Fountain Flats Drive and trail

©(12) B © 0 After the bridge crosses the creek, a short dirt road leads to the Nez Perce picnic area. Nez Perce Creek and the Firehole River come together just to the north, creating one of the prettiest picnic spots in the park. Beginning in 1880, guests stayed in a primitive hotel called Marshall House at this site. The 1884 Firehole Hotel here was abandoned after Fountain Hotel was built (in 1891), but stood until the 1930s.

For a short time there was also a guardhouse here, built to incarcerate those who violated park laws, but almost never used. Beyond the picnic area you’ll see steam rising to the left from Hygeia Spring (Hygeia was the Greek goddess of health). Though occupants of the Marshall House used the water of this 0 Bicyclists and hikers can continue on to rejoin the Grand Loop Road less than 4 miles (6.4 km) from here. Ojo Caliente Spring is a beautiful greenish blue to deep blue spring (its color depends on the time of day). Stay a safe distance away: the thin silica crust that overlies the superheated water can be dangerous. Ojo Caliente means hot spring in Spanish.

Northeast of the trail bridge across the Firehole and east of Ojo Caliente Spring is Pocket Basin, an interesting area of hot springs, small geysers, and mud pots. It’s best to ask the advice of a ranger before walking anywhere off the main trails of the park. This area is especially full of hazards, and there are no warning signs. In fact, visitors have been severely burned in this area. One person died and two were seriously injured from falling into one of these hot springs in the summer of 2000. Never walk alone in hazardous geyser basins such as this one.

Fountain Flats Drive and trail Photo Gallery



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