Guest Post: Yellowstone Wheelchair and Stroller Accessible Hikes

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Guest Post: Yellowstone Wheelchair
and Stroller Accessible Hikes

Let me introduce you to this cool cat, Mark Bennett. He runs his own blog called Outdoorily, which I have actually been following for some time now myself. He wanted to write a guest post for The Outdoors Soul, and I couldn’t possibly turn down this offer. Take it away, Mark.

Yellowstone National Park is home to many geothermal wonders and is an intriguing place to visit. It hosts many trails of varying levels of difficulty and not only that, but some of them are made wheelchair and stroller accessible for opening up the possibility of making it available to all.

In this article, let’s take a look at some of the places and trails that can be explored via wheelchairs or with your stroller-bound little ones.

West Thumb Geyser Basin

This small, colorful geyser in Yellowstone National Park also features scenic lake views

West Thumb Geyser Basin is one of the easiest hikes in Yellowstone National Park, being a boardwalk hike along the Yellowstone lake shores. Being a wheelchair and stroller accessible hike, it opens up the possibility for everyone to enjoy the beauty of it. The end of the hike gives you some amazing views of the West Thumb Geyser Basin and the hot springs nearby.

Mud Volcano Trail

Mud Volcano Trail is a 0.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming that features hot springs and is good for all skill levels.

The Mud Volcano Trail is a 0.8-mile loop that climbs 100 feet uphill, leading to mud pots and hot springs.  The part of the trail that is wheelchair and stroller accessible is the lower loop to Dragon’s mouth first, and then to the Mud Volcano itself. The Mud Volcano is the most acidic part of the Yellowstone National Park.

The trail begins from the parking lot boardwalk to the hot spring of Dragon’s mouth which is a turbulent hot spring with the cave’s mouth that gives it the name. You can find the water sloshing in and out of the cavern periodically.

As you continue along the trail, you are led to the Mud Volcano that was once very active in exploding mud to very high distances. In 1872, a thermal explosion happened and the mud cone got blown away, since which it has not been the same. Now the mud volcano is a quiet place that only stirs and churns occasionally with the rising gases.

The accessibility of the wheelchair and stroll ends here, and visitors and return back to their parking lots from this place.

Old Faithful

Old Faithful is a cone geyser, and probably the most well-known feature of Yellowstone. It was named in 1870 during the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition and was the first geyser in the park to receive a name. It is a highly predictable geothermal feature, and has erupted every 44 to 125 minutes since 2000.

Old Faithful is one of the most famous geysers in Yellowstone, of among nearly 500 of them in the park. It is located at the Upper Geyser Basin, and as you make your way up the wheelchair and stroller accessible boardwalk, there is a geyser viewing area from where you can see the eruptions. The eruptions occur in intervals of 44-125 minutes and can last for around 1 to 2 minutes.

Some of the places worth visiting nearby are theBiscuit Basin, Midway Geyser Basin, and the Old Faithful Hotel.

Norris Geyser Basin

Did you know: Norris Geyser Basin is the hottest, oldest, and most dynamic of Yellowstone’s thermal areas.

There are boardwalks up to the Norris Geyser Basin itself, but since the grounds are uneven and some steep inclines, visitors who use manual wheelchairs may need some assistance whereas motorized wheelchairs would not be a problem. From the Norris Museum, the colors and steams of the  Porcelain Basin can be enjoyed. If you could do with some assistance, you could also visit some nearby places such as Steamboat Geyser (the world’s tallest active geyser), Echinus Geyser, and Emerald Pool.

Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces

Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces is like an inside-out cave.

Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces is a heavily populated hike near Gardiner that features hot springs. The whole area is beautiful and is covered in snow so the thermal features are not much here. You can make your way up to the Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces on the accessible boardwalks.

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River

The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is the first large canyon on the Yellowstone River downstream from Yellowstone Falls, and is approximately 24 miles long, between 800 and 1,200 ft deep and from .25 to .75 miles wide.

There are three wheelchair and stroller accessible boardwalks to get amazing views of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. The first one begins from the Lower Falls parking lot, from where you make your way on the sidewalk along the brink of the parking lot.  The second boardwalk is from the Lookout Point parking lot to Grand View parking lot. The third viewpoint is through the sidewalk that leads to the second viewing area at the Artist Point.

So, that’s it, guys! Have you experienced any of the above places in Yellowstone National Park? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear your experiences.

Mark Bennett is an American writer and traveler, whose major inspiration has been camping with his father ever since his childhood. He aims to visit 75 countries before he’s 30. You can also follow his adventures on his site Outdoorily.