Calcite Springs Overlook offers stunning views of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. It's hugely popular with photographers, but one visitor got a little too close this week, climbing over a safety railing to pose for photos of herself sitting right on the rim while vaping.
The incident was spotted and recorded by another park visitor, snowboarder Frazer Hilliard, who submitted it to Instagram account TouronsOfYellowstone, which catalogs bad behavior and misadventures at US National Parks. Other recent close calls have included a woman trying to pet a bison, a person walking barefoot across Grand Prismatic, and a man bugling at a bull elk.
The woman was so close to the edge of the Canyon, Hilliard thought she was going to fall in when she stood up.
A photo posted by on
Although there are railings in some areas, it's up to visitors to keep themselves safe at Yellowstone by watching their step, and sticking to dry paths and solid rock areas with good footing, as described in the National Park Service's guide to safe hiking.
"Take your time and watch your step," says the NPS. "Be careful and watch where you are walking, especially on slippery areas or near cliffs."
Calcite Springs itself is a hydrothermal area closed to visitors, but the overlook offers an excellent view from above. Fractures in the rock deep underground release deposits of oil, which slowly seep to the surface, and the springs are hot enough to liquify sulfur deposits, which also ooze to the surface where they oxidize and turn black.
The area is covered with white calcite and golden barite crystals, with yellow sulfur crystals inside the conduits of the springs. It looks amazing, but smells as eggy as you'd imagine.
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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.