Outdoor Exploration: Yellowstone Part 1

In May, I FINALLY got to go to Yellowstone National Park –  and let me say, it did not disappoint. This first post will be about the natural formations and geology (but stay tuned for the animals post tomorrow).

Bubbling Mud Pots
Bubbling Mud Pots

My favorite part of the whole park are, of course, the geysers and the hot springs. I cannot believe how colorful they could be! According to the National Parks Service, Yellowstone holds half the world’s geothermal features – WOAH. The hydrothermal systems in the park exist because underlying magma creates a lot of heat. When the heat is met with cold mountain spring water, a very hot pool of water is created.

Turquoise Pool
Turquoise Pool

For more information on geothermal features and the park’s geology, click here.

Geysers “explode” because rising water “bubbles out” of the hydrothermal water system, shooting a stream of water into the air.

Fountain (or Mountain) Geyser
Fountain (or Mountain) Geyser

So yes, the geysers are pretty neat. And I even waited for Old Faithful (while getting hailed on):

Me - in a hail storm - with Old Faithful
Me – in a hail storm – with Old Faithful

But, the springs are the most beautiful in the park, in my opinion. I was amazed at the variety of colors in each pool.

Excelsior Geyser Crater
Excelsior Geyser Crater

One setback to going to early in the spring is that the steam coming off the pools doesn’t dissipate as well because the air is cold. Because of this, I couldn’t really see Grand Prismatic Spring that well:

Grand Prismatic Spring
Grand Prismatic Spring

Check out a few of my other favorites!

Sapphire Pool
Sapphire Pool
Black Pool - check out the animal bones in there.. somebody got too close!
Black Pool – check out the animal bones in there.. somebody got too close!

The “bacterial mats” surrounding the geyser/pool areas were also vibrant:

Bacterial mats
Bacterial mats around Sapphire Pool

The last thing we visited was the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone…

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

… which is also home to Yellowstone Falls .

 

Upper Yellowstone Falls
Upper Yellowstone Falls

Even though it could have been sunnier and a little warmer, I loved Yellowstone. I also loved the buffalo (or bison, whichever you prefer) burgers we had in West Yellowstone for dinner – yum!

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post on part 2!

**All photos are my own.

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2 thoughts on “Outdoor Exploration: Yellowstone Part 1

  1. Pingback: Outdoor Exploration: Yellowstone Part 2 | Environmental Explorations

  2. Pingback: Outdoor Exploration: Grand Tetons National Park | Environmental Explorations

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