Tourists Completely Disregard Park Rules, Ride Bikes at Yellowstone Hot Springs: VIDEO

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

All things considered, Yellowstone National Park doesn’t have very many rules. And the ones that do exist fall into one of two categories: common sense and protecting both visitors and the flora and fauna of the park.

Swimming in the hot springs, for example, is against the rules. Well, the hot springs of Yellowstone hover around 200 degrees. Meanwhile, humans suffer third-degree burns with two seconds of exposure to 150-degree water. Yellowstone doesn’t want its visitors boiling alive on the premises, how odd.

As inviting as the animals of Yellowstone National Park may seem, visitors should never feed the wildlife. This one is tough. But considering that two people were gored close to death by bison this summer alone, maintaining those 50-100 yards of distance from the giant bovines seems like a pretty good idea.

So when the park prohibits riding bikes on trails and boardwalks or walking dogs away from developed areas, it’s safe to assume they have a good reason for doing so.

Now, most visitors respect the park and abide by its rules. Some, however, believe they’re the exception and ignore them completely, putting themselves and everyone around them in danger.

Recently, two Yellowstone National Park visitors managed to break multiple rules at once by riding their bikes on the boardwalk while walking their dog, allowing it to leave the boardwalk and tread on the ground below.

Why Yellowstone National Park Regulates Dogs and Bikes

It’s unclear whether or not the visitors received a fine for their unbelievably irresponsible actions. If they were spotted by a park ranger, though, there’s no doubt they were reprimanded at the very least.

Many in the comments of the post were in disbelief that no one confronted the cyclist for breaking the rules of Yellowstone National Park, though at least two looked back with concern as the dog did its best to stay on the boardwalk while trotting alongside its owner.

But while it’s immensely satisfying to watch someone receive their just deserts, as adults, it’s really our responsibility to know, understand, and follow the rules ourselves.

So why are dogs and bikes restricted in Yellowstone National Park? First of all, bringing pets to the park puts them at risk of falling victim to predators such as bears and coyotes. They could also receive serious burns or even die from falling into the hot springs. Not to mention, preventing the exchange of diseases between pets and wildlife is essential to the health of both domesticated and wild animals.

As for bike riding, there are multiple reasons to keep your bike on approved roads. It’s not only dangerous and discourteous to your fellow visitors but dangerous for the rider as well. Biking on the boardwalks raises the risk of falling into or near a thermal feature, causing severe burns.

At the end of the day, following the rules of Yellowstone National Park helps keep the park safe, inviting space for generations to come.