The sulfer smell filling the air announces you have arrived at the Yellowstone Mud Volcano area even before you check the map. The 3/4 mile trail follows a steep uphill loop, mainly on boardwalks, that provides an up close and personal view of steaming mud volcanos and noisy fumaroles. This is a very active thermal area with features boiling muddy pools sporting names like Dragon’s Mouth and the Black Dragon’s Caldron.
Due to the extreme heat and acidic nature of the terrain it is important to stay on the trails. Past eruptions have detroyed nearby trees, leaving dead skeletons. Sulfer combined with iron creates a stark landscape with mud pots painted reddish, gray and brown. The plants that survive take on odd colors in this challenging landscape.
The Mud Volcano area is a great stop where you almost always get to see buffalo as well. When we were there a herd was in residence in the field across the road and a few meadered the trails in the area itself. Apparently they are not bothered by the smell! This is another in our series on Top 10 activities for families on vacation with teens and tweens at Yellowstone.
We also submitted this post to the Delicious Baby Photo Friday roundup. Stop by there if you want to see other great family travel pics!