Grand Prismatic Spring

Continuing with the story of our roadtrip to Yellowstone last month, after leaving Fountain Paint Pot we next came to a feature I was really anticipating: Grand Prismatic Spring.

I'm not going to say too much about this feature today as I think the photos speak for themselves.


I knew this was going to be a fun stop as soon as we arrived and saw the colorful "falls" -- you have to climb stairs to get from the parking lot to the actual attraction:

It was probably about 50ºF (10ºC) outside by this time of the morning -- getting warmer, but still chilly enough that the steam was really emphasized in places. This must be a nice, comfortable river in the winter -- the water emerges from the ground at almost 200ºF (93ºC)!

The water running into the Firehole river was coming from the Excelsior Geyser Crater:

From what I remember reading, this geyser erupted so forcefully in the past that it blew itself apart, and now is almost always just an active hotspring instead of a geyser:

It still pumps out over 4,000 gallons of water every minute. I wonder how they measure that?

A bit of color here...

...but that's just a hint at what is about to come as you move farther down the walkway.

The main pool... it's spectacular, and quite large!

A bit steamy this morning though, hiding much of the intense blue of the water:

I took so many photos of the bacterial mats in the surrounding runoff pools, as there's such an array of colors: reds, oranges, browns especially, but mixing in so many fascinating ways!

After finally tearing myself away from this site, there are two smaller pools farther along the walkway:

I can't remember if this was the Opal pool or the Turquoise pool (I'm leaning toward "Opal"), but it was almost as beautiful as the main pool -- perhaps not quite as colorful:

Of course it wasn't obscured by steam, which raised my opinion of it (from a photographer's point of view).

Finish up with a couple of panoramas? Click to enlarge (or r-click and "open in new window")

Grand Prismatic Spring: what an inspiring spot!

Tomorrow I'll feature all of the textures that I saw here (and at the previous stop). So much beauty!


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Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (September 10, 2013 at 9:48 AM)  

My favorite spot in Yellowstone. I'm so glad you took these photos. The last one is particularly stunning.

botanied  – (September 10, 2013 at 3:36 PM)  

This was really a beautiful place. I just wish there was some kind of an observation deck of some sorts that would enable a top-view of the grand prismatic spring as we see in some photographs. That would be so amazing.

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