Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Yellowstone NP (VI). Norris Geyser Basin

The second day in Yellowstone started with rain and chilly weather. I had slept in Indian Creek and planned to go South to visit the main geysers and geothermal areas. So that's what I did.

Between the campground and Norris Geyser Basin, there was an interesting mountain with lots of fumaroles which created quite some noise. The name -> the Roaring Mountain.

Norris Basin is one of the most important geyser concentrations in Yellowstone. It is divided into two basins: Porcelain Basin and Back Basin. Both look very different. Porcelain basin is completely open, without trees, and geysers are quite near to each other. On the other hand, Back Basin is full of trees and you can't get a full panorama of all the geysers at the same time.

This is the view over Porcelain Basin:

It is quite impressive to see all these fumes in that strange colored hills...

Some water streams are very colorful. This is due to bacteria. Depending on the water temperature, different bacteria can live in it. Red bacteria: really hot water. Green bacteria: hot/warm water.

The same applies to larger pools:

The following pictures were taken at Back Basin.

This is Steamboat Geyser. It just finished erupting when I got there! I missed its eruption for a couple minutes!!! I would have to wait several days to see its next eruption... :(

Some more geysers:

Some geysers are actually inside pools of different colors. This one looks blueish.

This one is Echinus Geyser, one of the most famous geysers in Yellowstone. It used to be a very predictable geyser until recently. Now, it is not, and nobody knows when the next eruption will happen. Therefore, less people stop by and wait for it to happen. Its reddish color was cool.

Finally, a red pool ---> very hot water ---> sizzling water!

Geysers are pretty impressive when they erupt, but if you are not lucky, it can be pretty frustrating. I had to wait for a couple hours before I actually saw one going off. After that, I saw other 3 or 4. So do not desperate and stay patient. The experience is pretty rewarding! ;)

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