Today we stopped at some of the places we skipped on our way to Old Faithful yesterday. (another 500+ picture day)
We had our first Bison Jam. He popped onto the road, almost hitting a car, then wandered down the side with everyone hoping he wouldn’t charge their car. These things are huge up close.
Before he came out, the cars at the front of the line had seen him and stopped. One goof farther back in line didn’t know what was going on so he decided to pop out and pass everyone, until he came face to face. He got back in line rather quickly.
Our first destination was the Fountain Paint Pot boardwalk trail. Unfortunately we hit it just behind two tour buses.
This place had a one of everything. Hot springs…
A big mudpot but the light was wrong for good pictures. We will have to come back later in the day some time.
And an almost constantly erupting small geyser.
These trees die because they suck up the water full of minerals and clog up. They call them “bobby sox trees”.
Next we drove around a loop road called Firehole Lake Drive. First stop was Firehole Spring.
Next was Great Fountain Geyser. Unfortunately it wasn’t due to erupt for another 9 hours. The terraces around it were huge because it erupts up to 200 feet high for up to an hour.
Hot Lake was the next stop with this weird little steaming cascade fed by bubbling Steady Geyser.
A tiny geyser.
Next we drove to the Midway Geyser Basin to take the boardwalk to the Grand Prismatic Spring.
Crossing the river to get to it, we saw the hot streams flowing down.
We walked around a huge bubbling pool.
Another “smaller” pool.
And then on to the Grand Prismatic Spring.
The spring is 200 feet across and overflows forming these amazing terraces.
The view of the spring itself, from the boardwalk, is not that great.
However later in the day I climbed up the hill in the background. Check out all the teeny tiny people as a size comparison.
Since we are down on our waterfall quota for the week we did the hike to Fairy Falls. The book said it was 3.2 miles return however in the fine print, after we started, we discovered you had to hike a mile down a road to get to the trailhead. The road skirts the spring and this is where I climbed to get the picture.
We passed this little pool beside the road, with tree branches slowly being mineralized.
A large part of Yellowstone was devastated by a huge forest fire in the 80’s. There were dead trees everywhere with the next generation starting to come back.
Fairy Falls is 190 feet high. Not enough water seemed to be coming over the top to account for the spray at the bottom so we figured some must be coming from cracks part way down.
After all we had done beforehand and the 5 miles hike, we were done.
We just love this place. Even being here 12 days I am sure we will run out of time before we even see all the major things let alone the recommended hikes.