I hope I’m not boring you with my posts on Yellowstone National Park but this may be my most comprehensive tour yet! First of all, did I tell you that Yellowstone sits in the caldera of an ancient supervolcano, and the same forces that caused it to blow 640,000 years ago are still active, giving rise to thousands of geysers, hot springs, mud pots and fumeroles?
Well maybe I did – but a picture’s worth a thousand words. So here’s a few more, starting with the most famous geyser of them all, Old Faithful.
Old Faithful is in the Upper Geyser Basin, which contains the majority of the world’s active geysers. During the summer you’ll find forecasted eruption times and it obliges every 90 minutes or so. Faithful, huh?
Our first day in the park we saw it erupt under cloudy skies.
Our last day in the Park we saw it again, rising straighter and higher while the crowds gawked.
Magnificent indeed. But there are many other geysers worth seeing including Riverside Geyser, which I happened upon just before it woke up – lucky for me since it only erupts every 6 hours.
It shot a plume of water high in the sky for the next twenty minutes (much longer than Old Faithful by the way) and without the crowds!
What a treat! The thing about Yellowstone is, it never disappoints. There’s always another stop, another basin, more boardwalks, and you think it can’t get any better, but it does, again and again. Just like this stop at colorful Artists’ Paint Pots,
where we saw Blood Geyser, surrounded by red stained rock from the high concentrations of iron oxide in the water,
and colorful hot springs dotting the landscape.
And at Biscuit Basin we found bubbling Fountain Paint Pot,
a few more wild geysers –
and perhaps the bluest hot spring in the Park – though there are many vying for that title – Sapphire Pool.
And lest I forget the fumeroles (those vents in the earth spewing gas and steam) here’s Red Spouter, a fumerole during the dry summer months, a hot spring or mud pot during the rainy season.
Finally I’ll close with the largest hot spring in the Park, and third largest in the world, Grand Prismatic Spring, 370 feet in diameter and 121 feet deep.
Across the Firehole River in the Midway Geyser Basin,
you take the boardwalk until you see color emanating from a vast, mysterious steam covered area.
The sign says you’ve reached it,
but you are only on its outer edges, the pool itself seems far away and hidden from sight.
You wish you were a bird flying over that magnificent pool, so you could see its hidden blue depths, but must content yourself with the colors of life teeming around the edges. And on that note, I will leave you pondering.
Thanks for coming along on this tour of Yellowstone. There may be yet another post waiting to emerge. We shall see.