Sep 05

Mud Volcano: Yellowstone National Park

Mud VolcanoOoooh that smell, can’t you smell that smell, Oooh that smell.  I don’t think the band Lynyrd Skynyrd had the Mud Volcano area of Yellowstone National Park in mind when they came up with those lyrics.  Though they could have.  It certainly fits the area.  The rotten egg smell that permeates from Mud Volcano is actually caused by bacteria.  This bacterium eats the sulfur and creates sulfuric acid. When it vaporizes it becomes hydrogen sulfide gas, the lovely smell that surrounds you. Mud Geyser
Mud Volcano is located north of Yellowstone Lake on the way to Canyon on the Grand Loop Road.  It is a small geothermal area with a boardwalk trail that runs a little under a mile.  There is some elevation to it.  However, since it is a short trail it is suitable for all ages and physical abilities.  Large mud bubbling pools, the loud sound of hiss and steam escaping from the ground, and the pungent odor will make Mud Volcano a hard place to forget.
Dragons MouthBe on the lookout for wildlife when visiting Mud Volcano.  It seems like every time we are there bison are right of the trail.  Maybe they like the smell.  We have also heard that bears frequent the area though we have never seen any at Mud Volcano. Karen and I have seen many near the Yellowstone Lake area. Bison Mud Volcano
A small area of Yellowstone when compared to some of the more famous hot springs and geyser basins.  It should not be overlooked.  Especially if you are on a multiple day visit to the park.  The strong smell may deter many, but it is worth seeing Mud Volcano’s key features like Mud Cauldron, Mud Geyser, and Dragon’s Mouth Spring.  The interesting geology of the area along with a chance to see some wildlife up close makes Mud Volcano a fun little stop.
boardwalk Mud Volcano

There are many geothermal areas of Yellowstone National Park and all have unique and wonderful features.Upper Geyser BasinNorris Geyser BasinMidway Geyser Basin,  Mammoth TerracesBiscuit BasinWest Thumb Geyser BasinBlack Sand Basin, and Artists Paint Pots.  Whatever your plans are when you visit Yellowstone National Park make sure you seek out some of the geothermal areas the park is famous for.


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