Underground heat from the park's super volcano combined with the warm summer sun have melted a section of a road in Yellowstone National Park, forcing its temporary closure.
The 3.3-mile-long Firehole Lake Drive is closed because the road has turned into a soupy mess, said park spokesman Dan Hottle. Yellowstone spans portions of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.
The road itself is off Grand Loop Road between Old Faithful and Madison Junction in the park's Lower Geyser Basin, and takes visitors past Great Fountain Geyser, White Dome Geyser and Firehole Lake. The same heat that feeds the geysers softened the pavement too much to drive on.
"It basically turned the asphalt into soup," said Hottle. "It turned the gravel road into oatmeal."
The road was closed Monday and will remain closed to drivers until workers can scrape off the damaged section and replace it.
updates visitors. Park officials also are asking hikers to stay out of the area.
Yellowstone sits atop the caldera of an ancient super volcano, and Hottle said road problems caused by underground heat and shifting Earth are common. "We see this kind of thing quite a bit," he said.