Recently, some bad behavior by tourists while visiting Yellowstone National Park was caught on video, near the Fairy Falls trailhead. The regulations page at Yellowstone states that “Traveling off boardwalks or designated trails in the hydrothermal areas” is forbidden.
The group of tourists was videotaped walking on a thermal feature and then proceeded to harass the park tour guide who was trying to stop them. They can be seen milling around a thermal feature, venturing far beyond a warning sign that clearly states that people should not trespass beyond that point.
Someone alerted the park rangers, who then contacted the authorities, though it’s not known if they faced any repercussions for their actions.
There are nearly 10,000 thermal features in Yellowstone, including Old Faithful. Thermal features are notoriously ecologically sensitive areas, and unfortunately, it is is not the first time someone has been caught trespassing. Last year, some Canadian tourists pled guilty to disorderly conduct by trespassing on foot and created a hazardous condition. They were caught on film stomping on the Grand Prismatic Spring.
If you are planning on visiting Yellowstone, here are some of the regulations that you need to follow. Be aware that the following activities are prohibited:
- Willfully remaining near or approaching wildlife, including nesting birds, within any distance that disturbs or displaces the animal.
- Feeding wildlife.
- Traveling off boardwalks or designated trails in hydrothermal areas.
- Throwing anything into thermal features.
- Swimming in hot springs.
- Removing or possessing natural or cultural resources (such as wildflowers, antlers, rocks, and arrowheads).
- Leaving detachable side mirrors attached when not pulling trailers.
- Traveling off-road by vehicle or bicycle.
- Camping outside of designated areas.
- Spotlighting wildlife (viewing with lights).
- Imitating elk calls or using buglers. Imitating wolf howls.
- Using electronic equipment capable of tracking wildlife
- Launching, landing, or operating unmanned aircraft (drones) on lands and waters.
- Smoking is prohibited in geyser basins or on trails. There is no smoking in buildings or within 25 feet of building entrances.