2012 Western Road Trip: Lower Geyser Basin

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Our second full day in Yellowstone National Park was dedicated to the park’s major hydrothermal feature areas. Of course, the one feature we had to see was Old Faithful. But Yellowstone is much more than Old Faithful, and we hit up the Lower Geyser Basin first.

Celestine Pool
Celestine Pool

Silex Spring
Silex Spring

Doesn’t it look like a lovely hot tub? Too bad the water is 167-199°F.

Silex Spring

Mud Bubble, Fountain Paint Pots
Fountain Paint Pots

Here, we viewed our first geyser eruption. It was actually pretty cool!

Spasm Geyser
Spasm Geyser

Spasm Geyser 2

Spasm Geyser 3

As you get into these hydrothermal areas, it is made very clear that you are in the Yellowstone Caldera – i.e. a massive volcano. In the following photo, the rim of the Yellowstone Caldera is in the foreground of the larger snowcapped mountains – the Gallatins.

Volcanic Tableland

Earthquakes can alter the hydrothermal features, from creating new pools to diverting water from existing ones and causing them to dry up. No earthquakes while we were there – and that was OK by me.

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