Sunrise over Lower Red Rock Lake

Sunrise over Lower Red Rock Lake
Sunrise over Lower Red Rock Lake

Sunday, August 2, 2015

A Long Morning in Upper Geyser Basin

Natalie wanted to be sure and see Old Faithful go off, so we set out early on the second morning of her visit.  As went past other features,  we just put them on our list for later, because we didn't want to be in the huge crowds around Old Faithful.

When we arrived at the Upper Geyser Basin, we discovered Old Faithful had just gone off and we would have over an hour before the next eruption. So we set off to see as much of the rest of Upper Geyser Basin as possible.


The firehole river runs through the basin

The entire area is mostly these kinds of thin soils over hot ground/water
so boardwalks are necessary

I was fascinated by the patterns and colors 

Beach pool went from placid to boiling  - I made
a collage so you could see the changes too. 

There were pictures to take in every direction as Natalie, Lynn and this photographer proved

Ear Spring

These salt formations looked like bubbles to me

Another long view across the basin

Another view of Firehole River, named for it's smokiness

I also enjoyed the wildflowers that were scattered about where the ground wasn't too hot 


All too soon, it was time to return for the view of Old Faithful erupting.  That takes several minutes and of course MANY pictures.  After that, we rushed back to finish the tour of the basins.  If I had to do it over again, I wouldn't worry about Old Faithful, because we actually saw it erupt three times while we were there - the first time from the observation benches, the second time from the trail to the rest of the features, and the third time from the balcony of the Old Faithful Inn. There are several other geysers that also have predicted eruptions and I would like to see them as well.  The last time I was there, I did get to watch Riverside Geyser erupt which was beautiful with the light allowing a rainbow to form. So, if geysers are your thing, you may want to check on the schedules of the predictable geysers.


A ranger talks about the geyser while people wait for it to erupt

There she blows

Then we rushed back to see more of the features of the Upper Geyser Basin. We walked the road to Morning Glory Pool, the last feature, then took the boardwalk trail back.


Natalie and Lynn at the last feature - Morning Glory

Morning Glory pool - it is losing it's beautiful colors because people throw trash into it
which has caused it to cool and allowed bacteria to grow in it. 


Another beautiful view


The salts often make beautiful structures


The mix of different clays,  bacterial mats, and the temperature gradient
made for a diverse landscape

After we finally finished all the geysers, I still had not gotten to stay long enough to see the Anemone Geyser erupt.  When we finally found it - I thought I had seen it almost as soon as we crossed the river - but we took a trail to the right and you have to take the trail to the left.  So we actually got to it last of all when we were all starving and exhausted.  Natalie and Lynn had no patience left to wait for it. We decided to eat at the Old Faithful Inn Restaurant and it was an excellent choice. And Natalie treated me. Thanks Natalie. Then we spent another few minutes looking around on the first and second floors of the inn.

View of the inn from the second floor

By this time it was about 3:00 and the sky was getting stormy.  We decided a nap overruled more sightseeing, so went back to camp.  The drive home took about twice as long as the drive down because of all the extra traffic.

Here is a map of the basin. If you go get there early as this is the most crowded place in Yellowstone.