One goes to Yellowstone National Park to see many things - wildlife, unique landscapes, beautiful scenery. But most of all people visit for the geysers. Yellowstone is home to more than 10,000 hydrothermal features, 500 of which are geysers. That's about half of the world's geysers - the largest concentration of active geysers on earth.
So yes, you're going to see more geysers in this post.....
|Steaming geysers in the morning chill|
|Old Faithful, pre-eruption|
Although it was early June, the morning was quite chilly, causing lots of steam to emit from the nearby geothermal features.
|Old Faithful, building up pressure|
|Full eruption height|
|Lovely steam cloud against the blue sky|
Now on to see more of the geyser basin surrounding Old Faithful. After checking out of our room, and packing up my car (luckily no bison adjacent to it this morning!) we left it parked in the lot and embarked on a walk around the entire area.
Kim and I had just passed the Castle Geyser when we met a woman traveling the opposite direction. She warned us that she'd just seen a bear. As we looked past the next hot springs, sure enough, Kim glimpsed a black bear running away from where we stood. I quickly tried to switch to my zoom lens, but by the time I had my camera ready, the bruin was long gone.
|Morning view of Firehole River|
|Grotto Geyser pumping out a lot of steam|
There was a large barren area containing several rusty-colored hot pools. Our map noted this was the "Chain Lakes."
|Fisherman in Firehole River|
|Morning Glory Pool|
The pool was located at the end of a long trail. A wooden boardwalk encircled about half of its perimeter. I was surprised to see Morning Glory Pool looked much smaller than I remembered. And it wasn't nearly as vivid either.
|One of my favorites!|
|Riverside Geyser - Can you spot the buffalo?|
|Grotto Geyser erupting|
|The eruption continues...|
Next up on our geyser basin tour was the appropriately named Giant Geyser. It had a huge geyserite cone over its vent that was merely steaming.
|Some of the larger geysers had eruption times posted|
|Where to go next?|
Apparently these two springs are somehow linked, because during energy shifts, the level of one pool rises and the other lowers.
|Another view of Chromatic Pool|
|Another view of Beauty Pool|
|This wins the prize for dumbest geyser name....|
|We didn't stick around to watch this one erupt|
Moving on.....The nearby Grand Geyser was one of the thermal features with posted eruption estimates. It had the distinction of being the tallest predictable geyser in the world. I'm told an eruption lasts 9-12 minutes and can reach heights of 200 feet. But since an eruption wasn't predicted until midafternoon, we weren't about to wait around half the day to see it.
|Pretty blue pool - but forgot the name!|
|The geyser wasn't much to look at but I loved it's name!|
|Interesting dead tree roots|
|This little geyser was putting on quite a show!|
Kim and I approached the area nearest to Old Faithful, a concentration of thermal features nicknamed "Geyser Hill." There were all kinds of steaming vents and boiling springs to gawk at - and photograph!
|Another look at the Lion Group|
Another lovely blue hot spring, Heart Spring was very photogenic.
|Cute little hot pools|
|Interesting colors and shapes in this outflow|
The colored minerals around the geysers and hot springs were so interesting. A lot of them were an orangish shade and deposited in all kinds of shapes. Also very photogenic!
|Water spurts from Sponge Geyser|
|Old Faithful erupting from afar|
While at the Sponge Geyser, I looked across the hill and noticed Old Faithful was erupting. Thanks to my zoom lens, I was able to get some photos of the event.
|Colorful stream bank|
It was now past noon and we were both hungry and quite geysered-out. Time to find some lunch and then go explore more of the park. Which I'll recap in the next post.
Hope I haven't bored you too much with all the geysers! The next post I promise I'll have photos of other things I saw in Yellowstone NP.