Yellowstone National Park Journals

Yellowstone, a Geological Wonder

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A June 2002 trip to Yellowstone National Park by slabeaume

old faithful Photo, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming More Photos
Quote: In this park, you'll see a landscape unlike anything you'll ever see anywhere else!

Yellowstone, a Geological Wonder

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Overview

old faithful Photo, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Quote:
If you would like to take a vacation to a foreign planet, Yellowstone might be a good alternative! The geological attractions here do seem quite alien! Seeing such a wonderland of geysers, hot springs, bubbling and oozing mud pots, brightly colored bacteria mats, colorful rock formations, canyons, rivers, waterfalls, not to mention all the wildlife---bears, buffalos, elk, deer, and fish ---made for a very interesting and wonderful vaction! Yellowstone National Park is America's first National Park. It was established in 1872 and draws over three million visitors yearly. It has five entrances and about 370 miles of paved roadway in it's 2.2 million acres of wilderness. It has about 10,000 the...Read More

Old Faithful Inn

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Hotel

Old Faithful Inn Photo, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Quote:
We rented a premium room. It was rather simple, but nice. It had 2 queen beds, a small table and 2 chairs and a bathroom. No tv, and to try and make a long distance e-mail with our laptop cost $8 for the one try (and it didn't go through). The lobby is huge with 2 balconies around it. On the 2nd level, there's access to a porch for overlooking the upper basin geysers, including Old Faithful. On the porch are many benches, tables, and chairs. There are also several writing desks and lounging chairs along the walls of the balconies. There's even a catwalk on the top of the lodge, but earthquakes have made that unsafe for visitors to assend to now. There are several levels of ac...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 1, 2002

Old Faithful Inn
Old Faithful
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190
(307) 344-7901

Old Faithful Inn Dining Room

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Restaurant

Old Faithful Inn Dining Room Photo, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Quote:
Depending on what time of the day you go will decide whether or not you need reservations. Breakfast is first come, first serve--without much of a wait. Lunch is also first come, first serve. You will most likely need a reservation for dinner. We made ours the night we got there for the next night. Dinner reservations are handled through the reservations office at 307.344.7311 up until April 30, 2002. After April 30, reservations can only be made directly with the Dining Room once they have opened for the season. To contact the Dining Room directly call 307.545.4999. Not only was the dinner excellent (steak for me, pork loin roast for my Dad, and trout for my husband), but the servers were ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 1, 2002

Old Faithful Inn Dining Room

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
307/344-7311

Mud Volcano Area

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Attraction | "Canyon area"

Mud Volcano Area Photo, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Quote:
The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is the primary geologic feature in the Canyon District. It is roughly 20 miles long, measured from the Upper Falls to the Tower Fall area. It's depth is 800 to 1,200 ft.and is 1,500 to 4,000 ft wide. The colorful walls of the canyon are made by the hydrothermal activity on them. It is believed that many years ago, a rhyolite lava flow covered the present canyon area. Under this flow was a thermal area. Steam and gases weakened the rhyolite. Other lava flows blocked rivers until they overflowed and cut through the rhyolite. Then glaciers came and melted, deepening the canyon. The falls were caused by lava flow areas that didn't erode. The Upp...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 8, 2002

Mud Volcano Area

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Fountain Paint Pot area

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Attraction

Fountain Paint Pot area Photo, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Quote:
This is near Firehole Drive and between the upper and lower basins. Along this short walk you will see very good examples of most types of thermal features found in Yellowstone---such as some very pretty hot pools, steaming fumaroles, erupting geysers and probably the best and largest easily accessed mudpots in the park. The amount of acidity in the ground controls how thick a mudpot will be. The more acidic mud disolves the ground into wet clay mud. Precipitation and groundwater levels cause the mudpots to vary from time to time. Chemicals in the mud give it different colors, too. The area is highly active and at least one geyser is usually erupting here at all times. The p...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 8, 2002

Fountain Paint Pot area
lower geyser basin
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Yellowstone lake

