I really wanted to get Riverside in decent light and hopefully with a rainbow. The prediction board said Grand Geyser about 5pm and Riverside around 7pm. With that I had a plan.
I had a couple errands to run so I drove the 32 miles out to West Yellowstone, got some gas and groceries and made it back to the Upper Geyser Basin by about 4pm.
It was warm so very little steam was visible from Castle Geyser's cone but the big clouds above were beautiful.
From where I was at Castle I could see the crowd gathering at Grand and started to work my way in that direction.
I was stopped short by the sky and colors of Crested Pool. The scene seemed idyllic and I made some more images.
Just a little further down the boardwalk is the Firehole River.
I took a little time to capture the bridge, river, and clouds.
Grand Geyser is just up the hill a hundred yards or so.
I got there a little before the geyser erupted and had time to check the light and choose my spot.
Grand actually erupts for several minutes so I wasn't rushed and could move and compose a bunch of photos.
It had been a few years since I last photographed Grand Geyser so I was pretty pleased with the afternoon so far.
As soon as Grand finished I started working my way towards Riverside and got delayed by Grotto and Rocket Geyser erupting.
The sun was just barely making it through the trees and reaching the geyser's cone and steam.
As I was shooting Grotto I realized Riverside was erupting and took off running.
I didn't want to miss Riverside. I hadn't photographed it in good light in years and this was my chance.
During the peak of the eruption if I found just the right angle a beautiful rainbow was visible near the geyser cone.
The eruption lasted longer than I remembered and the sun stayed out from behind the clouds so I was able to capture a lot of rainbow images. I had forgotten just how many cool photos were possible at the Upper Geyser Basin.
I was feeling pretty good about the work I had done as I started walking back towards Old Faithful. I was hoping to get it erupting near sunset.
I stopped to capture Sawmill Geyser on my way.
It's possible to shoot from almost every side of Sawmill so I was able to shoot towards the sun as it erupted as well.
I didn't want to miss a chance at Old Faithful at sunset so I kept on walking.
Sunset came and Old Faithful still hadn't started to erupt. So I made images of steam rising from it's cone as a sun dog formed in a beautiful sunset sky .
I visited with the few other people who had stayed to watch the eruption. After the sun dropped below the horizon it cooled off quickly.
And finally, Old Faithful Geyser lived up to it's name one more time. Shooting super heated water and steam more than 100 feet into the sky.
I stayed for it's entire eruption and wondered what the Park Service would do if the geyser ever stopped going off. The Old Faithful area is highly developed with several hotels, stores, a gas station, a visitor center, and large parking lots to accommodate all of the visitors. All of it is focused on and built around this most famous of geysers. Well, whatever may happen it wasn't today.
Today I had a fun and productive afternoon in a beautiful and unique area of the world's first national park.