The Trail Is Not Enough for Brosnan, Who Broke the Rules at Yellowstone

by Vern Evans

The James Bond star reportedly ignored ‘No Trespassing’ signs at Mammoth Hot Springs for a photo op

Pierce Brosnan poses for a photograph in Yellowstone National Park.

Brosnan claims he didn’t see any signage telling him not to walk on the snowy slope. Photograph by Tourons of Yellowstone / Instagram

No Yellowstone tourist is apparently safe from the consequences of leaving established walking paths to get up close and personal with the park’s many sensitive natural features — not even 007.

Now actor Pierce Brosnan must cough up $1,500 in fines (a small fee for someone whose net worth is estimated at $200 million) for walking into restricted areas and near sensitive thermal features at Mammoth Hot Springs on Nov. 1. Brosnan, best known for playing James Bond in four films from 1995 to 2002, received two citations on Dec. 26 related to the incident, one for leaving the path and one for violating an area closure.

Brosnan originally pled not guilty to the charges in January before reversing his plea. The court only fined him for the charge of leaving the path and dropped the charge for entering the closed area. Of the $1,500 fine, $1,000 will go to non-profit Yellowstone Forever.

Brosnan reportedly posted a photo to his Instagram account posing on top of what resembles the thermal features of Mammoth Hot Springs covered in snow, holding up the peace sign. Celebrity gossip outlet TMZ snagged the photo before it was deleted from his account. Instagram account Tourons of Yellowstone also reposted it Thursday.

Brosnan also took to social media to apologize for the incident, while still holding to his original claim that he never saw any signage warning him to stay off the area. 

“As an environmentalist I have the utmost respect for and love of our natural world,” he writes in the caption. “However, I made an impulsive mistake – one that I do not take lightly – when entering a thermal area covered in snow in Yellowstone National Park to take a photograph. I did not see a “No Trespassing” sign posted that warned of danger nor did I hike in the immediate area. I deeply regret my transgression and offer my heartfelt apologies to all for trespassing in this sensitive area. Yellowstone and all our National Parks are to be cared for and preserved for all to enjoy. #StayOnThePath”

Read Next: Yellowstone Wolves Chase Grizzly off Elk Carcass

Strict rules keeping Yellowstone visitors from climbing on thermal features are as much about safety as they are about preservation. At least 20 people have died in Yellowstone’s thermal features over the years. Many more have been significantly injured. The water in Mammoth Hot Springs gets to 160° Fahrenheit. While that’s not hot enough to boil, it’s hot enough to cause serious injury. The Consumer Product Safety Commission warns that just two seconds of exposure to 150° water can cause third-degree burns.

Although Brosnan is perhaps the highest profile Yellowstone tourist to get a slap on the wrist for violating park protocol (and enduring the wrath of online commenters), he’s hardly alone. One man paid more than $1,000 in fines for trying to save a bison calf from the Lamar River, which resulted in the calf’s euthanasia. Another woman was fined almost tenfold what Brosnan owes for getting too close to a grizzly bear.

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