Grand Loop Road
Today I want to visit the Grand Prismatic Spring. Best time is mid morning. In early morning, there is too much steam and later during the day, the sun is shining from the wrong direction. I start with some photography along the Grand Loop Road, the road that I have to take anyway in order to get to the Grand Prismatic Spring.
The light is beautiful here this early in the morning. The sky is blue while the gras is in warm sunlight. It is very quiet, except for the soft splashing sounds of these little stream of which there are many. There is one on this first photo, flowing away in the distance.
The trees here have all been affected by the acidic water. The trunks have lost all colour in their underside and most of them are already dead.
The whole area is wetland, with little streams crossing. When I lower my hand in the water carefully it feels very warm, like 40-50 degrees. It smells lightly sulphuric.
Only the grass seems to withstand the acidic environment.
A nice color contrast between the warm coloured grass and the cold in the sky. The sun fits in nicely in between the trees. I have to be careful though, because you are looking through a lens.
Low Geyser Basin
Low Geyser Basin is also on the route. You can visit all the geysers very easily by following the Firehole Lake Drive. The large Great Fountain Geyser is in the center. The water around the spring has a vivid blue color while the their are yellow-brown colours on the edges, most probably of bacteria.
This geyser has a regular pattern in general and erupts every 9-15 hours during around one hour. The water can be anywhere between 23-67 meters high. Punctuality of this pattern is about 2 hours.
Sometimes the pattern becomes distorted and the geyser starts having much longer eruptions. The resting periods become longer as well, up to 4 days. After that, the regular pattern returns automatically.
Now it is going to take several hours before the next eruptions, so I am not going to wait for it. There are many other subjects around. While I am photographing, I see another one erupting a bit further down the road, the White Dome Geyser.
I drive immediately towards it and on the sign I see that this one has a much more frequent eruption pattern, about 2 to 3 times per hour. Eruptions take several minutes with the water coming up to 9 meters. The cone is 4 almost meters high. I watch two eruptions and this provides me with enough practice for a nice photo. The light starts to become more harsh.
Maps, Charts & Downloads
GPS Map with color coded altitude information
Color coded distance/altitude chart
Download the original gpx file here.