We actually follow the rules in the parks we visit.
It shouldn’t, but it often surprises us when others don’t, like the fellow below. The area he is standing in is a thermal area off the trail at Norris Geyser basin.
People have stepped and fallen through fragile surfaces that look very solid. Some have been injured by scalding hot liquids that may lie under any of the thermal areas off the designated trails.
Writing his 1995 book Death in Yellowstone, park historical archivist Lee H. Whittlesey sifted through National Park Service records to identify 19 human fatalities from falling into thermal features. – Geothermal Attractions Can Be Dangerous
About 20 minutes after I shot the picture above, I spotted a hole in the surface of the thermal area about the same distance off the trail.
The surface of these areas often looks perfectly safe, but looks can be very deceiving.