Yellowstone’s Geyser Country Day 1 – Old Faithful and friends

Approaching Geyser Country
Approaching Geyser Country
Our last two days in Yellowstone were spent exploring Geyser Country, the area south of Madison Junction to Old Faithful. If you thought the sights I have already shown you were spectacular – well, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

On the first day, we drove to the southern end – Upper Geyser Basin, home to Old Faithful and about 180 other geysers, plus a variety of hot springs. The first port of call should always be the Visitor Centre where you can pick up predicted times of eruption. Although not the biggest (up to 180 feet) or the most predictable geyser in the park, Old Faithful is the most frequent – every 90 minutes or so. We observed it twice – the first time, just after we arrived, from the boardwalk.

The second time, we climbed Observation Hill behind the geyser to look down on it and I think this was better. The first picture below shows the crowds patiently waiting, and how nondescript Old Faithful looks before spouting.

However, Upper Geyser Basin has so much more to it than Old Faithful. We watched our first eruption at 1030 and didn’t leave till 1600. There’s the park architecture to start with – lots of modern stuff which you can see above, but also Old Faithful Inn (1903) and Old Faithful Lodge (1928) which are still in service.

Most of the geysers and springs, such as this one, the name of which I can’t remember, line the Firehole River:

Firehole River at Upper Geyser Basin
Firehole River at Upper Geyser Basin
And there were so many! Once again, I’m struggling to cut down to a reasonable number of pictures.

Giant Geyser
Giant Geyser

Blue Star Spring
Blue Star Spring

Anemone Geyser
Anemone Geyser

Crested Pool
Crested Pool

Belgian Pool
Belgian Pool

Chromatic Pool
Chromatic Pool

Morning Glory Pool
Morning Glory Pool

Daisy Geyser
Daisy Geyser
Daisy Geyser (above) wasn’t as big as Old Faithful but it was a bit off the main path and very few other people were there when it erupted so we probably enjoyed it more. The gallery below shows Grotto Geyser, another favourite, in various stages of agitation. It teased by spouting water from different orifices in turn followed by a finale of spurting everywhere! We thought that was more entertaining than Old Faithful shooting straight up in the air.

Do we look exhausted?

Maybe not yet, but after 5 and a half hours we were certainly footsore. However, we stopped off at two smaller basins on the way back. First, Black Sand Basin.

Then Biscuit Basin.

By this time, we really were exhausted. However, the next day we were back to complete our tour of Geyser Country – and saw what I think was the most beautiful sight of our whole trip.

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60 thoughts on “Yellowstone’s Geyser Country Day 1 – Old Faithful and friends

  1. Jemima Pett December 5, 2016 / 10:46

    I never did get to Yellowstone, although I nipped into Estes Park for a couple of days when I was in that area. After visiting Rotorua, NZ, though, I doubt whether I’d be as impressed: most of my photos of there would pass for Yellowstone, so I dare say vice versa applies.
    Loving your journeying πŸ™‚

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    • Anabel Marsh December 5, 2016 / 17:37

      Possibly, though I think Yellowstone has the largest concentration in the world. I haven’t been to NZ so can’t compare either! We went to Estes Park near the end of our trip but it’ll be a while before I get round to blogging about that.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Denzil December 5, 2016 / 11:31

    Very interesting Anabel, I didn’t know there were so many. Are these all hot? I read a couple of weeks ago of a guy who went swimming in a hot spring in the States and burnt himself to death! Or are hot springs different from geysers? I wonder why the Belgian Pool was so named?

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    • Anabel Marsh December 5, 2016 / 17:42

      Ha ha – put the Belgian Pool in especially for you! I don’t know the history of the name I’m afraid. Yes, they are all hot and acidic. The guy you mention, if it’s the same one we heard about, left the boardwalk and fell in accidentally. By the next day he had more or less disappeared 😦 so the springs are not to be messed with!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Heyjude December 5, 2016 / 12:38

    Some amazing ones here Anabel, colours and names. You seem to have done plenty of walking!
    I think it is the Grand Prismatic Springs where you can climb a hill just off the Fairy Falls trail, behind the Midway Geyser Basin and get the most amazing view! Maybe this is where you are taking us to next time… (I haven’t been, but I have a contact on Flickr who has and she got the most amazing views from above).

