Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Old Faithful
Who knew there was a Grand Canyon in Yellowstone? And it is breathtaking. The second photo from the left on bottom row in this series is commonly called Artist’s Point and I think it is obvious as to why. The cliffs are actually rusting from exposure to water. They are sandstone and not sulphur as you would think given the color. There are two trails, both very long, so wear good walking shoes. One goes to the top of Upper Falls and the other is on the other side of the river.
Next we made our way for some lunch at the Visitor’s Center near Old Faithful. About every 90 minutes you can view the geyser’s eruption of steam that starts off as a puff of vapor that can grow too well over 100ft. Wooden bleachers are provided by the park for optimal view and safety. Again, another trail will take you to the top of the hill behind Old Faithful and back around for a different vantage point.
Next up was the mud volcanoes. Smelly and other-worldly are adjectives that come to mind when I try to describe what we saw in this area. It made me think of what Hell might look and smell like, and while interesting to see, not a place I would want to stay at for very long. Here is what Google had to say…
The Mud Volcano thermal area is an area of muddy hot springs and fumaroles located near one of the Yellowstone Volcano’s vents. … The Sulphur Cauldron, one of the most acidic features in the park with a pH of battery acid, is located just 0.2 miles north of the Mud Volcano parking area.” ~Google
Despite the heat and acidic condition, there is life amongst the mud and muck. Scientist have discovered microbes that can actually live in these conditions. They have also found a large lava field of partially molten rock large enough to fill the Grand Canyon many times over.
Pictured below are some of the mud volcano as well as thermal pools around Black Sand Basin.
At the end of the day, we drove around looking for bears and other animals and were rewarded by seeing a few Elk as well as some beautiful scenery.