Careless Yellowstone hikers shamed for strolling alongside steaming hot spring

West Thumb Pool, Yellowstone National Park, USA
(Image credit: Getty)

Two tourists visiting Yellowstone National Park were caught on camera wandering off the boardwalks in a geothermal area to stand right beside a steaming hot pool, despite the many warning signs alerting guests to the risk of serious injury,

The incident (which you can watch below) was captured on camera by another park visitor, and shared on Instagram account TouronsOfYellowstone, which highlights examples of bad behavior at US National Parks and other sites of natural beauty.

A child can be heard calling the pair back, and they eventually return to the safety of the trail.

Yellowstone National Park was founded specifically to protect the unique geothermal features in the area, including hot springs and pools, and they remain one of the park's biggest attractions. However, it's important for visitors to keep their distance for their own safety and to protect the delicate ecosystem.

The National Park Service (NPS) warns visitors to always stick to boardwalks and trails in geothermal areas, where searing hot groundwater often sits just below a thin crust that could easily give way.

Guests are also warned never to touch water features or geothermal runoff, which can still be extremely hot, as one visitor discovered when she scalded her fingers while showing off for social media a few years ago.

At least people have died in Yellowstone's hot springs and pools over the years. In August 2022, a park employee found a human foot floating in the Abyss Pool, which was eventually identified as belonging to a 70-year-old Los Angeles man named Il Hun Ro after an investigation by Park Rangers and DNA analysis.

In 2016, an Oregon man named Colin Scott was killed after accidentally falling into the park's hottest geothermal feature, the Norris Geyser Basin. Bad weather meant emergency workers were unable to start a recovery operation until the next day, by which time all that remained in the scalding, acidic water was a pair of melted flip-flops.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.