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    • Anabel Marsh December 5, 2016 / 18:07

      Yes, that is Grand Prismatic Spring and yes we will be going there in the next post! I’ve seen pictures from above too but we didn’t do the hike. Too hot and tired by then I’m afraid.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Heyjude December 5, 2016 / 19:35

        Well I’m sure the photos will be amazing from the boardwalk.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor December 5, 2016 / 13:23

    The landscape is so surreal! I especially like the photos of the Crested Pool and the Belgian Pool. They look like they were taken on another planet.

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    • Anabel Marsh December 5, 2016 / 17:43

      Yes, the blue in them is unbelievably, well, blue! It is otherworldly.

      Like

  5. claudiabookwright December 5, 2016 / 13:33

    Love all the photos. Don’t think you have to cut down on them for us!

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    • Anabel Marsh December 5, 2016 / 17:44

      Thank you! I never thought I’d get fed up with them, but they are starting to all look the same to me. One more Yellowstone post then I won’t look at them for ages till I can appreciate them again.

      Like

  6. nomad, interrupted December 5, 2016 / 13:52

    Your geyser photos are fabulous and you did a great job of keeping track of the names of each one. They’re so photogenic. I’m sure it was wonderful to marvel at them all, even if you were exhausted by the end. In my book, that’s a good kind of exhaustion! πŸ™‚

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    • Anabel Marsh December 5, 2016 / 17:46

      Thanks! Keeping hold of the trail map helped and if I couldn’t identify something – well that helped me decide which ones to leave out…..

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Suzanne et Pierre December 5, 2016 / 14:37

    We did the same tour of the area and I am glad that you explored further afield than the Old Faithful. We also found that the area behind the famous geyser is much more interesting and it is also often very quiet as bus load of tourists only arrive for the scheduled eruption and then get back into their bus to go see something else. They truly don’t know all of the beauty they are missing. Nice pics. (Suzanne)

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    • Anabel Marsh December 5, 2016 / 17:49

      Thanks Suzanne! I find that’s true of a lot of places – walk just half a mile from the car park and you lose the crowds.

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      • Suzanne et Pierre December 5, 2016 / 17:53

        You are indeed so right. I am not certain I understand why though. Most people want to say they are explorers but then they only stick to the obvious sights and neglect to dive deeper…strange world…

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Liesbet December 5, 2016 / 15:09

    Wow. Again. I sure love all the colors. How do you remember all the names of the geysers, basins and pools? Do you take a photo of the signs in front of them? A Belgian pool, huh? Interesting. And, how many steps did you do that day? πŸ™‚

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    • Anabel Marsh December 5, 2016 / 17:55

      I went back to look – just over 25000 steps! I don’t know why the Belgian Pool is so called: specially for you! Well, don’t look too far above, I said that to Denzil too πŸ˜‰ I kept all the trail maps which helps with identification and sometimes we also photographed the signs. If I don’t know what it is I tend to leave it out!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. TanGental December 5, 2016 / 15:09

    your pictures are fantastic; ours never came out as well – though they were pre-digital from memory – loved the emerald and opalescent pools and the geysers were great too. Having done both Rotorua and Yellowstone there really is no comparison (despite what was said earlier) Yellowstone is far more impressive.

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    • Anabel Marsh December 5, 2016 / 17:57

      Thanks Geoff! Pre-digital photos are never the same when you look back, especially if they fade. Technology has certainly moved on.

      Liked by 1 person

      • TanGental December 5, 2016 / 23:07

        Gosh yes. My phone takes amazing pictures these days

        Like

  10. Pit December 5, 2016 / 15:43

    It’s a magnificent area, full of natural wonders, isn’t it?

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  11. Birgit December 5, 2016 / 17:13

    I always wanted to go to this park. I love your pics and would love to see the other geysers. I wonder how deep they are? The lodges look nice and rustic as well to stay in

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  12. Su Leslie December 5, 2016 / 17:50

    Fabulous photos. We’ve just spent the weekend in Rotorua — which does have some pretty spectacular geothermal activity — and now the Big T is getting keen on visiting Yellowstone!

