The Yellowstone map is in the shape of an 8 and all the hot springs and geysers are conveniently placed one after the other on one side of the loop. We started from the West Thumb Basin and went up to the Mammoth Hot Springs. Needless to say that this is not a one day activity. We had 3 days. The main stop points that we made were :
- West Thumb basin
- Upper geyser basin
- Midway geyser basin
- Lower geyser basin
- Norris geyser basis
- Mammoth hot springs
Each of these have multiple hot springs and geysers. All of them are a must see. All of them facilitate a well maintained boardwalk and most of them emit a heavenly smell of hydrogen sulphide gas ( rotten eggs ) !! Haha !! But the jewels on the crown are
1. The Mammoth Hot Springs flaunting its incredible terrain of limestone deposits formed by precipitation of calcium carbonate. Be prepared to climb a whole lot of stairs here.
2. The Biscuits and Sand Basin in the Upper Geyser Basin boasting vivid coloured hot springs. Simply loved the ones here.
3. The old faithful geyser ( Upper Geyser Basin ) aptly named as it erupts at a regular interval of 90 mins without fail. The old faithful visitor centre has the timing displayed for the next eruption. We were lucky enough to see it erupt twice in 2 days without a wait of 90 mins. Both the times we had to wait for around 5 mins only before the eruption. That’s called perfect timing coupled with some ultimate luck!!
4. Last but not the least, my favourite and most impressive of all, the king of all hot springs – The Grand Prismatic in the Midway Geyser Basin.
Sometimes words fall short to describe some of the wonders of nature. The Grand Prismatic is one such mesmerising creation of nature. It is recommended to go in the early morning hours when it is not significantly crowded and the light is perfect to click some great pictures. The centre of the hot spring which has the maximum temperature has crystal clear blue water and the temperature is so high that no microorganisms can exist there. The spectacular, striking colours on the sides are due to the various types of heat loving bacteria which form as the temperature of the water starts cooling down as it flows towards the edge. We went in July 2016 when all the trails leading to the hills from where one could get a birds eye view of the Grand Prismatic were closed down. But the early morning hours aided us with some great views and photo opportunities of the hot springs even from the boardwalk. Having said that I read that they are planning to build an official trail to get an aerial view of the hot spring and I am so envious of those of you who will get to cherish that view. Aerial view or not walking around the boardwalk of the Grand Prismatic was a moment of awe and a dream come true. Walk the full trail at least twice or even more if you can.
5. Norris geyser basin considered to be the hottest and one of the most intriguing geyser basins by scientists.
Other points of interest will be Yellowstone canyon and the artist point. Keep your eyes open for wild life at all times. We were a little disappointed not to spot any bears in our Yellowstone trip but we saw a few of them in Alberta and Juneau. So that was some consolation.
Related Yellowstone National Park