Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Upper Geyser Basin

Today my Dad and I explored the geothermal features in Biscuit Basin, Black Sand Basin, and the Upper Geyser Basin,  the area in which Old Faithful is located. Our first stop was Biscuit Basin. On the way there, we saw a large group of buffalo grazing on the side of the road. 

Buffalo on the way to Biscuit Basin

Biscuit Basin was amazing! We saw several small geysers and hot springs and pools. My favorites were Rusty Geyser and Sapphire Pool. 

One of the thermal pools in Biscuit Basin

Sapphire Pool

Sapphire Pool

Rusty Geyser

From Biscuit Basin, we headed to the Upper Geyser Basin. We arrived at around 12:30 PM, and Old Faithful was predicted to erupt about 15 minutes later, so we decided to wait and watch that before walking around the expansive Upper Geyser Basin boardwalks. 

Old Faithful

Old Faithful

It was neat seeing Old Faithful, but I thought a lot of the other thermal features were a lot more interesting and beautiful. We walked along the boardwalks all around Old Faithful and the Upper Geyser Basin and looked at one thermal feature after another. I was surprised at how many there were. Apparently, 3/4 of all of the geysers in the world are located in Yellowstone, and after seeing so many today, I believe it. We walked around the 5 miles or so of boardwalk and paved paths through the enormous Upper Geyser Basin and saw more geysers and thermal features than we could count. 

Castle Geyser

Shield Spring

Riverside Geyser - erupts for 22 minutes ever 5-7 hours... we made it just in time!

Beauty Pool

Wave Spring

Giant Geyser

Morning Glory Pool

Beach Spring

When we got back to the beginning of the Upper Geyser Basin loop, we decided to watch Old Faithful one more time before heading to the Black Sand Basin on the way back to the hotel in West Yellowstone. The Black Sand Basin was a lot smaller than the Upper Geyser Basin, but it was still absolutely amazing. There were several very large, blue thermal pools in this area, bigger than those in the Upper Geyser Basin. 

Black Sand Basin

One of the thermal features in Black Sand Basin

One of the large pools in the Black Sand Basin

On the way home from the Black Sand Basin, we saw a group of five elk crossing the road in front of us. We pulled over for a close look. It is unbelievable that there is just so much wildlife in this park - I've never seen so many wild animals in my life.

I am amazed at the variety of different geysers and thermal features here in Yellowstone and am looking forward to learning more about them this summer. Tomorrow we will be hiking the rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and I am very excited to see it!

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  1. Phenomenal pictures, Molly! I loved the Sapphire Pool! I want to be there. What camera are you using to take these pictures? Susan

  2. thanks sue! i am glad you are enjoying the pictures! i am using a Kodak Z650 for the pictures... it is a great camera, but it is hard to mess these pictures up!