There's still time to see Yogi and Booboo

Mystic of Holyhead (successor to Lynn Rival)
Rachel and Paul Chandler
Tue 8 Oct 2019 21:26
We rounded off our second day in the park with some time in the Mammoth Hot Springs area.  Apart from the colourful travertine terraces, this is also a good place to view elk which seem to overcome their natural shyness to enjoy the grazing around the various buildings much to the delight of tourists (some of whom get too close and end up injured). 

Travertine terraces - limestone deposited by hot carbonic acid rising through the earth

A bull elk and family, not far from the visitor centre

There was more snow overnight and the road to Mount Washburn was now closed for the season.  Our strategy of visiting late in the season to avoid the crowds was working - just.  On our third day we drove south to explore the western side of the park, passing through the Norris Geyser Basin.

Snowy driving

A fumerole helping to keep the area warm

A hot pool in the Norris Geyser Basin

Our progress that day was slow because of road works as well as the weather and we didn't get far.  Despite the warmth from the hot springs compacted snow on the walkways made it difficult to walk around safely.  Better weather was forecast for tomorrow - our last day in Yellowstone NP.

The next day, when we packed up and drove from north to south through the extent of the Park, was brilliant.  Being a Sunday there were no roadworks!  The weather was clearer and we stopped at the Firehole river to see the bison enjoying much warmer grazing than those in the Lamar Valley.  We asked a ranger at the information center about geyser eruptions.  We were not keen on going to the Old Faithful area with its crowds - this was the busiest area, close to the main (west) entrance to the park.  He suggested we visit the Lower Basin to check out the - off the beaten (by coaches) track - Great Fountain geyser.  As we approached we could see a few people (geyser geezers!) sitting on benches and a sign predicting an eruption within 20 minutes.  We joined them, not at all sure what to expect.  20 minutes later it started seriously bubbling and then spouting furiously for at least 5 minutes.  Needless to say we were delighted.

Bison grazing in West yellowstone

Great Fountain geyser - view from the bench at 11:27

Great Fountain geyser - view from the bench at 11:38  (but we didn't capture the best bit!)

More bison

Continuing south we stopped at West Thumb where there are hot springs on the shore of Yellowstone Lake.  It's a beautiful spot in the moments between the coachloads.

A hot pool at West Thumb, adjacent to Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone Lake