Thursday, August 09, 2012

Part 2 of Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

saw mill geyser
Sawmill Geyser, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park
In my previous post  Upper Geyser Basin (part 1), after watching Old Faithful geyser erupt, we followed the paved trail and some elevated board walks to Geyser Hill. After Geyser Hill, we continued walking North. The first erupting geyser we saw after Geyser Hill was Sawmill Geyser. If you look at the picture above, Sawmill is a fountain type geyser. The bursting water stream comes through a pool of water. Sawmill's eruption can exceed 35 feet. Eruptions commonly last 30 to 50 minutes but can last from as little as 9 minutes to over 4 hours. At the time we were there, it definitely lasted more than 30 minutes. 

Hiker in front of Sawmill Geyser
Because it was so close to the boardwalk, I hesitated to pass it first afraid of getting wet, but after some time of watching it, I did not let it stop me from exploring the rest of the Upper Geyser Basin. It was actually fascinating when I passed by it, the feeling of being too close to a geyser you could almost touch it was really such an experience to behold. You do not feel like you are simply watching, but rather, the joy felt like that of the water that was being whooped in circle and then pulled up. 
Beauty Pool, Upper Geyser Basin
As we continued walking North, we passed two pools that are right next to each other. One is Beauty Pool (picture above), and another one is Chromatic Pool (below). 
Chromatic Pool, Upper Geyser Basin
Beauty Pool is noted for its rich, blue water framed by rainbow-colored bacteria. Beauty and Chromatic pools are connected underground. Over a period of months, they alternate overflow. First one overflows while the other sits low and then they exchange and the first sits low while the other overflows. The widest range in colors is usually seen in the pool that is overflowing. At the time we were there, Chromatic spring showed wider range in colors.
daisy geyser
Daisy Geyser, Upper Geyser Basin
From Beauty and Chromatic Pools, we continued walking North. While walking, on the west side, there was another geyser erupting, but we could not go to it because the trail was only going North, or we had to go back South and take the west side trail from Sawmill Geyser. So, we just took a picture of the geyser from the boardwalk. The geyser which we learned later when we passed by it was Daisy Geyser (picture above). We thought that the eruption would be as long also as Sawmill Geyser, but later we learned that Daisy Geyser only erupts for 3-4 minutes at 60-75 ft every 90-120 minutes.
As we continued our journey North, the sun was also disappearing, since we did not want to go back on the same trail, we waited for an opportunity where we could loop back to Old Faithful area via another trail. We had to continue North on the boardwalk for a while, where we passed by another geyser, named Giant Geyser.
Giant Geyser
Giant Geyser is the biggest geyser in the Upper Geyser Basin and the second largest active geyser in the world, next to Steamboat Geyser in Norris Geyser Basin, still in Yellowstone. I will feature Norris Geyser Basin in one of my later posts. We were not able to witness the grand eruption of Giant Geyser, but nevertheless, it was still fascinating to listen to its heartbeat, that came from the sprouting water. In its eruption, it reaches a height of 250 ft that lasts over an hour erupting over 1,000,000 gallons of water. For reference how giant it is, Old Faithful erupts usually less than 10,000 gallons of water. 
Grotto Geyser
Not too far from Giant Geyser is the Grotto Geyser. Grotto Geyser erupts every 10 hours usually to a height of 10 ft. After Grotto Geyser, we saw the chance to loop back to Old Faithful area via another trail, which was a paved trail. There were not a lot of geysers and spring pools in this route, unlike in the elevated boardwalk which we first took. However, there were still some interesting spots to photograph, or maybe we were just filled with excitement to take whatever it is we thought we would not have a chance anymore of seeing the next days or after the trip.
Unnamed Reflecting Pool with Small Geyser Behind It
Castle Geyser
When we passed by Castle Geyser, the predicted eruption was something like between 1:00 am- 3:00 am, so we knew it was not for us. Castle Geyser erupts every 9-11 hours to 60-90 ft. 
Sunset @ Firehole River
And the sunset picture at Firehole River was the last picture we took for that day. If you combine my posts on Grand Teton without the Hikes, Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point from String Lake Trailhead, Upper Geyser Basin part 1, and this post, these were all done actually in one full day of exploring.  

Next, I will feature Midway Geyser Basin, it's probably my most favorite area in Yellowstone. 

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  1. the giant geiser really looks interesting...

  2. Wow..every time I see photos of your trip, I can't still grab the fact that these beauties are on this very earth that I live on.

    Outstanding pictures of such a wonderful place.

  3. Betchai, how exciting to see those geysers, WOW! Your photos are amazing!

  4. I saw some of those places about 47 years ago!

  5. one full day of exploration and so many magnificent sights to see. whew! can't wait for your next post.

  6. Spectacular views of upper geyser basin, Betchai! The beauties of this place is almost unreal to image.

  7. Geysers are so cool. It always amazes me what the earth can do.

  8. Amazing shots! They look so other worldly! Your pictures and narration makes me feel as if I am among those Geysers!!
    Have a beautiful day :)

  9. I echo every of the comments.

    You have made a beautiful place more beautiful that it is.

  10. It's an amazing sight to see the valley steaming and erupting everywhere. You've captured them nicely. With so many awesome sights, did you even notice the sulfur smells? :)

  11. Your pictures always make me appreciate the beauty of this earth!! Unbelievable!!!

  12. nice historical area. i wonder if any schools go there on field trips or to do some research....