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.

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American Northwest Trip, 2017: Norris Geyser Basin in Yellowstone

These photos are from the Norris Geyser Basin, the hottest thermal region in Yellowstone. Walking among an abundance of craters, geysers, and steam plumes really drives home the reality that you are standing on top of a super volcano, and the beautiful blue pools and multicolored springs give the place an otherworldly feel.

This is the area of the park where a man died the year before my visit when he fell into one of the springs and his body dissolved. He had left the boardwalk to engage in “hot potting,” an illegal activity in which people look for hot springs to bathe in. He slipped and fell while taking the spring’s temperature and was never seen again. So, if you ever visit the thermal areas of Yellowstone, you might want to stay on the boardwalks–they were put there for a reason.

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American Northwest Trip, 2017: Yellowstone’s Mud Volcano Area

The Mud Volcano Area of Yellowstone National Park is filled with hot springs and boiling pools of acid and mud, as well as the unmistakable rotten-egg odor of sulfur that bombards you as soon as you exit the car. The sulfur smell is abundant throughout the geyser basins and hot spring/caldron areas of the park. Nearly all of the pools of liquid in these photos would dissolve you instantly were you unfortunate enough to stumble into them.

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American Northwest Trip, 2017: Mammoth, Yellowstone

These photos are from the town of Mammoth in Northern Yellowstone, where I stopped for dinner shortly after entering the park. The main attraction here is the hot springs. I didn’t have time to visit the springs but I took a few photos of them from a distance.

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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.

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American Northwest Trip, 2017: The Movie

This compilation of the videos I shot on my trip last summer includes footage of Mount Hood, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Devils Tower, and drives through Shoeshone and Bighorn national forests, Spearfish Canyon, and Custer State Park. I sped up the driving videos for effect and time—I wasn’t really driving that fast. 🙂

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