The Mud Volcano Area is a unique point of interest in Yellowstone National Park that is simply a must to experience, no matter how crowded it may be. There are few places on earth where boiling volcanic mud can be observed by the roadside and this destination offers this one of a kind opportunity. The Mud Volcano Area is easy to find, because it is near the Yellowstone Lake Wetlands Area by the big lake. The Yellowstone River is on the opposite side of the road and the overlooks are a great place to observe herds of bison. At the Mud Volcanoes, a visitor can enjoy two great Yellowstone attractions by parking the car in one convenient spot!
Touring Yellowstone during the spring or fall seasons while the outdoor temperatures are cool will expose more volcanic steam clouds when looking at the landscape. The cold air can make the steam so thick, that the visibility will sometimes be zero, depending on which way the wind is blowing. This is why there is no reason to dread a chilly overcast day at Yellowstone National Park, because this is when places like the Mud Volcano Area really come to life!
There are two sections of boiling mud pits in the Mud Volcano Area. The lower section is located by the roadside and the hillside section requires a fairly easy uphill hike on a wood plank walkway. I decided to skip the longer hillside path, because a few tour buses showed up and it got crowded fast. The photos of the lower section of mud volcanoes were just about all that could be managed at that time, so those who visit in person will find plenty more mysteries to explore than what is depicted in the photos.
All of the hiking paths are boardwalks in the Mud Volcano Area, so even those who have mobility challenges can do the tour. The reason why boardwalks were installed will become obvious upon first glance. This entire area has a thin hard earth crust that may break loose when stepped on, so it is best to obey the rules and not stray from the boardwalk path! Of course the thin earth crust is not the only thing to fear, because there are usually plenty of bison hanging around this area. The bison may look docile, but these wild animals can turn into dangerous angry beasts at the drop of a dime, so it is best to keep a safe distance.
The Mud Volcano Area at Yellowstone National Park is a sensory experience like no other! The sound of the boiling mud speaks louder than photo images ever will! The sound of gurgling boiling mud bubbles bursting is something that is rarely heard in nature, so this is truly is a special experience. Listening to the Dragon’s Mouth Spring hissing loudly with escaping steam is nothing less than captivating. The Mud Volcano Area experience certainly is surreal and it is easy to completely forget about the modern world in this odd place!
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