Black Sand Basin Trail [CLOSED]

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Yellowstone National Park

Black Sand Basin Trail is a 0.8 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from May until September.

Distance: 0.8 km Elevation Gain: 3 m Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

lake

hot springs

views

wild flowers

wildlife

closed

no dogs

It has been reported this trail has a temporary closure due to COVID-19. Please see the park's website for up to date information. Black Sand Basin, an isolated group of the Upper Geyser Basin, was originally named the Emerald Group by A.C. Peale in 1878. But turn of the century tourists began calling it Black Sand Basin because of the small fragments of black obsidian sand which cover portions of the basin. Black Sand Basin contains a small collection of jewel-like geysers, and colorful hot springs. Emerald Pool is the most colorful and famous of these springs. It is a deep emerald green fringed by an outer ring of yellow and orange. Another colorful pool is Opalescent Pool. This recently formed pool inundated a stand of lodgepole pine, creating a stand of white skeletons amidst a rainbow-colored pool. An unusual geyser formed on the bank of Iron Creek. Cliff Geyser formed a rim or wall-like ridge of sinter around its crater from which it erupts 30 to 40 feet high. The famous Handkerchief Pool was once the drawing attraction to Black Sand Basin. Turn-of-the-century tourists dropped their handkerchiefs into this small spring. Convection currents then whisked their laundry away where it would reappear again at the surface, freshly laundered.

hiking
8 months ago

We did this loop just because and it turned out to be one of my favorite parts of Yellowstone! The Rainbow Pool was my favorite. The loop offered a variety of sights.

hiking
9 months ago

Lots of bubbling/spouting pots that were fun to walk by. Short and easy. I'd recommend doing this before or after Old Faithful since they are close in proximity.

hiking
11 months ago

nice little trail

hiking
Tue Sep 05 2017

Great walk thru the Geysers. Nice walking path

walking
Sun May 14 2017

Sun Jul 17 2016

Went here with family years ago and loved it! Could spend so much time admiring the hot springs! So beautiful and so unique! Lots of thermal activity in this basin!

hiking
Sat Oct 31 2015

The Black Sand geyser is unique in that before it erupts (not explosively) the ground around it jumps and there's loud thudding sound that can be disconcerting if not expected. But absolutely stunning!

hiking
Tue Jul 15 2014

Short trail with some fun thermal features.

walking
Sun Sep 21 2003

Short walk

hiking
3 months ago

recorded Black Sand Basin Trail

hiking
7 months ago

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8 months ago

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8 months ago

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8 months ago

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8 months ago

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8 months ago

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9 months ago

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9 months ago

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9 months ago

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9 months ago

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10 months ago

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10 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

recorded Black Sand Basin Trail

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

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11 months ago

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11 months ago

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