Yellowstone Tourists Walk on Grand Prismatic Spring in Viral Video, Get Blasted by Social Media

by Jon D. B.

Come for two blissfully ignorant Yellowstone National Park tourists teetering over boiling water. Stay for the comments.

“This. This is why working in the park aged me 10 years in just a few seasons,” comments Hunt & Fish editor and Montana native Rachelle Schrute on the latest Tourons of Yellowstone video. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Their latest post shows exactly what you’re expecting to see: Two wildly ignorant tourists walk directly up to the edge of the scalding-hot waters of Yellowstone’s Grand Prismatic Spring to take photos, while other, far more intelligent visitors stay on the boardwalk and film said ignorance.

“Make it a 10,000 fine!” comments follower Taylor. A’men. The typical verbal warning will never be enough to deter an individual with this level of self-importance and/or willful ignorance.

Or, as commenter Dave says: “Hand out copies of Death in Yellowstone by Lee H. Whittlesey – and flag Chapter 1: Death in Hot Water.”

“Tourons walking on Grand Prismatic again‼️ Stay ON the dang boardwalks people‼️” Tourons of Yellowstone captions the alarming video. The comments continue on from hundreds of shocked Yellowstone lovers. The video’s original poster includes the text “It’s ok Idaho is beautiful” over the footage, which I can only assume is sarcasm to go with these people’s ignorance (Grand Prismatic Spring is part of Yellowstone’s Midway Geyser Basin in Wyoming).

“Ppl like this should have permanent ban in all national parks!” replies follower Rachel. But it’s fellow commenter Kayla who hits the nail on the head.

Follow Yellowstone National Park Rules For Yourself, and the Park

“So sad – they’re doing unrepairable damage to that area,” Kayla adds. Which is exactly the case. Regardless of whether or not these two people fall into the Grand Prismatic Spring’s scalding waters and die by being boiled alive, they are casually trampling a delicate and wildly unique ecosystem and hydrothermal feature. If enough people do this, the spring and it’s gorgeous colors will cease to exist as we know it.

Park guidelines keep the park ecosystems intact for future generations to enjoy. But they’re also in place to keep “tourons” from dying. For example:

  • Stay on boardwalks and trails in thermal areas: Hot springs have injured or killed more people in Yellowstone than any other natural feature. Keep your children close and don’t let them run.

This is a basic, straightforward request with consequences outlined. The desire to get that one photo of a geyser never makes an individual important enough to break park rules.

And here’s the real kicker. “Boardwalks and trails protect you and delicate thermal formations. Water in hot springs can cause severe or fatal burns, and scalding water underlies most of the thin, breakable crust around hot springs.”

That “thin, breakable crust” Yellowstone cites is exactly what these two tourists are walking on. One false step, and it’s off to the birdie boiler.

Please be safe out there, folks, and never feel bad for alerting park staff of this behavior. You’re not only protecting the park itself but an ignorant soul, too.

For a full breakdown of thermal safety, see our Yellowstone National Park Safety: Best Practices to Safely Explore the First National Park next.