American Northwest Trip, 2017: Virginia Cascades and Firehole Canyon in Yellowstone

These photos are from two drives I took off the beaten path in Yellowstone National Park, both narrow, one-way roads along the sides of canyons. The first was the Virginia Cascades Drive, which does not appear to get much traffic, but still enough cars to make it difficult to pull over for good views of the falls, so the highlight of this drive ended up being my stop at the pretty, quiet meadow above the falls. The second drive was Firehole Canyon, which is a bit more popular but still relatively quiet compared to the main attractions of the park, with more places to pull over for beautiful views of the canyon rapids and falls. There is also a swimming area here, though I did not partake.

Click on any photo to open a gallery.

View More Photos from Yellowstone National Park

American Northwest Trip, 2017: Upper Geyser Basin in Yellowstone

These photos are from my hike of the Upper Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park, a geyser-rich geothermal area that includes the Old Faithful, Beehive, and Castle geysers, along with more than four-hundred others. As I may have mentioned in previous posts, walking among all of these cones, boiling springs, bursting geysers, and steam plumes really drives home the reality that you are standing on top of a super volcano. I didn’t have time to explore the entire basin, but I saw a good portion of it. Toward the end of my hike I caught the eruption of the Lion Geyser from a distance, documented in a couple of the photos.

Click on any photo to open a gallery.

View More Photos from Yellowstone National Park

American Northwest Trip, 2017: Midway Geyser Basin in Yellowstone

The Midway Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park features several geysers and springs. The crown jewel of this basin is the Grand Prismatic Spring, notable for its massive size and spectacular colors. I first saw the spring up close and then I hiked up a hill to an overlook to get a bird’s eye view, which is the best way to appreciate its beauty—truly one of the most memorable sights in the entire park. All of the mist you see in these photos is actually steam rising from boiling water in the geysers and springs.

Click on any photo to open a gallery.

View More Photos from Yellowstone National Park