On our first full day in Yellowstone, we decided to explore Geyser Country. We got an early start, to try and beat some of the crowds. The signage in the parking lots around Old Faithful wasn't the greatest, but we managed to find our way in ok. My morning coffee was speaking to me, so I had to visit the restroom before starting our tour. I wasn't even finished, when I hear Steve yelling outside, "Hurry up Lisa!" I raced outside to find Old Faithful had just started its every 90 minute (or so) show.
Because I was "late out of the gate", I caught only the tail end of that spouting. We went on to walk all along the boardwalks around the myriad geysers and hot springs, taking way too many pictures. We were so early that there was ice in places on the walkways where the spray had frozen overnight!
The next major geyser we approached was "Castle" for the formation around its spout, and as we just walked up to it, the geyser show started. This one only had an eruption twice a day, within a window of about an hour's prediction. We sure were feeling pretty lucky.
About an hour later, we were pondering whether we should wait around for the Grand Geyser to blow (we were in the middle of the predicted 2 hour window), and... you guessed it - it decided to show off for us.
We were really amazed at the extent of “Geyser Country”. It just seemed to go on forever.
The various hot springs were so gorgeous with their clarity and vivid colors.
The various concretions around the springs were endlessly different and fascinating.
Morning Glory Pool was in a class of its own:
This guy was grazing calmly about 50 ft off the boardwalk:
So on we drove to Grand Prismatic Spring. As we were approaching, the steam that was rising from it was multicolored, but alas, photos don’t let you appreciate that. We were so glad that we had read in Lonely Planet (plug here for awesome guide books for anywhere in the world!), that there was a hike where you could get a bird’s eye view of the spring. Otherwise, on the ground, you just can’t appreciate its extent and colors.
We were glad that we went down and explored around it, as there were other beautiful spots to see nearby. Grand Prismatic Spring drains into Excelsior Pool, which discharges 4000 gallons per minute of boiling water into Firehole River.
This was Grand Prismatic Spring from the ground:
I’ll close with the soothing sounds of an anonymous roadside geyser.