Pork Chop Geyser

Porkchop Geyser in the Norris Geyser Basin is seen in this May 2014 photo.

Update: Norris Geyser Basin reopened Wednesday morning. It may close intermittently.


Yellowstone National Park rangers are still looking for a man who is presumed dead after he fell into a hot spring there on Tuesday afternoon.

Park officials said in an e-mail that rangers are “treating this incident as a probable fatality because the victim has not been located” hours after his disappearance.

A witness reported seeing the man, who appeared to be in his early 20s, leave the boardwalk at Norris Geyser Basin and fall into a hot spring.

Law enforcement radio broadcasts from Yellowstone indicated that rangers were called at about 2:30 p.m. and that the incident happened near Porkchop Geyser. That geyser is in Norris’ Back Basin along a boardwalk trail. The park’s website describes it as a “gently rolling hot spring.”

Park officials said that the man fell in about 225 yards from the boardwalk.

The incident is under investigation, and the park said more information would be available Wednesday.

Yellowstone’s website says that Norris Geyser Basin is “the hottest, oldest, and most dynamic of Yellowstone’s thermal areas.”

The highest temperature recorded in a Yellowstone thermal area, 459 degrees Fahrenheit, was recorded there in a drill hole 1,087 feet below the surface. The site says that very few features at Norris are cooler than 199 degrees.

If the man has died, as seems likely, it would be the second death in Yellowstone in the past month. A 47-year-old woman from Texas was struck by a car in the park on May 20.

Over the weekend, a 13-year-old boy was flown to a hospital in Jackson after he fell into a hot spring at the Upper Geyser Basin.

Michael Wright can be reached at mwright@dailychronicle.com or at 582-2638. Follow him on Twitter @mj_wright1. 

Michael Wright covers the environment and wildlife issues for the Chronicle.

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