Sunday, July 12, 2015

Old Faithful, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park

Memories are sometimes made when everything does not go perfectly. On Thursday, although the skies were a bit overcast, we drove over to see the Old Faithful geyser. By the time we got to the visitors center, it was raining intermittently. We checked the predicted eruption times (plus or minus 10 minutes) that are posted by the rangers in the Visitors Center. It was not raining at the beginning of this window, so armed with an umbrella we joined the growing crowd on the viewing benches. 

About 1/4 of the viewing benches at the Old Faithful Geyser

Shortly after we sat down it started to rain. No, it started to pour! We asked each other: "why, when we have three more weeks at the park, are we sitting in a driving rain waiting for the eruption of a geyser we knew erupts several times each day?" We had no good answer, but we stayed and the eruption eventually happened, after we started to call it "Old Unfaithful".

Unfortunately, the wind was blowing the wrong direction for us to have a good view. 

It was a day we will probably never forget. At least neither of us caught a cold!

One thing I can say about Yellowstone National Park is that it is BIG. Even if one stays in a park campground, many of the various features are miles apart. 

On Saturday, the weather forecast for the Mammoth Hot Springs area in the northwest corner of the park looked a little better than that for the middle or southern areas.  That being a 20% chance of showers vs. 40% chance of rain, so we headed in that direction.

The relatively long drive, which included a five mile stretch of unpaved construction with one-way traffic and delays, was well worth the opportunity to see the remarkable hydrothermal features found there. We took a lot of pictures, and it was very hard to cull them down to our favorite few:

I usually write about the pictures I post, but these speak for themselves.

On the drive back we stopped at this hot pool. There was a pull out and parking lot, but no other thermals around. 

It is an excellent example of a breakout hot spring. The water flows down a hill and into the river on the other side of the road.

Finally, I probably shouldn't waste band width on this picture, but it does show that after 6:30 PM it is possible to find a place to park!

Considering it doesn't get dark until close to 10 pm, going after dinner might be a good idea.


  1. I saw Old Faithful & the Mammoth Hot Springs back in May of 1992 & your great photos of the Hot Springs area took me right back there. I was impressed with the big old Lodge & I do remember seeing a lot of old burnt black trees in Yellowstone at that time. Yes it is totally a huge park.

  2. By the end of the month the bison rutting season should begin. Now there's something to see!

    I'm not sure how some people can tour Yellowstone in only a day or two and say they've seen everything.

  3. Great shots of the terraces! I love the dead tree photo! There's one particular dead tree that I take a photo of each time we visit to compare it's end of glory. I love the silver and gray tones of the wood.

    Those stretches of down to dirt construction are killers! They certainly add to the time. My photography friend there said today that the bison rut has started already so be prepared!!

  4. Great shots, Merikay! It will be good to see it for ourselves.

  5. It's been a few years since we've been there and your photos make me want to see it all again. Very Nice!

  6. You picked some great pictures to post. With the speed limits and construction, getting anywhere in the park is difficult - and then you have to throw in time for the animal stops.

  7. I am enjoying your Yellowstone trip. Hubby worked there in 2013 and we loved being able to take our time as we explored the park. Even had a young grizzly visit our RV...I was outside with the dogs...scary!

  8. Great pics, I especially like the first dead, gray tree :-) Having multiple weather forecasts certainly says it's a big place - glad you found one that you could enjoy outdoors!

  9. Great photos! Another must see on my list!


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