With easy access and plenty of in-your-face geothermal activity, head to this remarkable site, right near the park’s main road. It’s impossible to miss it: Steam rises to the sky, and clay minerals splash a yellow, orange, and red palette across the barren andesite rock.
"Steam rises to the sky, and clay minerals splash a yellow, orange, and red palette across the barren andesite rock."
A short interpretive path loops around odoriferous steam vents (you will smell the rotten eggs, technically hydrogen sulfide), rumbling vents called fumaroles, and bubbling mud pots. The largest mud pot, about five feet across, is right next to the sidewalk. The Sulphur Works had a long commercial history before it became a part of the national park. An Austrian businessman started a sulphur-mining operation here in 1865, but when demand for sulphur slowed, the businessman switched to tourism. “Supan’s Springs” became the place to go to enjoy a hot mineral bath. It was so popular that by 1941, this site had a gas station, lunchroom, bathhouse, and large restaurant called The Sulphur Works Inn.