Yellowstone- Hot Springs, Pools and Geysers


Yellowstone is a huge national park with many different natural settings.  Yellowstone has geysers, hot springs, mud pools, forests, crater lakes, rivers, waterfalls, mountains, and wildlife.  This post is all about the geothermal sights- geysers, hot springs, mudpools, terraces, and more.

Mom and I started out at Old Faithful, the most famous of the Yellowstone Geysers, in hopes of beating some of the crowds that meander here as the day goes on.  We snagged front row seats on the benches that surround Old Faithful.


Old Faithful got it’s name from being one of the only consistent eruptors of the Yellowstone geysers.  Rangers post the eruption times +/- 10 minutes.  It goes off about every 90 minutes or so.  It was right on time for us.

Old Faithful is part of the Upper Geyser Basin in Yellowstone and is surrounded by other hot springs, geysers, and hot pools.  There is a quick walk (1-3 miles depending on which route you take) around the basin where you can catch a glimpse of many other geothermal wonders.



I wandered by Beehive geyser and read that it goes off every 10 hours to 5 days- it is not one of the predictable ones.  In the 1990s, it didn’t erupt for 3 years! Two minutes later a lady started shrieking that Beehive was going off- and it really was!  Beehive geyser usually lasts longer and is higher than Old Faithful.  And I got to see it!  Neat!


Midway Geyser Basin had more hot pools and springs.


Excelsior Geyser hasn’t erupted since the 1985 but is still considered a geyser but is more a thermal pool now.


The pools are a lot of fun and pretty colors depending on the temperature, mineral content, and bacteria present.Yellowstonehotpools2

Mammoth Hot Springs was different from the other geyser basins because it was mostly terraces.  Liberty Terrace was apparently the best (according to Mom) but I was hot and tired and happy looking at this one:


There are so many spots to stop and see that it takes more than one day.  On day 2, we went to the stinky mud pools in a different area of the park.  Yellowstonemudpool

The sulphur smell really made you reconsider your breakfast at times.

Dragon’s Mouth Springs:


I think a dragon must live inside.  The steam rises every few seconds like an exhale.

West Thumb Geyser Basin was most conveniently located to our lodging so we stopped by.  It wasn’t as impressive as most of the other basins but it had the best view overlooking Lake Yellowstone.YellowstoneWestthumb

Yellowstone has a lot of geothermal sights because pretty much the whole park is a giant volcano that last erupted about 160,000 years ago (according to a park ranger the Visitor Center displays).  The natural settings change often and even from 20 years ago, pools have become hotter or colder, geysers became active or dormant, and new pools form.

More to come on other sights and wildlife in Yellowstone.  Plus the Cody, WY Rodeo!!!

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5 Responses

  1. courtney says:

    Fun! I had forgotten what it was like there but you made me remember it all. 🙂

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