Signs of underground activity are everywhere at Yellowstone. The geysers, hot springs, fumaroles, and mud pots we’ve seen come from the giant mass of magma just miles beneath the surface of the park. While the area has had some huge volcanic eruptions in the distant past, today things are much quieter and the heat under the earth turns the melting snow and rain into an impressive hydrothermal show.
Timing can be everything when visiting the many geysers and hot springs. Morning is a beautiful time to see the steam rising above the super-heated water, but we found that afternoon can be best for viewing the amazing colors in the pools (which come from microorganisms that live in the different temperature zones), since the steam isn’t hanging over the pools. Late afternoon was our least favorite time to visit because the low sun meant there was a glare looking into the pools and springs.
It’s hard to believe we’ve been exploring the park for a week and there are still more geysers and hot springs to visit. On the other hand, we now have a better appreciation of why Yellowstone has the most diverse and intact collection of these hot water features on the planet!