Yellowstone: Geysers and hot springs and mud pots, oh my!

Yellowstone is one of the most geothermally active places the world.  We explored many areas in the park featuring geysers, hot springs, fumaroles and mud pots.  Joe, being the kid at heart that he is, kept wanting to touch the run off at all the geysers and hot springs we visited to test the temperature of the water.  If he hadn’t been worried about flagrantly breaking rules (there were warning signs posted everywhere) in front of our kids, I think he would have done it. 

Here are our 3 favorite geothermal sites:

#1 – Grand Prismatic Springs. 


We had not heard of this site prior to our trip, but it surprised us and ended up being the most interesting.  The kids weren’t happy that Joe and I insisted on hiking the 5+ mile Fairy Falls hike which includes a great view of Prismatic Springs from an adjacent hill.  Sydney was uncharacteristically the most unhappy about this hike.  On this trip, we’ve discovered that Sydney is deathly afraid of being attacked by a bear.  I told her she just needs to be able to outrun anyone else in the hiking group… which she almost certainly could do! She was so excited when a sign informed us the hike was closed just past the Overlook.  Later we learned a woman had been attacked by a bear on that trail 2 days ago (!).

The view from the Overlook is well worth the walk.  The size of the hot spring (larger than a football field) and the bright colors (bright blue in the middle and bring yellow, orange, red on the edges) were impressive. 

#2 – Old Faithful. 

The kids and I continued to sleep in the RV while Joe woke early and drove to Old Faithful from our campground near the West Entrance to Yellowstone so we could arrive before the anticipated crowds.  When we showed up, there was a bison laying in the grass between the viewing area and the geyser.  We were all wondering what it would do when the geyser erupted – it didn’t move an inch.  The geyser eruption was higher and lasted longer than I expected…it exceeded expectations.  And we never experienced big crowds.

#3 – Mammoth Hot Springs

This was another really cool site – large, terraced limestone/ travertine deposits from multiple hot springs…it was so different from anything else we’d ever seen.  Unfortunately, we visited this at the end of a hot day and had two dehydrated kids with us – Alexander and Piper were miserable the entire time.  Sydney, on the other hand, loved living the life of an “only child” as Joe and I did some additional exploring with her at this location.  

Honorable mention
(only because Joe will whine if I’m not able to include these nice photos).

#4 – Norris Geyser Basin.  Includes Steamboat Geyser which is the largest geyser at Yellowstone but it erupts infrequently and unpredictably. It was barely sputtering when we saw it. Joe would have ranked this in the “top 3” .. tons of activity and amazing looking springs, pools and mudholes…


#5 – Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

OK, this isn’t really a geothermal feature — but it’s one of the most beautiful, iconic places in Yellowstone… and it warrants mention for sure!

We spent most of a day exploring this canyon, including a hike past Artist Point to Lily Pad lake.. where we were (1) rained on and (2) attacked by mosquitos. It’s amazing how fast our happy kids will go from goofing around taking photos of each other to .. um … whining about how miserable everything is. (For the record.. it was the mosquitos and not the rain that tilted some of them negative!)

We loved Yellowstone! Can’t believe it took us so long to get here. But .. after five great days in the park (and in the Montana area outside) .. we’re ready to move on and see the magnificent Grand Tetons…

4 thoughts on “Yellowstone: Geysers and hot springs and mud pots, oh my!

  1. What great weather you are having for the most part. Your photos are wonderful. Thanks for sharing so many of them. Hard to believe that I have never been to Yellowstone so this way I can feel like I have. Scott’s mom was born in Mammoth Hot Springs. What an amazing variety of natural sites you are seeing. The picture of the rainbow in the waterfall is beautiful. That may have to go on your wall when you get home.
    You are not missing anything back here. Life is still boring. At least you are on the move. Enjoy the rest of your trip.

    Like

  2. I know I’ve said this before but I love all of your posts! It makes me want to rent an R/V and go there myself, but not by myself. Although my kids are in their early 30’s I think it would be fun. They probably wouldn’t agree. I’m glad Sydney enjoyed the hike, considering her feelings expressed in the previous story written by her. Also glad you didn’t have to deal with crowds or bears! I guess I better look for part two of the story from Alexander. For some reason I haven’t been notified of it being published. Alrighty, keep them coming! Love Bo

    Like

  3. I know I’ve said this before but I love all of your posts! It makes me want to rent an R/V and go there myself, but not by myself. Although my kids are in their early 30’s I think it would be fun. They probably wouldn’t agree. I’m glad Sydney enjoyed the hike, considering her feelings expressed in the previous story written by her. Also glad you didn’t have to deal with crowds or bears! I guess I better look for part two of the story from Alexander. For some reason I haven’t been notified of it being published. Alrighty, keep them coming! Love Bo

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s