Old Faithful and Great Fountain Geysers
Monday afternoon, July 18, 2005: After lunch, I headed up toward Observation Point. The trail is about 2 miles and takes you to a point 160 feet above Old Faithful. On the way I stopped at Solitary Geyser. It erupts frequently, but only managed sort of a burp for me. After climbing up the rest of the way, I arrived at Observation Point about 15 minutes before Old Faithful was scheduled to erupt. One nice thing about Old Faithful is that it's fairly punctual. This time was not an exception.
|View from Observation Point|
|Crowd at Old Faithful Geyser||Old Faithful Geyser|
Great Fountain Geyser
Great Fountain was my next target. It's only predicted within a 4 hour window. That window was opening very soon, so I hurried down to the car and drove to Firehole Lake Drive. When I got there, White Dome was erupting, but Great Fountain was a long way from its next eruption. It first fills its pool. After the pool starts overflowing, it takes another hour or so. The pool was dry. When it did fill the pool, it quickly went from dry to full to overflowing. We still had to wait the hour. It was a good show and it was interesting to see the waves generated in the pool by the eruption. They were quite substantial.
|White Dome Geyser||Great Fountain Geyser|
|Great Fountain Geyser|
The eruption proceeded in several phases consisting of a sequence of bursts, with activity briefly stopping between phases. The whole thing took about 40-45 minutes and was well worth the wait. The length of the eruption meant that the lighting improved during the eruption, as exemplified by the final photo.
|Great Fountain Geyser|
Midway Geyser Basin
I visited Midway Geyser Basin and the Grand Prismatic Pool next. Excelsior could not be persuaded to erupt. Its last super-eruption was over a century ago and created a 200 by 300 foot crater. The only substantial eruptions since then were in 1985.
|Excelsior Geyser Crater||Grand Prismatic Spring|
After Midway, it was time for dinner. I went out later to see Old Faithful erupt at the end of twilight (9:50pm). but took no more photos. I walked about 8 miles today.
Birds: 149. Mammals: 25.
Old Faithful, WY
Last stops in Yellowstone
Tuesday morning, July 19, 2005: I made one last visit to Old Faithful at 6:55am. Then I checked out. As I headed to the Yellowstone's south exit, I stopped at Lewis Falls, Lewis Canyon, and Moose Falls. The first two are overlooks. At Moose Falls you can climb down to the base of the fall.
|Old Faithful||Lewis's Falls|
|Lewis River||Moose Falls|
By now, I was about to leave Yellowstone for the Rockefellar Parkway and the Tetons.