Tag Archives: Yellowstone National Park

The Big Blue

Yellowstone Lake

The largest body of water in the Park, sits at 7,732 feet above sea level and the deepest spot in the lake is at least 390 feet.

Interesting Fact #1:  Yellowstone Lake is the largest freshwater lake above 7,000 feet in North America.

I had a question I did not get to ask a Ranger while in the Park. Freshwater??? The West Thumb Geyser Basin sits along the southwest area of the lake. Does this not affect the freshness of the water in the lake? There are geysers, fumaroles and hot springs right alongside as well as IN the lake.

Interesting Fact #2:  There is a “bulge” about 2,000 feet long and 100 feet high under a section of the lake, where there are faults, hot springs and small craters.

Interesting Fact #3:  Hayden Valley was a former lake bed; once filled by an arm of the Yellowstone Lake.

Did you know there is an Invasion going on in Yellowstone Lake? The Lake Trout are TAKING OVER the Cutthroat Trout and IT IS NOT A GOOD THING!

(Photos by RSheridan)

The Lake Hotel

Just Imagine staying in this Grand Lady of the Lake back in the late 19th and early 20th century. The Lap of Luxury! Love the Buttery Yellow Color too!

The Naturalist on our Boat Tour stated that the cabins behind the Lake Hotel were created to house the ALL female wait staff back in the day. The Naturalist also pointed out the Lake Ranger Station, which houses the jail and has a colony of bats.

(Photo by RSheridan)

The Lake Lodge

I enjoyed the rustic look of the Lake Lodge and its porch had many rockers to kick back and relax. Just stare off into the Lake!

Basically the Lake Lodge exists because the park needed a middle ground for lodging with the introduction of the automobile. You have the Luxurious Lake Hotel or the Tent Camps to choose from when visiting the Park. The Lodge was created; one of four in the Park!

(Photo by RSheridan)

Yellowstone Lake Scenic Boat Tour

Highly Recommend doing if you have the time. Our driver was a hoot and having a Naturalist on board was an added BONUS. Basically the cruise goes out from the Bridge Bay Marina to Stephenson Island (be on the lookout for the bones of the boat that sank in the 1920s) and then back to the marina. We did not see any osprey (according to the Naturalist there are few Osprey nests this year) and saw one Bald Eagle. You get to know the history and off beat lore of the lake on this tour.

Reservations are recommended and there are several departure times available. Do not expect to show up and get a seat. Life jackets are provided on the boat. You might want to have an extra layer with you. Arrive 15 minutes early to get on the boat. Then just sit back, hang on and have fun!

(Photos by RSheridan)



Stink, Stank, Stunk – Part 2

Mud Volcano Area

Check Out – Stink, Stank, Stunk – Part 1

One Big Mud Hot Tub! (Photos by RSheridan)

STAY on the Boardwalk Please!!!

Dragon’s Mouth Spring

I really enjoyed this Spring and it truly looked like a dragon was in there breathing out SMOKE!

(Photos by RSheridan)

Black Dragon’s Caldron

Like a Big, Bubbling Hole Straight to You Know Where! (Photos by RSheridan)

Sour Lake

Do I need to say anymore?!? No Swimming!

(Photo by RSheridan)

This Place Certainly Had Its Own Unique Sounds and Smells!

Stink, Stank, Stunk – Part 1

Standing On a Volcano

Check Out – Stink, Stank, Stunk – Part 2

(Photos by RSheridan)

Sulphur Caldron

I could SMELL Sulphur Caldron before I SAW it! I was in Hayden Valley when I first caught a whiff.

Steaming Sweetness – NOT!!!

Just FOUL!

How can something so ACIDIC and FOUL teem with LIFE!

Think Rotten Eggs and Perm Solution – Ewww!

It STINKED, It STANKED & It Certainly STUNK!!!

Mysteries of the Deep

The Geothermal of Yellowstone

The Water is Literally BOILING – Nutso!

(Photos by RSheridan)

Nymph Lake

Beautiful Lake, but SOMETHING is LURKING Above It!

IT IS – A Boiling Cauldron Above Nymph Lake!

Just BOILING & the NOISE is almost Deafening!

A True Mystery Among Many in Yellowstone!


