Friday, July 18, 2008

Old Faithful & the Upper Geyser Basin

Yellowstone National Park has more geysers than anyplace else in the world. Along with the geysers there are hot springs, heated pools, mud pots, steam vents, and fumaroles. All of the geothermal activity makes Yellowstone a very unique place to visit and a wonderful place to explore.

Located in the Upper Geyser Basin, Old Faithful is the most well known geyser in Yellowstone Park and erupts to a height of over 100 feet every 30 to 120 minutes. Its fame not withstanding, Old Faithful is just one of many beautiful geysers in the Upper Geyser Basin. Castle, Riverside, Grotto, Giant, and Grand Geysers are all located there as well.

The area around Old Faithful is one of the most developed in Yellowstone National Park. Old Faithful Lodge, Snow Lodge, several parking lots, stores, a visitor center, and a gas station are all located near the geyser. Other geyser basins in the park are much less built up and often less crowded.

Whether you'd prefer someplace less developed or not, take the time to walk the boardwalks of the Upper Geyser Basin. Make sure to see Old Faithful erupt and don't leave early. The visitor center posts estimated eruption times for several other nearby geysers. Make a game of it and see how many different geysers you can see erupting.

Yellowstone became the worlds first national park because of the amazing geothermal features located there. More than 135 years after the park was founded the geysers are no less amazing and shouldn't be missed. The sound of steam and super heated water shooting into the air, the colors of the heated pools, the intricate shapes of geyser cones and terraces, and the smell of sulfurous gasses are unforgettable. While visiting Yellowstone make sure to explore the geyser basins, you'll be glad you did.

NP3449- Castle Geyser during the steam phase of an eruption.

NP3020- Riverside Geyser erupts, shooting water over the Firehole River.

NP2993- Grotto Geyser erupting

NP3460- Steam rises from Giant Geyser. Giant Geyser erupts infrequently to heights of 150-250 feet.

NP3478- Grand Geyser erupting to heights of 200 feet.

NP4720- Old Faithful erupting on a beautiful fall morning.


Anonymous said...

Excellent pictures, but the text stating "since the 1959 earthquake it [Giant] only splashes and steams" is not correct. From 1955 through April 28, 2009, Giant had 271 known eruptions. (Giant was dormant from 1955 until 1963 when it had a single eruption. Single eruptions also occurred in 1978, 1982, 1984, 1986, and 1987. 47 eruptions were reported in each of 1997 and 2007.)

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