None of the famous early expeditions visited this geyser basin. It was not until 1872 that a man named Eugene S. Topping and his companion happened to notice steam rising far to the south from the top of Observation Peak (their name for present-day Bunsen Peak near Mammoth). Topping and party were the first known visitors to the area, but Superintendent Norris, for whom the basin is named, was the first to explore and describe it fully a few years later. Now there’s no hotel at Norris, but a succession of facilities followed each other in this area in the early years, ranging from tent camps and lunch stations to a rather fine hotel opened in 1887 and destroyed by fire the same year. Until 1966, the Grand Loop Road cut right through the center of Norris Geyser Basin. Park ocials moved the road to minimize the problems of human impact, trac congestion, steam on the windshields of passing cars, and danger to pedestrians, who had to cross the highway to reach the geyser basin.
Norris Geyser Basin in the History of Yellowstone Photo Gallery
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