Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Yellowstone NP – Geysers

When we arrived at Yellowstone NP on Tues. Sept 7th, the first thing that we did was stop at the visitor’s center and find out what time the major geysers were predicted to erupt. We were directed to go straight to “Fountain Geyser” which was supposed to erupt at 1:30pm (plus or minus 2 hours). We headed there, and found ourselves a front row spot on the benches …… had our sandwiches for lunch…… and got ready to wait……

This was our first introduction to geysers…and it did not disappoint.


Geysers form several “rings” of raised deposits…..


The inner rim had water that began to bubble and sputter and steam….


Then, all of a sudden, it erupted! Shooting water 100 feet into the air. The eruption was not a steady blast, rather it shot bursts of water, like a fountain, for 9 minutes….before settling down.  Fountain Geyser spoiled us…..we did not have to wait long, it erupted ahead of schedule. This would not be the case with “Grand Geyser”.

Grand Geyser, we were told, was supposed to erupt around 3:30 pm (plus or minus 2 hours) so we quickly headed over to the boardwalk around the Old Faithful area. This “geyser basin” area has several miles of board walk that encircles the strangest, most other worldly looking place that I had ever seen. There are many geysers in this geyser basin and in other areas of the park.


Where the ground steamed and rumbled and geysers erupted periodically. Many smaller geysers and some larger ones. There are 5 or 6 geysers that are regular enough to predict.



But we were looking for Grand Geyser, reportedly the highest erupting geyser in the world. We found Grand Geyser and settled on benches to wait. it was 3:20 pm, but we could tell by the crowd that we had not missed the show. We listened to a Ranger telling the crowd how Grand Geyser is predictable. It goes off ever 8.5 hours (plus or minus 2 hrs.) and it always goes off when a nearby geyser, Turban, goes off. Now, Turban goes off ever 20 min like clockwork. So, if Turban goes off and Grand did not go off…it would be at least 20 more minutes. And so it went….we waited…and watched Turban go off….and timed it and waited….. Grand Geyser was supposed to be worth the wait……and it was a beautiful, sunny day. So we waited.

At 5:20 PM, Grand Geyser ERUPTED, shooting water 180- 200 ft into the air!


Grand Geyser was also a fountain type geyser, sending multiple pulses of water high into the air, lasting 10-12 minutes.


With the water spray and the steam, it was almost like fireworks……..and SO worth the wait!

Now, since we were just walking distance to Old Faithful, we headed over there to see when it would erupt.Since Old Faithful  erupts every 90 min (plus or minus only 10 min)  it would not be much of a wait. But, we had just missed it while we were watching Grand Geyser, so we decided to get some supper at the Old Faithful Inn, where we would be spending the night, and come back.


Old Faithful, as it is appropriately named, went off as scheduled.



Shooting a steady stream of water and steam into the air for several minutes.


We caught Old Faithful one other time on our visit.  Every 90 min or so, a crowd would be gathering, and, true to its name – Old Faithful would perform….people would applaud……then the crowd would disperse…….and so on……

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! You are sooo patient to wait for all those geyers. It looks like it was worth the wait. Awesome pictures!