Thursday, January 19, 2012

Yellowstone National Park thermal area photos

As mentioned in the Beryl Springs post, the Yellowstone National Park thermal area is dangerous ground. When we visited I found out that the entire park sits on a massive geothermal site. Everyone associates Old Faithful with Yellowstone.

Yellowstone Photo
Gayle Crabtree 2009
It turns out Old Faithful is only one of the 200 geysers found here. Together, the geysers make up more than 2/3 of the world's collection. This fact, combined with the rich plant and animal life that are found, help here make Yellowstone National Park the world's most diverse site.

The geysers exist because of volcanic faulting. Boardwalks lead visitors safely through the more stable thermal areas. The crusts that look stable are really inches from boiling water. It is important to stay on the paths at Yellowstone. Straying can put you on risky, unstable ground.

Mammoth Terrace sign
Gayle Crabtree 2009

To me, part of the park simulates the moon (or at least what I think that the moon may look like). These photos were shot in color on a fully sunny summer day.

Man at Yellowstone
Gayle Crabtree 2009

These photos are from a lesser known part of Yellowstone National Park that includes the general Beryl Spring area and Mammoth Hot Spring terraces.

Click 'read more' underneath this photo. The link will take you to the rest of the article and show you more photographs.

Yellowstone flowers
Gayle Crabtree 2009
 Few flowers survive in this hot, dangerous part of Yellowstone. The  ones in this photo are part of a handful that I saw in this area.

Prospect Spring sign
Gayle Crabtree 2009
 No one knows why Prospect Spring received its name. We do know that it is part of the upper Mammoth Hot Spring terraces.

Yellowstone NP
Gayle Crabtree 2009
The diversity in this park is simply incredible. Here is another shot that reminds me of a moon landscape.

Yellowstone NP
Gayle Crabtree 2009
Orange Spring Mound is another unique formation. The orange stands in stark contrast to the almost colorlessness of the photo. Only the sign seems to stand out as much.

The streaks are created by a combination of algae and bacteria. It's probably not a place where you want the kids to climb. I was told that the color intensity can change seasonally and is based on the amount of sunshine and other factor.

To me, this area is one of the more intriguing in Yellowstone National Park. The entire park is worth a visit. Families, couples and groups of friends won't have any trouble finding something to do or look at that they love.

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