Grand Prismatic Springs

Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, WY

happyly approved

Spend the day exploring Yellowstone's closest phenomenons to Jackson Hole!

The Grand Prismatic Springs are some of the most striking features Yellowstone has to offer.  With their effervescent greens, blues, and orange hues steaming far into the horizon line, this is a vision unlike any other.  It's about 2 hours and 20 minutes away from Jackson and right down the road from Old Faithful.  

On our way to the Grand Prismatic Spring, we encountered a Bison lapping water from a nearby stream. Seeing this beautiful animal was one of the highlights of our family's summer. Always remember to keep a healthy distance from these inhabitants though! They are more afraid of you then you are of them and encounters that become dangerous are often the result of a human overstepping their boundaries.  

There are two ways for your family to go about enjoying the springs. You can either pull in at the first entrance at the Fairy Falls TH, park and hike out and back to the overlook.  Otherwise, drive a little further and pull into a roadside viewing area. We opted for the hike as our legs were in dire need of some movement after the long drive.  

The hike gradually rose 105 feet over a distance of 0.6 miles. Our three-year-old kids happily trotted alongside us and sometimes even raced ahead. We did have to clearly specify to her that the tiny pools of water along the trail were dangerously hot and not to be touched though.

It took us no more than 20 minutes to reach the viewpoint and, boy was it worth it. The Grand Prismatic Spring and Midway Geyser Basin exploded with color and steam; a phenomenon I’ve never experienced before. The few visitors we saw took turns taking photos of each other overlooking the views. We left feeling satisfied and overwhelmed by the absolute unfathomable nature of our country's very first National Park and arrived back to Jackson around 5 pm.

Emily Coleman
Jackson Hole, WY
Emily Coleman is a Jersey girl born and raised who caught the outdoor bug upon moving to Vermont to pursue a degree in Adventure Education and Environmental Studies from Green Mountain College. She spent most of her years before college deeply entrenched in the world of competitive cheerleading before discovering a passion for outdoor sports including mountain biking, white water kayaking, bikepacking, backpacking, slacklining, rock climbing, and skiing. Having been surrounded by children her entire life in her mother's daycare, she always had a strong affinity for kids. She moved to the mountains of Jackson Hole after graduating to coach for the local Kayak Club during the summers and nanny in the winters. Becoming a part of the Happy Active Family team felt like the perfect collision of her passion for building strong community bonds and encouraging an outdoor lifestyle.
More activities by Emily
Play to learn at the creative and interactive Jackson Hole Children’s Museum
An open gymnastics gym for children.
A community-built natural space with lakes, grassy knolls, walking/biking paths, and – in the winter – snow activities too.

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