, Blue Funnel Spring, Ephedra Spring, Percolating Spring, Thumb Geyser, and Surging Spring.

Topping our list was Black Pool—a massive, once black, now sparkling turquoise pool that glistens in the sunlight of a cloudless day and steams dramatically on a rainy day.

You can choose to hike the loop in any direction, but we opted to begin walking counter-clockwise towards the Outer Boardwalk Loop (0.5-mile) that showcases the Lower Group of hydrothermal features—thereby reaching the shores of Yellowstone Lake first, and then circling back along the Inner Loop (0.25-mile).


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