Hot Springs

The Mammoth Hot Springs area is one unique place to explore! Hot springs galore and a whole lot of travertine; limestone that is!

Interesting Facts:  The hot water that feeds Mammoth Hot Springs comes from the Norris Geyser Basin by traveling underground via a fault line. The algae living in these warm pools have tinted the travertine shades of brown, orange, red, and green.

(Photo by RSheridan)

Lower Terrace

Liberty Cap – Stands at 37 feet (Photo by RSheridan)

The Cleopatra Terrace (Photo by RSheridan)

View of Cleopatra Terrace from the Upper Terraces (Photo by RSheridan)

Minerva Terrace (Photo by RSheridan)

Random Shots

(Photos by RSheridan)

Upper Terrace

Crust Anyone? (Photos by RSheridan)

Orange Spring Mound (Photo by RSheridan)

Closer View (Photo by RSheridan)

Close Up (Photo by RSheridan)

Random Shots

Calcium Carbonate Overload

(Photos by RSheridan)

Mammoth Hot Springs Downtown

Remember to Check Out the Albright Visitor Center.

Outside the Post Office (Photo by RSheridan)

Did you know there was a Fort Yellowstone? Fort Yellowstone was the former U.S. Army post that was in charge of administration and protection of the Park from 1886 to 1916. The Army turned the Fort over to the National Park Service in 1918. The National Park Service still uses the facilities of Fort Yellowstone (see picture below of the Engineer Office). The Army helped define how the national parks were to be managed by developing regulations on conservation. A majority of those policies developed by the Army were later adopted by the National Park Service.

Interesting Fact #1:  The hats worn by National Park Service Rangers were adopted from the hats originally used by the Army as part of their uniforms.

Interesting Fact #2:  The Mammoth Hotel and Fort Yellowstone are built on the Hotel Terrace.

(Photo by RSheridan)

Engineer Office – Love this Building! (Photos by RSheridan)

What a Interesting Place to Explore & Steeped in History!


Geyser Basin Area

The Norris Geyser Basin is the hottest geyser basin in the park. I DO NOT recommend an afternoon exploration when it is hitting the high 80s and low 90s in this area; been there done that!

(Photo by RSheridan)

1st Thought – WOW!!!

(Photo by RSheridan)

2nd Thought – MORPHED to Another Land or What?!?

(Photo by RSheridan)


(Photos by RSheridan)


Steamboat Geyser (Photos by RSheridan)

Interesting Fact:  Steamboat Geyser is the tallest active geyser in the world. Steamboat Geyser erupts over 300 feet into the air.

Take in the Ranger-led talk at Steamboat Geyser to learn more about Steamboat Geyser.



One HOT Tub – Do Not Enter Though! (Photos by RSheridan)


Emerald Spring (Photos by RSheridan)

The color of Emerald Spring is created by the sunlight filtering through the water. Here’s the kicker though! The color lures you in, then you feel the heat coming off the spring and then WHAM! nasty sulpher stink (makes you want to gag and run away).

Mud Pot

Get Your Spa On, NOT! (Photo by RSheridan)

Some Hot, Angry Geysers in this Basin!

Old Faithful – Part 1

Geysers Galore!

Check Out – Old Faithful – Part 2

1st Stop – Old Faithful

Just the Facts!

  • Average Interval between Eruptions is about 93 minutes
  • Eruptions last  1 1/2 to 5 minutes
  • Old Faithful Expels 3,700 to 8,400 gallons of boiling water
  • Old Faithful reaches a height of 106 to 184 feet

(Photos by RSheridan)

2nd Stop – Watching Old Faithful Erupt

(Photos by RSheridan)

3rd Stop – Checking Out the Geyser Basin

You might want to consider a Ranger-led Geyser tour of the Old Faithful Geyser Basin. I Did and Learned A Lot! The Geyser Hill Walk is about a 1 1/4 mile walk and takes about 1 1/2 hours. Geyser Hill offers the greatest concentration of geysers.

Beehive Geyser

Old Faithful in the Background (Photos by RSheridan)

Castle Geyser Erupting

Castle Geyser Cool, Calm and Collected (Photos by RSheridan)

HUGE Disappointment

Told that the Grand Geyser should be going off this morning (around 10:20 am). So took a seat on the benches at 9:45 am to get ready for the BIG SHOW and waited and waited some more. Left at 11:45 am and here’s the HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT; Grand went off at 12:05 pm – Dang, Bummer!!!