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Attraction

Yellowstone lake Photo, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Quote:
Yellowstone Lake is the largest lake at high elevation (i.e., more than 7,000 ft.) in North America with a surface area of 136 square miles. It is a natural lake, situated at 7,733 ft. above sea level. It is roughly 20 miles long and 14 miles wide with 110 miles of shoreline and is frozen nearly half the year. It freezes in late December or early January and thaws in late May or early June. Hot springs and thermal vents do enter the lake bottom, but the average summer temperature of the lake is still 45 degrees. Outboards and rowboats may be rented (first come, first served) from AmFac Parks & Resorts at Bridge Bay Marina on Yellowstone Lake (a short drive from the West Thumb Basin area)....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 8, 2002

Yellowstone lake
in southern Yellowstone park
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Mammoth Hot Springs Trail

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Attraction

Mammoth Hot Springs Trail Photo, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Quote:
The formations at Mammoth Hot Springs are formed differently than the formations in the geyser basins. In this area, the dominant rock is limestone. This area is north of the huge caldera in Yellowstone, but fault zones run to this area and create a network of fractures and fissures where the hot water in this area comes from. The hot water underground mixes with carbon dioxide to make carbonic acid. As this solution comes to the top of the limestone, it dissolves the primary mineral in limestone and deposits it at the surface. These deposits are called travertine and are what makes up the terraces of Mammoth Hot Springs. The best activity at Mammoth is at Minerva Terrace and at Canary Sp...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 7, 2002

Mammoth Hot Springs Trail
by the north entrance to Yellowstone
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Upper Geyser Basin

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Attraction

Upper Geyser Basin Photo, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Quote:
The Upper Geyser Basin is approximately two square miles in area. It contains the largest concentration and nearly one-quarter of all of the geysers in the world. A variety of thermal features exist here: spouting geysers, colorful hot springs, and steaming fumaroles. Only 3 other places in the world have large thermal features such as these (Iceland, New Zealand, and Siberia). Geyser Hill is in the upper geyser basin and just north of Old Faithful. This is a very easy walk from Old Faithful Inn. There are over 40 geysers on geyser hill. Two of these, Giantess and Beehive are among the largest in the world. Old Faithful is in the Upper basin. It is one of 5 predictable geysers...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 7, 2002

Upper Geyser Basin
by Old Faithful Inn
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Black Sand Basin

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Attraction

Black Sand Basin Photo, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Quote:
This is a short drive from Old Faithful Inn (or you can walk to it from geyser hill). We thought this basin had some of the prettiest hot springs in Yellowstone! Black Sand Basin is actually part of the Upper Geyser Basin, but is somewhat isolated from the rest of the basin. It was originally named the Emerald Group by A.C. Peale in 1878. But turn of the century tourists began calling it Black Sand Basin because of the small fragments of black obsidian sand which cover portions of the basin. We actually spent several minutes trying to find this black sand before we noticed the little bit of it by the parking lot! Black Sand Basin contains a small collection of geysers, and colorful...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 7, 2002

Black Sand Basin
Black Sand Basin, WY 82190
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

West Thumb Geyser Basin

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Attraction

West Thumb Geyser Basin Photo, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Quote:
Driving south from Old Faithful Inn, you'll come to the West Thumb Geyser Basin in about 15 miles. The walkways here are only about 1/2 mile long and on an easy grade. The views all along the pathway here are spectacular---geysers, pools, Yellowstone lake, flora! West Thumb Geyser Basin consists of a narrow strip of geysers, hot springs and a few mud pots and is located on the west shore of the "West Thumb" portion of Yellowstone Lake. The lake views add to this very beautiful area. West Thumb is actually a caldera within a larger caldera. If you look closely, you'll even be able to see evidence of hot springs coming up along the lakes edge here. One geyser near the edge use to even be used...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 7, 2002

West Thumb Geyser Basin
by Yellowstone Lake
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Mud Volcano Area

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Attraction

Mud Volcano Area Photo, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Quote:
The sounds and smells are what are so interesting in this area! You'll immediately notice a strong rotten egg like smell as soon as you get out of the car! Further along the trail, you'll be treated to interesting sounds from the belching and fizzling springs and geysers. This is one of the most acidic areas in the park. This makes it different from hot springs and geysers. The hydrogen sulfide gas deep in the earth at Mud Volcano is used by microorganisms and the resulting sulfuric acid then breaks down rock into wet clay mud. The steam and gases cause the volcanic action of the mud here. It was a lot more active in the days of the 1871 Hayden Expedition. There is a very large...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 8, 2002

Mud Volcano Area

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming