Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

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Norris Geyser Basin

The Norris Geyser Basin, one of the oldest and most unpredictable thermal areas in Yellowstone, is a true must-see when visiting West Yellowstone and other Yellowstone National Park attractions.

  • Norris Campground is FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED
  • Tour the Norris Geyser Basin, one of the oldest and most unpredictable thermal areas in Yellowstone
  • Only 28 miles from West Yellowstone, Montana
  • Get an education at the Norris Museum
  • Hike through Porcelain Basin to see the Black Growler Steam Vent
  • View the eruption of the world’s tallest geyser


Norris Geyser Basin, in Yellowstone National Park, is a fascinating and intriguing place indeed. Geysers are born here while others suddenly disappear. Hot springs indicate all that goes on beneath the surface of our Earth. Microscopic life colors the water, and hissing steam vents spout into the air. With the strange features you’ll witness in this basin, these are sights you dare not miss.


Norris Geyser Basin is located at Norris Junction, 21 miles south of Mammoth Hot Springs, 28 miles east of West Yellowstone (the West Entrance) and 30 miles northeast of Old Faithful.


All the roads to the Norris Geyser Basin are open from the middle of April through October. Some roads are open from the middle of December to early March for snow vehicles.


  • Tour the Norris Museum
    Here is where you should start your tour of the Norris Geyser Basin. First tour the museum to see exhibits that show how the geothermal features in the basin had their beginnings.
  • Hiking
    Two trails leave the museum area to take you around the basin so you can view the sights. These trails take you on a hike of only 2-1/4 miles and get you up close to these fabulous features, while giving you some exercise and sunshine.
  • View the thermal features in the Porcelain Basin
    Here you will see Black Growler Steam Vent, which has temperatures of 199 to 280 degrees F. Ledge Geyser is the second largest geyser in the basin and erupts at an angle and 125 feet into the air. The Congress Pool is a fascinating phenomenon, with sometimes the coloring of a calm blue and other times becoming muddy and boiling violently.
  • See the sights in the Back Basin
    Here you will marvel at the Emerald Spring, 27 feet deep with clear blue water combined with the yellow sulfur on the crater walls creating a brilliant green. Witness the world’s tallest active geyser, Steamboat. Water erupts over 300 feet into the sky! The bubbling hot spring of Porkchop Geyser used to be an active geyser until it exploded in 1989. And you’ll see the Minute Geyser, spouting water only one foot above its crater.

Additional Info

With geothermal disturbances occurring annually at the Norris Geyser Basin, many features undergo distinct changes, sometimes overnight. Perhaps you will see one of these “disturbances” in the late summer or early fall, when they are most common.

Stay on the boardwalks when touring the basin. The water is scalding. And don’t throw any objects into the features. Since there are no concessions here, you should also bring water and snacks. Wear a hat to protect against the sun.

Other Norris Geyser Basin Resources

West Thumb Geyser Basin

Geothermal area located on the shores of Yellowstone Lake.