The other geysers and springs on the program are early morning locations actually, because of the light. Despite this, I decide to visit them now anyway. You never know and what else should I do (-; I travel south via Dunraven Pass and the Hayden Valley. The pass is very cold. I shoot some photographs here despite a stormy wind. The forests all have been burned down here, most probably because of lightning strike in summer.
A little bit further are a lot of people on the side of the road: a clear sign that there is something to see. There appears to be a big black bear, walking through the forest. He is a little bit too far away for photographs and hidden often. As the bear approaches the road, a parkranger starts yelling that everyone has to go back into their car.
Finding a room
It appears to be difficult to find a room for tonight. Earlier I have obtained a list of all hotels in the surroundings. I have to call many hotels before finally finding one. Best Western has only one room left in West Yellowstone. I book it immediately. Better to have one now than to start looking for one tonight. Chances of actually finding one will be a lot smaller then.
Upper Geyser Basin
Next stop is Upper Geyser Basin. This is the largest active area with geysers and hotsprings. I walk around a bit and photograph some springs. Despite the time of day I am able to shoot some really nice photographs. It occurs to me that many springs are loosing the colors (blue in particular) compared to my last visit (7 years ago). This is caused by the fact that many people throw junk in them, thus blocking the inflow with a dropping temperature as a result. Sad if you think about it…
Colonies of bacteria around a drainage channel of a pool.
Morning Glory Pool
As I am passing by Grant Geyser I see many people waiting for the next eruption. This one has predictable eruptions but with an uncertainty of 4 hours. Sometimes it skips a cycle. This is caused by a complex of conditions related to two other geysers in the neighborhood. A couple of hours later, most people are still waiting, when I pass by again on my way back. This is not my type of game. I am not going to wait here for hours only to watch a fountain of water (-; I have seen other geysers before and I know what they look like. Old Faithful is far more easy if you want to see one, because that one erupts every 90 minutes without exception.
A lot of cars are on the side of the road, when I am leaving the area. I am a bit curious to find out what they are looking at. There is a huge deer lying in the middle of the grass on a hill. I walk up the hil a bit to take some photographs.
Midway Geyser Basin
I continue to the Grand Prismatic Spring in Midway Geyser Basin. This is by far the biggest spring in Yellowstone with a diameter of over 100 meters. Last time I was here, this spring was completely cloaked in steam and this time it is the same. I will try again tomorrow morning.
Fountain Flat Drive
Before leaving the park I take the Fountain Flat Drive. At the end of the road there is a little family of Bison basking in the warm afternoon sun. This time I succeed in photographing them. The right light makes all the difference.
I skip the sunset for tonight because I really have a need for normal things like internet, Chinese food and a cosy warm bed.
Maps, Charts & Downloads
GPS Map with color coded altitude information
Color coded distance/altitude chart
Download the original gpx file here.