Yellowstone, with it’s rainbow of hot springs, sputtering geysers and steaming charred earth is the strangest place I’ve ever been. The entire park is actually situated over a giant supervolcano, which is the cause of the zany geothermal phenomenon that dot the area. It’s also a place of great natural beauty, beautiful lakes, rivers and mountain tops. Larger than the state of Rhode Island, Yellowstone is like a theme park of strange and beautiful bubbling waters, flanked by incomparable nature.
The Grand Prismatic Spring, the biggest hot spring in the United States (third in the world). The brilliant colors are a result of the pigmented bacteria which thrives in the boiling hot water. Yellowstone is dotted with many beautiful hot pools, but this is one of the most impressive.
Everyone talks about Old Faithful, but there are dozens of other varied and cool geysers throughout the park. This is the Great Fountain Geyser which erupts daily.
The Firehole River. It got it’s name from the steam that occurs from the runoff of boiling hot springs. Apparently it’s really great for fishing, as long as you are careful not to get scalded.
Yellowstone suffered an extensive forest fire about ten years ago which left acres of dead tree husks. Over time the root systems give out and the skeleton trees tip over like matchstick soldiers.
A wily coyote by our campground in the early morning.
More colorful microorganisms.
A sleepy buffalo we stumbled across hiking through the West Thumb geyser basin. He was about six feet from us but luckily sound asleep (I’d hate to wake one up!).
Mammoth Hot Springs, created over thousands of years by hot water bubbling up from underground and leaving calcium deposits behind. This is actual NEW rock people. It’s still growing steadily, threatning to overtake nearby historical houses. And there’s me in the corner.
The travertine terraces of Mammoth Springs up close. Kind of like walking on another planet.
A peaceful river bend far away from the geothermal areas. The mind boggling thing about Yellowstone is that it’s both a roiling, seething vent with the potential for unheard of destruction should it ever erupt, and one of the most tranquil places on earth. It’s not hard to see why this is America’s first, and most famous National Park.