GPS: Grand Prismatic Spring, a Natural Wonder Served Hot by Mother Earth

by Travelature Team

If you have been into Hollywood movies, we bet that you have come across the term ‘hot-springs’. For those who did not, let us simplify it for you.


A hot spring is a geothermal liquid structure, formed due to the emergence of heated groundwater onto the surface. It’s a natural phenomenon and always makes it to the wishlist of travellers.

Nothing like the feeling of a full-body spa after a hard day walk-over, right? Not with this one. Grand Prismatic Spring or GPS in short, is not a ‘spring-next-door’ to get yourself into. 

The temperature of this natural wonder of the world reaches a height of 87 degrees Celsius, high enough to melt your skin. Hence, our advice is to stay away from being too close to it for that perfect photo shot.


It is illegal to swim, bathe or wade in the thermal features of the Grand Prismatic Spring. You could get burned, or it can even be fatal! If you want to go swimming in Yellowstone, you should know that it is only allowed in a few designated areas, namely Boiling River and the Firehole swim area.

Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook

Directory Sign at Yellowstone’s Midway Geyser Basin where travellers can visit to gaze a view of Grand Prismatic Spring.

Directory Sign at Yellowstone’s Midway Geyser Basin / Gloria Wadzinski

Let us now introduce you to Grand Prismatic Spring, USA (The United States of America). It is located in the yellow-stone national park, being the largest hot-spring in the USA and the third-largest in the world. If you want us to cover the largest hot-spring in the world, for you, do not forget to write to us. Oh! Also, subscribe to our travel letters with your mail id so that you are notified about every travel bug we write about.

How do you get to GPS, USA?

Well off-course, you have to land at West Yellowstone airport if you are not from the states. Then you can take a cab and head straight towards Yellowstone National park, and then you can hike till you reach this majestic natural wonder of the world.

The traditional way is to walk next to it on the boardwalk. The spring is located in the Midway Geyser Basin. You can park in a medium-sized parking lot and then walk across a bridge built over the Firehole River.

To see the spring from the overlook, you will have to drive and park at a different location than the one for Midway Geyser Basin. We suggest you wear your favourite running shoes because it would be a very long walk (over one mile one way) to get from Midway Geyser Basin to the Grand Prismatic Spring overlook. You can then park at the Fairy Falls parking lot.

Tip: Get there early or late in the day in order to avoid the tour bus since it gets crowded at this justifiably popular spot.

Route to grand prismatic spring in Yellowstone national park

What is so special about Grand Prismatic spring?

The Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park is the largest hot spring in the United States, and the third largest in the world, after Frying Pan Lake in New Zealand and Boiling Lake in Dominica. It is located in the Midway Geyser Basin.

We hope that you are already gazing at this natural marvel. A giant spring-like GPS occurs when the geothermal liquid oozes out onto the earth’s surface. This spring is so hot also because of the bacterial constituent. These are heat-loving bacteria and also are responsible for giving prismatic colours to this spring.

Fun Fact: It gets its name due to the different variations of rainbow colours on its body that resembles as if those colours are coming straight out of a prism when white light passes through it. (It’s a chapter from Physics, reflection, let’s hope you can recall).

Best Time To Visit Grand Prismatic spring

The most popular time to visit the Grand Prismatic Spring is between May and September because these are the months during which the colours are the most vivid, beautiful, and easy to appreciate. This is also a period when all the roads in Yellowstone are open and the time when most tourists visit this national park.

When Not To Visit Grand Prismatic spring

Yet, you can hardly find any pictures of the vibrant spring in winter. Apparently, not many people visit the Grand Prismatic Spring and Yellowstone National Park during the colder season. There is certainly a reason behind it.

The national park in the northwest corner of Wyoming is a rather seasonal attraction. Most of its roads take a winter break and ask the visitors of the Grand Prismatic Spring and other popular attractions in Yellowstone to do the same. Heavy snowfalls cover the park’s routes from November until March and it means only one thing: winter road closure across the entire park.

What else to do in Yellowstone National Park?

6 Absolute Best Things to Do in Yellowstone national park
  • Hike to Grand Prismatic Overlook in Yellowstone National Park, as we have already mentioned.
  • River rafting, boat rides, and fishing are the alternate options during the summer when the nearby lakes are frozen.
  • Horse-back riding till the spring is available through the greenways of the beautiful mountains in this region.
  • For vloggers and fitness enthusiasts, this can be the perfect spot for your next vlog.

Travel but sustainably

We, at Travelature, believes that travelling is not only about experiencing unknown territories. It can also be about knowing and preserving the environment during our stay. From the entire team of Travelature, we request you to follow the following points while you make your way for this natural wonder, the Grand Prismatic Spring.

Do not soil the grounds with unnecessary waste like plastic bottles, lunch wraps and other throwables. It is because this natural park spreads to acres of land which makes it quite impossible for the caretakers to reach and clean every inch of it.

Do not try to leave behind your mementoes that are not bio-degradable. Try not to replace any instruction boards or pluck a souvenir for your travel bag. These are natural wonders and the only way to help to sustain is not to interfere.

For more such tips, you can navigate through our thoughtful travel section.

If you are an expert in environmental sustainability or you are an individual with a suggestion for the authorities, do not hesitate to talk about it to them. You can even write to us at [email protected] for covering those areas which we believe can help us sustain such natural wonders of the world.

Content Curator & Creative Writer

Dr. Arindam Ballav

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