Friday, July 18, 2008

Trail Journal: Midway & Upper Geyser Basins

Trail: Midway Geyser Basin, Mudpots, Upper Geyser Basin
Date: July 13, 2008
Distance: maybe around 2 miles?
Time: about 4 hours, including driving from trail to trail

These are three areas between Old Faithful & Madison Junction, which can all be reached off of the main loop road. Since they are geyser basins, the trail is mostly wood boardwalks. I've shown you pictures of geysers before, so let's go straight to the good stuff.

The colors in the first two areas are absolutely amazing. Thanks, bacteria! In this picture alone I see pink, orange, yellow, purple, blue, & green - very cool, huh?

There were more pools of the florescent blue type:

And stark trees against the also blue sky:

But this, this was amazing: the Grand Prismatic Spring. It's difficult to capture it from the ground, but this is the general idea.

From the air, however, you get the full effect. All I can say is WOW. (I didn't take this picture obviously.)

From there we drove up to the Old Faithful area. If you take the time to walk down beyond the most famous geyser, there are plenty more to see. At this point I was a little thermo-featured out, so we didn't go too far. One of the more interesting features in this area is Castle Geyser, which was gurgling when we saw it. Many of the geysers in this area are predictable, so if you plan it right (which we didn't) you can see some really impressive eruptions.

*As always, and in these areas in particular, be prepared for lots and lots of people. Including men who think its OK to walk around without their shirts on. And people who stage photo shoots of their dogs.

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