Shocked Yellowstone guide catches clueless tourist sticking hand in geyser

Black Sand Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, USA
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A tour guide at Yellowstone National Park has shared photos of a visitor putting his hand in a geyser at Black Sand Basin as a warning to others, and a reminder to take care around geothermal features.

"Guy puts a hand in spouter at Black Sand Basin," wrote Amanda Eisenberg, whose pictures were shared via Instagram account TouronsOfYellowstone this week. "I've been a guide for over a year. I generally don't warn people anymore because most of the time they just tell me to shove it, but I warned this guy. He was walking all over the basin."

Black Sand Basin takes its name and color from deposits of volcanic glass (obsidian), and is the location of several of Yellowstone's most spectacular springs and pools, including Emerald Pool, Rainbow Pool, Sunset Lake, and Cliff Geyser. It's one of the park's biggest attractions, but visitors are warned to stick to trails and boardwalks for their own safety.

The ground around geothermal features is often only a thin crust over scalding groundwater, and people have suffered severe burns after accidentally falling in. 

"Hot springs have injured or killed more people in Yellowstone than any other natural feature," says the National Park Service. "Keep your children close and don’t let them run."

Trespassing in these areas is a crime, and missing the signs isn't an excuse, as actor Pierce Brosnan discovered earlier this year. The James Bond actor was spotted walking in a prohibited area near Mammoth Terraces in January, and posted photos of himself there on social media.

Brosnan initially pleaded not guilty, but later changed his plea and was fined a total of $1,500 for what he called an "impulsive mistake".

"I deeply regret my transgression and offer my heartfelt apologies to all for trespassing in this sensitive area," he wrote on Instagram. "Yellowstone and all our National Parks are to be cared for and preserved for all to enjoy."

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.