Firehole Canyon Drive
This paved 2-mile, one-way road exits the main road shortly after Madison Picnic Area and near the base of National Park Mountain. The river cuts through a deep canyon while the road climbs steadily, providing a spectacular drive filled with sheer cliffs rising straight up from the river’s edge, some impressive river log jams, and three beautiful waterfalls, the middle one officially named Firehole Falls. A nice-sized pull off/parking area across from Firehole Falls allows for some great photos of the falls and the spectacular sheer cliff backdrop on the opposite side of the canyon. There are a few trails along the path that lead down to the river from the elevated road that can get you up close to certain features worth viewing.
Firehole Swimming Area is a favorite among park visitors hoping to take a swim in this warmed section of the river, compliments of hydrothermal hot springs coming up from the river’s floor and along its banks. The swimming area is accessed by a wooden boardwalk and stairs. The swimming area is closed in the spring and does not open for swimming for safety reasons until sometime in the summer when water levels fall below 300 cfs for three consecutive days. Once opened the area provides for some fun jumping, floating, and swimming in the river. Two restrooms are located across from the swimming area. The parking area immediately adjacent to the swimming area is small and limited. However, further upstream is a larger parking lot where most park.