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    • Anabel Marsh December 5, 2016 / 18:00

      Oh good, keep persuading him! Show him my posts, I won’t charge commission πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  13. hilarymb December 5, 2016 / 17:56

    Hi Anabel – what wonderful names for the different geysers … that would amuse me! You certainly toured around (on your feet – yes tired ones … ) and saw lots and probably more than most … lovely photos – cheers Hilary

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    • Anabel Marsh December 5, 2016 / 18:01

      Thanks Hilary! We do like to get as much as we can out of an area – we might never be back that way.

      Like

  14. the eternal traveller December 5, 2016 / 20:49

    I totally understand your difficulty in selecting which photos to share. I love my digital camera and the fact that I can just keep taking photos. You’ve done well with your choices Anabel. These are beautiful.

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  15. clicksclan December 5, 2016 / 21:04

    It looks incredible. I especially like the before and after photo of the geyser with the people in the background. It gives such a sense of the scale of the thing.

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  16. Silvia Writes December 5, 2016 / 23:54

    Incredible. Nothing like the majesty of nature. Thank you, Anabel. Very much enjoyed the tour.

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  17. Blue Sky Scotland December 6, 2016 / 01:05

    I never realized they were so extensive, beautiful, or had such a wonderful mix of colours. So many American landscapes are never covered properly by TV programmes here it seems. I’m with you on that one as I’ve always been disappointed with my photographs taken years ago that failed to capture holidays properly. Now at last cameras can replicate with reasonable accuracy the reality of what the eye can see on trips outdoors. Nice photographs.. .

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh December 6, 2016 / 08:10

      Thanks! I thought I knew what to expect but was also astonished at how much there was and how varied.

      Like

  18. lisadorenfest December 6, 2016 / 05:20

    OMG, what a visual delight. I said WOW several times as I made my way through this post. Superb!

    Like

  19. Sarah Ferguson and Choppy December 6, 2016 / 16:11

    I have so many good memories of these places! And there’s my Anemone!

    As for best place to watch Old Faithful, I’m partial the the deck at Old Faithful Inn. Have a cocktail, watch a geyser. Life doesn’t get much better than that!

    Like

  20. Marcia Strykowski December 8, 2016 / 21:29

    That is a lot of geysers, some quite beautiful. Must have been amazing to witness in person!

    Like

  21. BeckyB December 9, 2016 / 18:22

    Wow!!! I just love the colours of all the pools, and I’m with you I’d be spending more time with the other geysers too.

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  22. K H December 9, 2016 / 23:22

    Yellowstone and its beauty. Most beautiful!

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    • Anabel Marsh December 10, 2016 / 08:01

      I know! It blew us away. (Not literally, thankfully – we didn’t get that close to the vents!)

      Liked by 1 person

  23. dconnollyislandgmailcom December 10, 2016 / 01:51

    I had been looking forward to this post, Anabel. Once again, you did not disappoint. I love the photos and your descriptions. Makes my feet start itching again!
    I look forward to hearing more about the Grand Prismatic Spring!

    Like

  24. Peta Kaplan December 10, 2016 / 04:32

    Oh my… these photos are actually unbelievable!! I had to look at these scenes for quite some time. Just amazing sights. Wow. I can only begin to imagine how that might look actually being right there. The intense colors of the pools and the huge jets of steam are just fantastic. Thanks for sharing this amazing place.
    Peta

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh December 10, 2016 / 08:07

      Thank you Peta – it really is an amazing place. I can still hardly believe it when I look at the pictures, even though I was there!

      Like

  25. inesephoto December 10, 2016 / 23:10

    Majestic! And the colors are stunning. Enjoyed your post!

    Like

  26. jazzfeathers January 1, 2017 / 19:25

    Absolutely fantastic! I think geysers are one of those things you only understand whan you experience it. So I’m very grateful that you share your journey and your photos but I’m sure that I can’t even start to understand what that experience truly is.
    I hope one day I’ll be able to visit Yellowstone myself πŸ™‚

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh January 1, 2017 / 20:19

      Yes, eve seeing some of these places with my own eyes I find them hard to believe!

      Like

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