Southern Half of Yellowstone

Day 5. We headed out from our very dated Holiday Inn to the renowned Norris Geyser Basin. Just a couple of miles into the Park we stopped to visit some elk relaxing by a stream and soon after encountered a group of bison with calves. After Old Faithful, Norris probably represents the prototypical geyser landscape: a vast expanse of steam vents and boiling pools with unearthly colors. The afternoon portion of the day was mostly driving the North and South Rims of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone with its famous views of the Yellowstone River Falls. It’s a spectacle you never forget. Finally, we followed the west bank of Yellowstone Lake to the West Thumb Geyser Basin where the thermal features merge with the Lake itself. Our last stop of the day was the little-discussed Black Sand Basin. It was one of my favorites. Iron Spring Creek meanders through many interesting geysers and pools so it’s a seemingly impossible juxtaposition of a simple wilderness creek you might see in any forest with those weird thermal features only seen in Yellowstone.

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