Grand Geyser Area (Photos by RSheridan)

Lion Group of Geysers and One of the Geysers is Erupting (Photo by RSheridan)

Grotto Geyser – A Fav! (Photo by RSheridan)


Going Nutso!

Finally CALM & OUT of Water. This Geyser was like a Machine Gun Going OFF! (Photos by RSheridan)

Giant Geyser

Closeup of Giant Geyser (Photos by RSheridan)


So WORTH the Hike Out to See the Morning Glory Pool!

(Photos by RSheridan)

Chromatic Pool – This Pool Spoke to My Photographic Eye! (Photo by RSheridan)

Belgian Pool

Belgian Pool – Another COOL Pool! (Photo by RSheridan)

My Yellowstone Top 5

Drumroll Please . . .

I know what you are thinking. A Top 5 for Yellowstone National Park! Just impossible with so much to see and do within the park. Think of it as a snapshot of those experiences that really spoke to me. It is an AMAZING place that one MUST EXPERIENCE FIRST HAND!!!

#1 The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Loved Artist Point! AMAZING views of the canyon and falls.

(Photos by RSheridan)

#2 Yellowstone Lake Scenic Cruise (Bridge Bay Marina area)

The boat driver was a hoot and having a naturalist on board was a BONUS!

(Photos by RSheridan)

#3 Hayden Valley

This place took my breathe away and then my excitement level went up when I saw a herd of bison. Luckily I was not the one driving or who knows where my excitement could have taken us; off-roading in Yellowstone is NOT RECOMMENDED!

(Photos by RSheridan)

#4 Ranger-led Hike on the Scenic Lake Overlook Trail (West Thumb Geyser Basin)

Ranger Brian was a wealth of information when it comes to Yellowstone as well as hiking within the park. Hiking in Yellowstone is nothing I have experienced before due to the vastness of wilderness and wildlife within the park. Bear Spray IS Your Peace of Mind when Hiking! We were hiking in bear and mountain lion terrority as well as the end of bison mating season and the beginning of elk mating season. Do I need to say anymore?!?

(Photos by RSheridan)

#5 The Cleopatra Terrace (Mammoth Hot Springs area)

Had one of those days where it became water feature overload. Then I saw the Cleopatra Terrace and experienced the true beauty, the hidden gem among these water features! This terrace just jumps out at you and grabs ahold of you. Your attention is all hers once that happens!

(Photos by RSheridan)

Making Life Experiences and Creating My Story!!!

West Thumb

Geyser Basin

The West Thumb Geyser Basin sits on the shores of Yellowstone Lake and extends into the Lake too. Get on the boardwalk, the hardest decision is to go left or right and once that is decided just walk in a big loop; takes about an hour to make the loop.

The West Thumb Geyser Basin Loop (Photo by RSheridan)

Interesting Facts:  West Thumb is about the same size as Crater Lake in Oregon. Plus West Thumb is a caldera within the a caldera, the Yellowstone Caldera.

Yellowstone Lake

West Thumb & Yellowstone Lake (Photo by RSheridan)

Yellowstone Lake (Photo by RSheridan)

Yellowstone Lake (Photo by RSheridan)

The Famous Fishing Cone (Photo by RSheridan)

The Famous Fishing Cone is famous because back in the day a man was fishing in Yellowstone Lake for trout and the trout fell in the cone and raised to the surface of the cone boiled. NO you cannot do this today!


The Beautiful Black Pool (Photos by RSheridan)

Abyss Pool (Photos by RSheridan)

Mud Pot

My BEST Mud Pot Photo! (Photo by RSheridan)

A Short Loop of Geysers Worth Exploring! You will LOVE the Views of Yellowstone Lake too!


Wildlife in YNP

Canyon Area

(Photo by RSheridan)

Hayden Valley

(Photos by RSheridan)

Yellowstone Lake

Yes that is a Bald Eagle & NOT a Very Good Photo (Photos by RSheridan)

West Thumb Geyser Basin Area

Yes that is Bear Scat! (Photos by RSheridan)

Old Faithful Inn

(Photo by RSheridan)

Be On the LOOKOUT for Wildlife When Exploring!

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