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Black Sand Basin Trail is a 0.5 mile 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.

Length 0.5 mi Elevation gain 9 ft Route type Out & Back

Kid friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Lake

Hot springs

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (7)
Contact
Tips
Getting There

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.

Wyoming Business Council Tourism Office, Frank Norris Jr. Travel Center, I-25 & College Drive , Cheyenne, WY, 82002-0660, Phone: 307-777-7777, Fax: 307-777-6472

Hydrothermal features are fragile rarities of nature. Yellowstone preserves the largest collection of hydrothermal features on the planet. You have an unparalleled opportunity to view hot springs, geysers, mudpots, and fumaroles in a natural setting. Change takes place naturally in a hydrothermal area, but people can disrupt these processes and cause irreparable damage. Rocks, sticks, and other objects thrown into a hydrothermal feature may be permanently cemented in place, choking off water circulation and ending all activity. For the sake of all who follow, never throw objects into any feature. Stay on established walkways for your safety and to protect fragile formations that have formed over thousands of years. It is illegal to collect any natural or cultural objects or to remove, deface, or destroy any plant, animal, or mineral in Yellowstone's hydrothermal areas. Bring drinking water; take out all trash. While viewing or photographing the area, protect your camera, glasses, and binocular lenses from hydrothermal heat and stray. Toxic gases exist in Yellowstone. Dangerous levels of hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide have been measured in some hydrothermal areas. If you feel sick, leave the location immediately. Help preserve Yellowstone for the future.

Black Sand Basin Loop trail is off the Grand Loop road near Old Faithful.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (77)
Photos (64)
Recordings (69)
Completed (347)
Dulce Carolina
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HikingNo shade
Anwesha Pan
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Hiking

It was a good hike

Steve Leen
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Hiking

Quick easy stop.

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Adrienne Dixon
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Hiking

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.

Megan Wells
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Hiking

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.

dandan Hansen
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Hiking

nice little trail

Classified Noneoffyourbusiness
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jul 18 2018
HikingGreat!

Its cool

Karen S.
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Hiking

Great walk thru the Geysers. Nice walking path

Nat N
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Walking
Katlin Lakota
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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!

Vicki D.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Oct 31 2015
Hiking

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!

Corbin Stokes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Jul 15 2014
Hiking

Short trail with some fun thermal features.

Breck Tuttle
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Walking

Short walk

Kristy Sheikh
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Hiking
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Samuel Zhou
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Hiking
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Anthony Frawley
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Or Dreamer
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Hiking
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Suzanne Stiller
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Hiking
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Shlomo Siegelman
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Hiking
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Jenny Samad
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Hiking
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Doc H.
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Hiking
Terri Tipping
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Hiking
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Paul M. W.
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Hiking
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Jessica Black
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Hiking
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Luca Bettosini
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Hiking
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K G
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Hiking
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Duco Verschoor
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Hiking
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Aleksey Pinaev
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Hiking
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Nobu Ichige
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Hiking
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Erin Hogan
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Hiking
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