There’s More to Midway Geyser Basin
Leaving Midway Geyser Basin had me thinking. Have you ever watched the Nat. Geo program about Winter in Yellowstone? There’s a scene with Bison walking toward a hot spring while clouds of steam drift across the landscape. The narrator says animals migrate to the hot springs for warmth. I can say I experienced that first hand. It might not have been 25 below but the afternoon breeze had a bite to it. When I was surrounded by the steam from the hot springs I was quite comfortable. When the wind shifted and I stepped out of the clouds it was brisk. You could definitely feel the difference.
More Than Just Grand Prismatic Spring
Even though Midway Geyser Basin is dominated by two very large features, the 200-by-300-foot-wide Excelsior Geyser and the 370-foot-wide and 121-foot-deep Grand Prismatic Spring, there are other smaller thermal features along the boardwalk. In some respects, they are easier to appreciate because they are smaller.
Turquoise and Opal
Two of the other named pools along the board walk are Turquoise and Opal. Both of these steaming pools are well named and due to their smaller size easy to view. The Grand Prismatic Spring is so large that much of it is obscured by it’s steam cloud when you try to view it from the board walk. It’s nice to be able to see all of the smaller pools. The boardwalk takes you right past them for a good close up.
The run off from these steaming thermal features leaves behind streaks of colored minerals. Added to the minerals are the various algae and bacteria that thrive in these hot springs. The result is a a mist covered landscape of colorful bands of algae and travertine terraces surrounded by wavy run off. Enchanting and otherworldly it looks like a setting out of a fantasy novel.