Tourist tries skateboarding on Yellowstone boardwalk – it doesn't go well

Woman standing on boardwalk by Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Geothermal features cause more injuries than any other natural feature at Yellowstone National Park, but sticking to the extensive network of trails and boardwalks will let you enjoy the sights from a safe distance – usually.

Unfortunately not everyone employs common sense around the park's steaming pools and geysers, and two visitors were filmed recently rollerblading and skateboarding along one of the boardwalks by Old Faithful. Skating on boardwalks is against park regulations, but the pair seemed to be getting away with it until the skateboarder climbed up and tried to ride along a row of benches.

As you can see in the video below, he fell off almost immediately, hitting his hip on the corner of the bench while his board rolled into the mud, where a Park Ranger would doubtless have to recover it.

The clip was shared online this week by infamous Instagram account TouronsOfYellowstone, which calls out bad behavior at the National Park, often involving visitors getting themselves in hot water. Several have been caught burning themselves by touching thermal pools, while others have been seen washing their dogs in a steaming stream.

Skating on boardwalks is a bad idea, but there are some areas in Yellowstone where it's permitted. According to section 2.20 of the Yellowstone National Park Regulations, such activities "are permitted in NPS housing and administrative areas; on the road between Norris and Canyon and on Gull Point Drive during daylight hours between October 1 and the time the road closes to wheeled vehicles for the winter; and on the road between the Roosevelt Arch and the North Entrance kiosk between October 1 and May 15."

Skateboarding and rollerskating are also permitted on public roads during the fall closure (after roads are closed to traffic but before they're closed by snow), and the spring closure.

Hot spring safety

Yellowstone visitors are warned to stick to boardwalks in geothermal areas, never run, keep children under control, not touch the water, and never to try bathing in it. In 2016, a man was killed after accidentally falling into one of the hottest water features in the park while looking for a place to soak.

Twenty-three-year-old Colin Scott and his sister Sable wandered off the boardwalk to find a warm pool when he slipped and fell into the Norris Geyser Basin. He died soon after the accident, but attempts to recover his body were delayed by bad weather and by the following day, nothing remained except his wallet and a pair of flip-flops.

Last year, the Abyss Pool was closed after a park employee spotted a human foot inside a shoe floating in the water. After an investigation and DNA analysis, it was identified as belonging to a 70-year-old Los Angeles man named Il Hun Ro.

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.