South Loop Road

The South Loop Road is a circular tour of the southern portion of the park. South of Old Faithful it climbs to Craig Pass past some scenic water falls and cascades. The road crosses the continental divide twice, and goes (by bridge,) across Isa Lake, which in the spring is full enough to drain its waters to both sides of the divide. The road continues down into the area of Yellowstone Lake, and past The West Thumb geyser fields. Traveling along the west shore of the lake the visitor has many opportunities to stop and view this magnificent body of water. The South Loop road allows access to grant village, Bridge Bay Marina, Fishing Bridge, and Lake village (the location of Lake Lodge and Lake Hotel & Cabins.

Continuing northward the road goes by Sulfur Cauldron, Buffalo Ford, and Mud Volcano - all excellent fishing destinations. Leaving the Mud Volcano area the road allows the visitor to traverse the length of the Hayden Valley and approach the Upper Falls of the Yellowstone River. Several opportunities for viewing the falls exist on both sides of the river. Places such as Inspiration Point, Artists Point and others are located on this section of road. The road continues a short distance to Canyon Village where the visitor can pause for refreshments and visit an interpretive museum. The road junction at Canyon village allows the visitor to go north and explore the North Loop Road, or turn west to continue the Lower Loop Road.

Traveling west from the Canyon intersection the visitor passes through a picturesque forest of Lodgepole Pine to Norris Junction. Norris junction offers much to the park visitor. The most dynamic and ever changing geyser basin in Yellowsotne is Norris Geyser Basin. Hot springs cool off, geysers long dormant come to life, new geysers and hot springs are born, water is discharged at various rates and temperatures, and occasionally the largest geyser in the world will erupt. The geothermal story of Norris Geyser Basin is so dynamic that it changes daily, and is always fascinating to view. Also at Norris Junction is Norris campground and the Museum Of The Ranger. This is also the Northernmost reach of the Gibbon River meadow complex. The river here is small, intimate, filled with very cooperative Brook Trout that will allow the angler one cast to catch them in the perfectly clear water.

Continuing southward from Norris Junction the visitor follows the Gibbon River past the Beryl Hot Spring complex and on to Gibbon Falls. Past Gibbon Falls the road enters the eastern edges of National Park Meadows at Tuff Cliff and then arrives at Madison Junction where the visitor may return to Old Faithful, or take the west entrance road to West Yellowstone.