Yellowstone National Park
Madison Junction

Madison Junction, which is located south of Mammoth Hot Springs, is best known as the place where Yellowstone was born. Positioned at the confluence of the Firehole and Gibbon Rivers on the Madison Plateau, the small log cabin visitor center and museum are quaint reminders of Yellowstone's modest beginnings. The idea of a national park "for the People's benefit" was reportedly conceived around a campfire at this location during the Washburn, Doane and Langford exploration of the Yellowstone area in 1870. Congress endorsed the idea two years later.

View of Madison Valley where the the Firehole and Gibbon rivers meet to form the Madison River.

Natural wonders abound throughout this area. South of Madison Junction, at the end of Fire Hole Lake Drive, is Fountain Paint Pot, an amazing expanse of geysers, multi-colored mud pots and hot springs. Gibbon Falls, north of the visitor center and Firehole Cascades, south of the center offer expansive views of some of the park's famous waterfalls.

The Madison Junction information center, built in 1930, is a National Historic Landmark. Its wood and stone rustic architecture reflects the "parkitecture" concept that became a prototype in the early 1900s. The building houses a Yellowstone Association bookstore and several small historical exhibits.

The Information Center at Madison Junction is a National Historic Landmark.

Swimming is available at Firehole Cascades.

Hiking trails of various difficulty wind throughout the Madison area.

Visitor Center facilities

  • Location: 14 miles east of town of West Yellowstone

  • Phone: (307) 344-2821

  • Seasonal hours: June-September, 9:00 - 5:00 daily

Accommodations available:

  • Campground adjacent to visitor center.

  • Motels and lodges located in West Yellowstone and at Mammoth Hot Springs (35 miles north) and Old Faithful (16 miles south).

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