Sunday, September 10, 2017
Hot on the Terrace
Yellowstone National Park is full of the most interesting and fascinating natural features, one of them being Mammoth Hot Springs in the Northwest corner of the park. Well, it's not just hot springs - it's terraces composed of travertine (calcium carbonate). I have just one word to describe them: spectacular.
Some areas look like snow or ice, frozen waterfalls. But no, there isn't anything that feels cold or only cool here. It's darn hot, baby!
Wyoming, especially so far north as Yellowstone, isn't known for hot weather, but here on the terraces shorts and t-shirts are the appropriate attire. Man, it was hot! No shade around here, of course.
The ground displayed bizarre formations.
Some of the terraces reached almost the backyards of the houses in the tiny village of Mammoth - almost.
The elk seem to love this area. They come here, lick the ground (probably mineral rich) and even lie down and take a nap. They weren't bothered by the heat at all. Perhaps they thought it's their personal outdoor sweat lodge.
Even though the main color here is white followed by orange, I could make out my favorite color combination of orange and turquoise in some places. Not quite as intense and vivid as the Grand Prismatic Spring but still quite fabulous.
And of course at the same time you can take in the stunning surroundings.
Due to the nature of this place there were a lot of dead trees.
Ever changing ground formations and bubbles on the water that tell about the heat of the hot springs (the hot water that feeds Mammoth, by the way, comes from the Norris Geyser Basin).
You can walk the terraces on boardwalks, and the Lower Terraces Area has the most spectacular views. This part is by far my favorite one.
Doesn't it look like ice and snow?
But it's the dead trees that fascinated me the most.
Yes, we sure needed a little break to take all this in. This is only a rather small part of Yellowstone, but full of awesomeness. You need to take your time to let it sink in.