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“Best way to end a day in the park”
Review of Firehole River

Firehole River
Book In Advance
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US$285.00*
and up
Yellowstone National Park Tour from Jackson
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: River located in Yellowstone National Park: perfect for fishing, canoeing or watching the geysers erupting.
Reviewed 2 August 2014

As we ended our day in Yellowstone, our entire family whined when my wife recommended we change into swimming suits and head to Firehole. However, it turned into the trip highlight for everyone.

We arrived at the swim area at around 7 pm, and there were only two other groups there. If you go down the stairs, you are led to a nice, calmer part of the river. The rocks are slick, but it is a nice place to hang out with families.

If you swing left halfway down the path, you can break off the main trail, traverse some rocks and get to a swift, warm part of the river. My teens (all good swimmers), swam across the river, traversed some rocks on the opposing side, and jumped in at the mouth of the little slot canyon and floated down (quickly) about 50 feet - just to climb out and do it again. The parents did too - just not as frequently.

We were very concerned one would hit his/her head when we jumped into the rapids, but we had no accidents. The speed of the river through that section demanded some decent swim skills.

We were joined by another group that had a more difficult time making the trip across (not really sure if it was swim skill or nerves - it wasn't quite "extreme sport" so I couldn't tell).

You can float all the way through the minor S-shaped canyon to the shallow, slow area mentioned at the beginning. (The first time we actually swam against the current to get to the beginning of the ride from the slow area - that took some effort.)

There are two bathrooms along the road to change into suits.

It was a great way to catch the sunset at the end of the day in the park. The crowds had died down, the water was warm, and the experience was energizing.

8  Thank David K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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98 - 102 of 139 reviews

Reviewed 31 July 2014

The swim hole is fantastic. If you like to spend a hot day swimming in refreshing river water, this will be one of the best places for you to visit. Although we were told several different directions and areas where the swim hole should be thinking it was some hidden trail off the side of the road, actually it is pretty clearly marked. To get there take Fire Canyon Drive just South of the Madison Junction. The road is one way off the main road and reconnects with the main road after about 2 miles. You you have to drive 3/4 the distance of the road to get there. There are signs indicating the swim area on the right and a couple of small bathrooms on the left. Most people were parked road side next to the sign, but there is parking a little bit further up the road. It was a bit crowded but there was enough space to find a spot to sit and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves despite the crowd. I think you will be hard pressed to find a time when there isn't a crowd at this place, so just enjoy the company. Everyone was respectful and there to have fun.

From the sign there is a stair case down 1/2 way and the rest of the way is climbing down a rocky path. It isn't too far down, maybe 20-30 steps on the wooden stair case and the same distance down the rocky path. The main swim area has a shallow area of still water and further out there starts to be a current. The water was pool temperature, cold when you immediately get in but quickly becomes comfortable. The staff at our campsite said the temperature really depends on the heat beneath the ground surface, which at the time was really warm and actually caused a part of the road to "melt" a few weeks earlier. Up river there are some rapids you can jump into and float down. To get to the rapid area there is a trail to the left after you reach the end of the staircase or you can swim along the banks until you get there.

10  Thank Josh T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2014

My only regret here is I did not have my fishing gear. This is the ideal spot for fly fishing. Beautiful, majestic, and good clear water to get in and chase the fish!

1  Thank MikeM3863
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2014

This is not a long drive and even though it is not one of the most scenic areas of the park it is worth the time it takes. Be sure and stop at the Terrace Spring area. This was not on our list of things to see because we did not know about it. We drove by this spring at first and then decided to turn around and go back. Great decision. There were only two other people there so it was not crowded. This was their 7th time to visit Yellowstone but their first time to stop at Terrace Spring. Like us, they were glad they did. It is a very easy walk and only takes 10-15 minutes, but you will like what you see. It will be the best 15 minutes you spend in the park.

9  Thank Charles P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 May 2014

The drive has always been boring to me, all the way back to when I was a kid. What never gets old about the river is swimming. There area designated for swimming is worth finding a parking spot for if you enjoy river swimming.

5  Thank Kweejee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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