Yellowstone Geysers

The Yellowstone geysers are one of the national park’s most famous features, and many visitors come specifically to visit these amazing geothermal features where hot water jets into the air, in some cases hundreds of feet high. The geysers in Yellowstone National Park constitute the greatest concentration of geysers in the world. Among them is the most famous geyser in the world, Old Faithful, located in the Upper Yellowstone Geyser Basin. In addition to Old Faithful, however, there are numerous other geysers in the park that are just as stupendous and well worth a visit, as well as famous hot springs, such as the Grand Prismatic Spring, the largest hot spring in the park.

Old Faithful is the most famous of Yellowstone geysers; it is a cone-shaped geyser that shoots an immense column of steaming hot water into the air, with a volume of 3,700 to 8,400 gallons of water with each eruption. The water jets up between 106 and 185 feet in a glorious stream of steam and water. Old Faithful is so named because of its regularity: It erupts once every 60 to 90 minutes, and you can check the exact time of the next predicted eruption at the visitor's center nearby.

However, don’t ignore the other geysers located around Old Faithful in the Upper Basin; try to plan your walk around the basin to coincide with the next predicted eruption time. There are many other impressive geysers in the immediate area, including the Beehive geyser, if you can catch it erupting. Although the Beehive is sporadic, you can check if the smaller geyser nearby is erupting—this means there is a good chance of Beehive sending a vertical stream of highly pressurized water 200 feet into the air, even higher than Old Faithful.

In the Lower Geyser Basin, you can see the largest area of geothermal features and geysers in Yellowstone National Park. The largest geyser here is the Morning Geyser, but unfortunately its eruptions are rare. The more reliable geysers to see here are the Clepsydra Geyser, which erupts almost constantly, and the nearby Fountain Geyser, which sends bursts of water in all directions into the air. There is more to see in the Lower Basin than the Yellowstone geysers; for instance, you can also watch the Fountain Paint Pots bubbling with soupy mud and visit some beautiful hot springs such as the boiling hot Celestine Pool.

The largest hot spring in Yellowstone National Park can be found in the Midway Geyser Basin. The Grand Prismatic Spring is 370 feet wide and 121 feet deep and is almost boiling hot. This deep-blue pool is particularly beautiful because of the vivid colors that surround its fringe. The jewel-like tones of orange, red, yellow, and green at Grand Prismatic Spring come from heat-loving bacteria that grow around the pool in the mineral-rich water, and the colors change depending on the season and temperature.

There are numerous other geyser basins in the park. The Norris Geyser Basin is one of the most interesting, and it has the hottest geysers in Yellowstone National Park. Unfortunately none of the geysers here are very predictable, but as you walk through the area you will undoubtedly see some of them erupting. Part of the Norris Basin is so hot that no vegetation can grow there, giving the barren landscape the name of Porcelain Basin.

Wherever you go in the park, stick to the designated roads and paths. The terrain here is treacherous, and the crust of the earth is often very thin; in the past, visitors have been severely injured or killed by falling into near-boiling water and mud. Stay safe, and your visit to Yellowstone will be an enjoyable and memorable one.

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