Day 7 of our Yellowstone Trip was all about the Geysers. We saw a lot of awesome “thermal features” in the first two days at Yellowstone, but today we set out to explore the Geyser Basins, and definitely found something new to see.
We also had absolutely stunning luck with our timing. We were able to watch the eruption of nearly every one of the geysers that the rangers make predictions of, plus a bunch of geysers that they don’t predict because they are too random! On the way in to the Old Faithful Geyser Basin (our primary target), we stopped and saw a few more pretty pools and bubbling pots before checking out the timetable at the ranger station:
There it was, right on cue. With that checked off, we started hiking around the Old Faithful Geyser Basin. One cool geyser on the way is this little guy, called the Anemone Geyser because it drains totally empty, then all of a sudden fills up its pool, overflows, erupts, and then drains again, on about a 15-ish minute cycle:
After some gawking and meandering we came around the corner to a huge geyser called the “Grand Geyser.” This guy only goes off every 11 to 15 hours (yes, a 4-hour window makes this a “good” predictable geyser), but the guidebook says “If you see people sitting and watching, and the pool looks like it’s overflowing, stick around, you just might be lucky. Let’s see: people gathered around? Check. Dozens. Pool overlowing? Check. Aaand, 30 seconds later: kawoosh! This geyser was pretty awesome: I’d honestly say better than Old Faithful, because it was taller, more “ferocious”, and you are much, much closer to it.
Once that settled down a bit, we traveled on to take in the Morning Glory Pool and took a brief hike out to the Artemesia Geyser, a very pretty blue one, that. We passed about the 10,000th little “Danger, Thermal Area” sign of our trip, so I decided to snap a picture. Of course, this exact area is ok, seeing as someone walked out to put that sign in… but nevermind. I also snapped a picture of this last guy, because he’s evidently not as toxic as a lot of his peers: there’s some nice live greenery around his rim.
Walking back, we came upon the Grotto Geyser, which had been placid when we walked in but was now beginning to erupt from it’s cool castle-like formation. We then took in the Old Faithful Lodge from afar, and stopped to watch Old Faithful erupt from the other side:
This magically put us in the right place at the right time to turn around and be surprised by the Beehive Geyser going off behind us. This little cone geyser funnels its plume into a narrow jet, making it really tall… it also only erupts once or twice per day, and we had heard when we arrived that we just missed it. Guess we were lucky:
Following lunch near the West Thumb area, we checked out the West Thumb Geyser Basin, and then decided to call it a day. For whatever reason, my pictures of that area didn’t turn out as well, so I won’t bore you any further with them 🙂 Instead, I leave you a parting shot for the wildlife… as we were driving back toward West Yellowstone, MT, to get supper at a cool 60’s-style diner with awesome milkshakes, we got stopped behind this big line of cars waiting for: you guessed it: two elk. Yes. We took a picture, too.