1 - 2 Hours
One Per Person
At Your Own Pace
Welcome to the Yellowstone Grand Prismatic Spring Tour
Make your Yellowstone visit a trip to remember with this self-guided walking tour to the Grand Prismatic hot spring, one of the park’s absolute must-see attractions. As you walk this trail to the best overlook of the stunning spring, you’ll dive deep into the mysteries behind this geothermal wonder, from how it formed to why it looks as colorful as it does. Plus, uncover the fascinating history of Yellowstone’s biggest eruption and hear the words of the first European to ever set eyes on Grand Prismatic. If you want, you can even keep the adventure going with a hike to Fairy Falls!
About the Tour
You’ll begin your Grand Prismatic Walking Tour in the Fairy Falls Parking Lot. From here, you’ll cross the Firehole River, a steaming waterway intertwined with Yellowstone’s volcanic history. As you walk, you’ll hear about where the Firehole River ends up, and what happens to all the water that spills out of Yellowstone’s hot springs and geysers.
Next, you’ll dig deep into the geologic and volcanic history of Yellowstone. Find out how this landscape formed and hear some secrets not many people know (like how Yellowstone is actually moving)! Then, get the facts on Yellowstone’s biggest ever eruption and how scientists cracked the case.
After that, you’ll get to know an early explorer who happened across Grand Prismatic hundreds of years ago. Then adventurous visitors will have the option to branch off and hike toward Fairy Falls, enchanting visitors with its cascading beauty amidst a forested trail.
Finally, you’ll ascend to Grand Prismatic Overlook, offering the iconic views of the hot spring you’ve seen in photos… but photos can’t prepare you for the real thing! Find out how it gets that breathtaking color as you grab some snapshots of your own. Your tour concludes here.
Where to start?
We recommend Starting From: Fairy Falls Parking Lot
How does it work?
- Once you book a tour, you’ll get a text/email with instructions.
- Download the app (while in good wifi/signal) and use your unique password to access your tours.
- To begin touring, go to the starting point and launch the app.
- The audio starts automatically once you reach the starting point. Stick to the tour route & speed limit for the best experience.
- Please note that no one will meet you at the starting point.
What You'll See
Hot Springs to the Sea
Volcanos and Vistas
Yellowstone’s Biggest Eruption
A Sacred Spring
Rainbow-Colored Hot Spring
Preview The Tour
The Grand Prismatic Spring is one of Yellowstone National Park’s most iconic geothermal features, known for its stunning colors and size. It is the largest hot spring in the United States.
Absolutely! The Grand Prismatic Spring is a must-visit attraction in Yellowstone, offering a unique and mesmerizing natural spectacle.
The self-guided walking tour typically takes about 20 to 30 minutes to explore the boardwalks and viewpoints around the spring.
While there may not be specific guided tours for the spring itself, rangers often offer talks and programs in the area during the summer months. Check with the visitor center for any scheduled programs.
The best viewpoints are located on the Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook Trail and the boardwalks surrounding the spring. Both offer excellent vantage points to view the vibrant colors and intricate formations.
No, swimming or accessing the spring is strictly prohibited due to the extremely hot water and fragile ground. Safety barriers and boardwalks are in place to protect both visitors and the natural features.
Morning visits are often less crowded and provide better lighting for photography. However, the spring is beautiful at any time of day.
Yes, after visiting the spring, you can explore nearby attractions like the Fairy Falls Trail, Excelsior Geyser, and Midway Geyser Basin, which are within a short drive or hike.
Inclusions and Exclusions
- App on your phone: A link to download the Action Tour Guide App and Password for your tours.
- Flexible schedule: Use any day, any time. Travel over multiple days or on your next trip within 1 year of your purchase.
- Easy to use: Stories play automatically by GPS. Hands-free. Get HELP all day: Call, Chat, or Email.
- At your own pace: No group. Take breaks for photos/ snacks/hikes. Go at your own pace.
- Offline use: No cell signal or wifi required. Offline GPS Map & route. Stop-to-stop direction.
- Don’t miss a thing: Full itinerary, travel tips, professionally narrated videos, text, and hidden gems.
- Transportation, parking fees, food, and drinks.
- Entry tickets or reservations to any attractions along the route.
- Car Rental: Please arrange a rental car at the closest airport or train station.