Grant Village is a visitor community located right by the shores of Yellowstone Lake. It provides accommodation for tourists at Grant Village Lodge, or at the Grant Village Campground. It is also located in close proximity to the West Thumb Geyser Basin, which, while small compared to other geyser basins in Yellowstone National Park, is unique as the largest geyser basin right on the shore of Yellowstone Lake. Grant Village is also the closest community to Shoshone Lake, a backcountry lake that is accessible only by foot or by hand-powered watercraft such as kayaks or canoes.
Grant Village has many visitor facilities in addition to the campground and Lodge, including showers, laundry facilities, a gas station, food services, and even an amphitheater and visitors' center. There is a picnic spot with a scenic view of the water, for families who may wish to just spend a few hours at Yellowstone Lake. The visitors' center has more information about how the West Thumb Basin was formed by volcanic activity, as well as an exhibit about the historic forest fire in the area in 1988. For those who have brought their own boat with which to explore Yellowstone Lake, there is a boat launch area available.
The West Thumb Geyser Basin is one of the most scenic in the park, as you can view the hot springs, fumaroles, mud pots, and geysers with the calm blue surface of Yellowstone Lake in the background. There are even some geysers and other geothermal features under the surface of the lake. While these are not easily visible in the summer, in the winter, visitors can see holes in the ice covering the lake where spots of hot water have melted the thick layer of ice above.
One of the most famous geysers at West Thumb is the Fishing Cone, located right next to the lake. This cone-like feature is sometimes underwater in the spring when water levels are higher. Although the Fishing Cone used to erupt frequently, sometimes badly burning fishermen nearby, it has now cooled down and has become a hot spring. The Fishing Cone has had a colorful history; it is said that fishermen used to fish near the cone, and then drop their fish into the near-boiling water of the hot spring to cook them. This activity is now, of course, prohibited.
Another famous feature of West Thumb is Abyss Pool, and at 53 feet deep it is the deepest hot spring in Yellowstone National Park. Its rainbow colors range from blue-green in the center to the yellow and orange microbial mats around it where heat-loving bacteria thrive.
If you are an avid outdoorsman or woman, you may wish to hike into the backcountry to explore Shoshone Lake. Shoshone Lake is one of the largest lakes in the US that cannot be reached by a road, though its beautiful blue waters can also be reached by boat through the Lewis River. The Shoshone Geyser Basin is located at the southwest end of the lake, and has one of the greatest concentrations of hot springs, geysers, and mud pots in Yellowstone National Park. There are also several backcountry campsites available for backpackers who want to stay the night.