Norris Geyser Basin is the hottest, oldest and most dynamic of Yellowstone’s thermal features. But after years of visitor-use and environmental deterioration, the trail infrastructure is crumbling, and boardwalks are worn and damaged creating safety hazards and poor visitor experience. Trail improvements would include accessibility and path improvements, trash and recycling receptacles, waysides and benches, and repointing stone walkways.
The Norris Geyser Basin is a unique hydrothermal basin that contains Steamboat Geyser (the largest active geyser in the world) and a vast stretch of colorful bacterial mats and hydrothermal streams. The Basin is even unique to Yellowstone being the most acidic hydrothermal area in the park.
The boardwalks and trails of the Norris Geyser Basin are in extremely poor condition. Many boards have broken pieces and are deteriorated, and a large portion of the trail is very steep with broken asphalt. These conditions have created severe trip hazards for visitors. One portion of the trail has become a line of cones marking all the hazards. Replacing the boardwalks, repointing stone walkways, repaving asphalt areas, and improving trash and recycling receptacles, waysides and benches will enhance visitor safety as well as increase accessibility.
In addition to this trail restoration project, Yellowstone Forever donors are needed to fund the rehabilitation of the historic Norris Geyser Basin Museum. This museum was completed in 1930 and is a National Historic Landmark. It is known for its distinctive stone and log architecture, which became a prototype for park building throughout the country known as “parkitecture”.