Portland Man Dissolved in Yellowstone Hot Spring Was Apparently Trying to “Hot Pot”

The Portland man who died in a hot spring at Yellowstone National Park last summer was apparently trying to “hot pot,” according to the final accident report recently released by park officials—a term for the deeply verboten act of soaking in the park’s thermal pools.

To be fair, the pool does look pretty soakable.

Originally, officials thought the Portlander he had merely lost his footing and slipped into the hot spring while walking off track.

But according to the recently released report, on the afternoon of June 7, 23-year-old Colin Scott and his sister left the boardwalk near Pork Chop Geyser and wandered to the Norris Geyser basin looking for a pool to soak in.

The report quoted Scott’s sister as saying, “her brother was reaching down to check the temperature of a hot spring when he slipped and fell into the pool.”

She had been filming the journey to the geyser on her phone, and caught Scott’s accident. Officials say they won’t release the video.

Later, a rescue team found portions of Scott’s body, along with a wallet and orange flip flops. The rescuers had to stop due to a lightning storm, and when they came back the next day, they couldn’t find any further remains in the highly acidic water.

Unlike Oregon’s mild hot springs, which, at 85-112 degrees, are perfect to soak in amongst old hippies, hot springs in Yellowstone can reach up to 250 degrees.

“In a very short order,” a deputy said, “there was a significant amount of dissolving,”

Portlander Killed After Falling in Hot Spring at Yellowstone

Scenic Yellowstone National Park—full of hundred-foot, exploding geysers, boiling pools of water and toxic gases—has claimed a Portlander’s life.

A 23-year-old from Portland, Colin Nathaniel Scott, slipped into a hot spring Tuesday, June 7, after veering off the designated boardwalk in the Norris Geyser Basin. Today they gave up attempts to recover Scott’s body.

A park spokeswoman, Charissa Reid, told the Associated Press that the attempts to recover the body were futile due to the high temperature and acidic nature of the spring—one of the hottest and most volatile spots in the park.

Including Scott’s, there have been 22 hot springs-related deaths reported at Yellowstone since 1890.

Kenneth Sims, a University of Wyoming professor and member of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, told AP that most of the deaths are due to “scofflaws” dipping off the beaten path when nobody is looking.

“It’s sort of dumb, if I could be so blunt, to walk off the boardwalks not knowing what you’re doing,” Sims said.

Scott’s death is the first at Yellowstone in 16 years.