Grand Prismatic Spring – A ridge scramble for a view of a lifetime

Grand Prismatic Spring

While visiting Yellowstone National Park with another family, we decided to see the Grand Prismatic Spring, but not from the boardwalk that is adjacent to it. I had seen a lot of pictures online and most of them were too close to really experience the visual wonder of the spring. We really wanted to see the colors, so we decided to hike the trail that runs west of the spring. Once we crossed the Firehole River, viewed some grazing elk, and were lined up with the spring, we realized that this trail wasn’t much higher in elevation than the boardwalk, so the view wasn’t that great.

We looked behind us to the use trails that led to the ridge above and we decided to have a go at it. We wondered if the girls (both three years old) would make it, but we shouldn’t have worried. Occasionally holding their hands, we scrambled up the loose soil and fallen trees to a nice viewpoint above the basin. We were rewarded with a wonderful view of the spring. Even though the sun was covered by threatening clouds, the colors were incredible.

Alone on the ridge, we felt like we had a private show of one of the most amazing natural wonders we’ve ever seen. We sat on logs and enjoying some snacks, all the while not being able to keep our eyes off the colorful spring below.

All around us, the wind started blowing and the clouds got darker. We heard thunder in the distance. We thought it was a good idea to descend back to the trail.

As we hiked back to the car, there were occasional raindrops. I was pretty proud of the girls, having hiked up a pretty steep ridge. Buzzing with energy, we were all affected by the beauty of the Grand Prismatic Spring.


  1. As you know, I’ve seen this shot before, but it is still one of my favorites and it’s responsible for making me want to see it for myself next trip to WYO. Well worth the scramble!

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