Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Mammoth Hot Springs in Park County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
 

Boiling River Trail

Endangered Stream

 
 
Boiling River Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Rich Pfingsten, March 23, 2009
1. Boiling River Trail Marker
Inscription. This stretch of river runs warmer than most mountain streams. A half mile up the trail, underground discharge from Mammoth Hot Springs enters the current and creates a year-round climate for water birds, trout, and aquatic plants. Over the years, delicate travertine terraces have formed along the thermal channel.

With as many as 200 visitors a day, Boiling River is threatened by its popularity. Trail traffic has collapsed several terraces; soap has polluted the water and killed fish and grasses. Little can grow in the heavily-compacted ground.

Regulations are designed to prevent further degradation of the area while allowing use. The trail is open dawn to dusk with the following regulations: no bicycles or other wheeled vehicles except wheelchairs are allowed; no pets; no food or drink; no camping; no nudity; no soap, including biodegradable. The thermal runoff channel is always closed to swimming or wading.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Location. 44° 59.543′ N, 110° 41.477′ W. Marker is near Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming, in Park County. Marker can be reached from North Entrance Road 0.1 miles east of North Entrance Road. Touch for map. The sign is along the Gardner River at
Boiling River Trail along Gardner River image. Click for full size.
By Rich Pfingsten, March 23, 2009
2. Boiling River Trail along Gardner River
a gated pull-off that leads to a parking area for the trail to Boiling River. This pull-off is <0.1 miles south of the North Entrance Road bridge over Gardner River, and is actually located in Montana. Marker is in this post office area: Yellowstone National Park WY 82190, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Mt. Everts Mudslides (approx. one mile away); Mail Carrier’s Cabin (approx. 1.1 miles away); From Soldier to Ranger (approx. 1.2 miles away); a different marker also named From Soldier to Ranger (approx. 1.2 miles away); Road Builders (approx. 1.2 miles away); a different marker also named Road Builders (approx. 1.2 miles away in Montana); Fort Yellowstone (approx. 1.2 miles away); Elk Rut (approx. 1.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mammoth Hot Springs.
 
More about this marker. The marker is almost right on the state line between Montana and Wyoming. It is part of a larger informational sign at the head of the trail to the Boiling River.
 
Categories. Natural Features
 
Boiling River draining into Gardner River image. Click for full size.
By Rich Pfingsten, March 23, 2009
3. Boiling River draining into Gardner River
Smaller Boiling River which drains from Mammoth Hot Springs near where it joins larger Gardner River image. Click for full size.
By Rich Pfingsten, March 23, 2009
4. Smaller Boiling River which drains from Mammoth Hot Springs near where it joins larger Gardner River
Boiling River where it exits from underground image. Click for full size.
By Rich Pfingsten, March 23, 2009
5. Boiling River where it exits from underground
Boiling River at Gardner River looking downstream image. Click for full size.
By Rich Pfingsten, March 23, 2009
6. Boiling River at Gardner River looking downstream
Some of the dangers of hot springs water image. Click for full size.
By Rich Pfingsten, March 23, 2009
7. Some of the dangers of hot springs water
Many of Yellowstone National Park's thermally-influenced waters contain organisms that are known to cause serious skin rashes, infections, and/or primary amoebic meningitis, which can be quickly fatal.

The thermal waters of Boiling River have been shown to support the organisms that can cause Primary Amoebic Meningoenchephalitis and Legionnaire's Disease.

Avoid submerging your head and inhalation of thermal steam. If you have any signs or symptoms of irritation or disease, seek medical help immediately. Swim at Your Own Risk.
Perpetual Summer informational sign on opposite side of marker sign image. Click for full size.
By Rich Pfingsten, March 23, 2009
8. Perpetual Summer informational sign on opposite side of marker sign
Ignore the calendar: this stretch of river creates its own season. In subzero weather summer-green grasses sway in the current, algae colonize pebbles, and waterfowl sometimes appear at the riverbend.

The sorcery is geothermal. Discharge from Mammoth Hot Springs percolates underground and enters the Gardner River upstream. In the tropical microclimate of plants and algae, insects feast and swarm near the surface, attracting ducks and dippers. Brown trout spawn here in December.

Along rivers throughout the park, look for breaks in winter's pattern - islands of life in the ice-locked stillness.

Inset photo caption - Here the dipper, or water ouzel, can be seen year-round. Dippers depend on open water, they feed on larvae and small fish by walking upstream underwater, using their wings for stability. Stay quiet and still, and dippers will remain nearby.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 27, 2011, by Rich Pfingsten of Forest Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,075 times since then and 58 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on February 27, 2011, by Rich Pfingsten of Forest Hill, Maryland.   2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on February 28, 2011, by Rich Pfingsten of Forest Hill, Maryland.   8. submitted on February 27, 2011, by Rich Pfingsten of Forest Hill, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement