Geyser Basin, YNP

Wednesday was a great geyser day! These active creatures—they certainly have moods and personalities—are hard to wrap your head around. I’m not gonna try, other than to spew a few adjectives…

  Stunning   Incredible   Awesome   Moody   Powerful   Stark   Subtle   Scary   Reflective   Deep   Clear   Murky   Bright   Dull   Colorful   Prismatic   Mind-blowing   Strong   Smelly   Creative   Old   Enduring   Refreshing   Renewing   Variable   Predictable   Unpredictable   Inspiring   Threatening   Solid   Humbling   Wellyougettheidea

My novice pics in the slideshow and the videos hopefully convey some sense of how wonderfully God created this place. Thursday we’re off to the Lamar River Valley and Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone…

 Geyser Basin Videos

Flower Paint Pot Area Bubbling
Flower Paint Pot Area Steaming
Flower Paint Pot Area Erupting 
Biscuit Basin Seashell Comes Alive
Old Faithful #1
Old Faithful #2
Midway Geyser Area – 4,000 Gallons a Minute
Midway Geyser Area – Bacteria Mats
Firehole Lake Drive – The Spa Boils!

Lamar River Valley

We made an early morning departure (5:30) to head across the park to the Lamar River Valley for some wildlife viewing. And accomplished our goal! Almost immediately into the wide valley we encountered a few solitary bison and then a buffalo jam a few miles down the road. So cool to wait and watch as these majestic beasts graze and roll and chase each other alongside (and on) the road.

Several times the animals were within a couple feet so we just continued rolling slowly along, trying to not disturb them. Great picture opps, great videos and sounds. So fortunate to have experienced so many bison in one place. Truly great!

A ways down valley several groups were lining the road, reportedly spying a wolf across the meadow. While we didn’t see one it was still kinda cool to know one was likely out there, as professional guides were camped out watching.

After reaching the northeast entrance to the park we retraced our tracks in Lamar Valley to take in the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and Mud Volcano Area, which I cover here.

Lamar Valley Videos

Lamar Valley Bison
Lamar Valley Bison – Ah, Love!
Lamar Valley Bison – Dustin’ it Up!
Lamar Valley Bison – Owning the Road
Lamar Valley Bison  – Crossing without a Guard

Don’t forget to read on about the day’s afternoon sights!

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone & Mud Volcano

After visiting wildlife-filled Lamar Valley in the morning and then a mediocre lunch at the unexpected yet friendly grill in  Canyon Village we covered the short distance to first the North then the South Rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Beautiful canyon wall colors, lots of water in the Yellowstone River. More stunning beauty. Does not get old.

A short distance south from there is the Mud Volcano area. I’d also visited this area several years ago but it’s so cool (not literally!) I was excited to see it again. I’ll let the pics & vids speak for themselves. Very impressive area!

As we were closing down the day’s sightseeing, headed down alongside the Madison River toward West Yellowstone we came upon a herd of elk, grazing and relaxing on  an island in the mid of the river. Such beautiful animals. (Tasty chops, too!) We’ve been treated to bison, elk, deer, trumpeter swans, and myriad birds & ground crawlers. Still got eyes out for bear and moose!

Videos of the Afternoon’s Sites

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone – Lower Falls
Churning Caldron
Mud Volcano
Dragon’s Mouth Spring

Mammoth Springs, YNP

Rounding out our YNP experience we headed out late morning to Mammoth Springs at the northern edge of the park. On the way up we checked out Roaring Mountain. Lots of thermal vents of various kinds. Years ago when the mountain was more active the roar could be heard four miles away. That’s impressive.

Also impressive is Mammoth Hot Springs. The terracing created by flows of sulfuric stuff through the rhyolite is unusually pretty. It’s amazing how hot water and gas can create so many different variations. Extremely interesting and another glimpse into the handiwork of our creative, powerful God.

We had lunch—ice cream—at the grill in the village of MHS and then drove a backroad up to the north entrance of YNP. Good call because we saw elk and pronghorn grazing on the hillside. I think pronghorns are the coolest looking animals with their colorful markings and fluffy white butts. But that’s me…

Norris Geyser Basin (7758)
Norris Geyser Basin (7758)

On the return trip to West Yell we stopped into Norris Geyser Basin, which was slammed earlier in the day, and walked around the boardwalk to see its version of hot water coming up through the ground. I still wasn’t getting tired of the fumaroles, cauldrons and springs. But we forewent the loop around the back basin in favor of a beer back in camp.

The Madison River elk family greeted us again on the final leg into West Yell; this time they were just hanging on the far side of the river with the big boy looking over his harem. Yep, another great day in our great nation’s first and greatest national park! Next up: The Grand Tetons!

Mammoth Hot Springs & Norris Geyser Basin Videos

Roaring Mountain
Mammoth Hot Springs
Norris Geyser Basin – Little Bubblers
Norris Geyser Basin – Sizzling Ground
Norris Geyser Basin – Noisy Vents