The day after the Run to the Pub, a couple friends and I drove down to the northern entrance of Yellowstone to do some cross country skiing and soak in the Boiling River. It’s about a two hour drive through the gorgeous Paradise Valley down to Gardiner. The whole way down we were a bit worried that there would be no snow, the days before had been warm and there wasn’t much snow to be seen in the valley.
Professional XC skiers – Picture from MK
Once we arrived at the Mammoth Hot Springs, there was some snow, but it wasn’t great. Still we were determined to do ski at least the loop and there were others out doing the same. It was icy and we did have plenty of bare spots to walk through. Still it was a beautiful day with some amazing scenery and we had a good time before heading down to soak.
The Boiling River was a place I had passed by many times, but never stopped to check it out. The Boiling River is a spot on the Gardner River where a hot springs flows in an mixes with the cold river water to create a great spot for soaking. To get to the springs, you have a little less than a mile hike along the river to the springs from the parking area that is just inside the park gate.
Everyone just leaves their towels and coats on the fence while in the river. One thing we forgot/didn’t think to bring was shoes we could wear in the water. The rocks are slippery and sharp and it would have been nice to have them as we made our way across them to the part of the pool that is well mixed. You have about 20 feet of alternating freezing cold water and boiling hot to get through, be able to move quickly would have been nice.
Once we made our way to the “pools,” it was so nice and relaxing. The water temperature was perfect almost perfect. Some times you just had to move around a bit to catch the right current. I could see how easy it would be to stay in there for a very long time, but we only stayed for about a half hour or so.
From here on out, unless it is absolutely impossible, I intend to stop at the Boiling River every time we go by. And next year we all decided we would get it together earlier in the season to go skiing down in park when there is snow. Winter is finally ending, but we already have several things planned for the next one, I think I’m gonna like it out here.