Grand Prismatic Spring

Five miles from Old Faithful is the Midway Geyser Basin. The star of the show is the Grand Prismatic Spring. The algae-tinged indigo waters is the largest and deepest hot spring.  It is probably the most beautiful single thermal feature.

The following photos are shown in the order of our walking tour. As you meander up the boardwalk,  you see the Firehole River which is where 4000 gallons of boiling water is discharged from the pool every minute.


Next as you walk up the boardwalk, you see the water run off with the orange algae.

Close up of the run-off from the pools.  The orange bacteria can be seen along the sides of the run-off water.


As you continue to walk along the boardwalk, hot, humid steam from the huge Excelsior crater is blowing in your face.  It is hard to get a photo.  You have to wait until the wind blows away the steam. The crater is 200 by 300 feet.

This is the best I could do with the steam blowing every which way.

As I leaned over the other side of the barrier, I saw a huge expanse of land which is a very thin crust. This thin land surrounds the whole area and there are signs all around telling you to stay on the boardwalks . It is very dangerous to step on any part of this fragile crust as the ground is very unstable .  People have been badly burned and even killed because they did not follow the park rules.  In spite of the this crust, you can see plants growing on the thin crust.

Fringed Gentia – official flower of Yellowstone.  It frequently blooms near thermal areas.

Continuing to move on the boardwalk, there are many smaller prismatic hot springs before you finally get to the largest one called, Grand Prismatic Spring. Here are a few photos of the grounds surrounding the pools. I loved the wavy lines and colors.

Boiling bubbling pools on all sides of the boardwalk.



At last, we came upon the Grand Prismatic Spring.


It is so large that I cannot capture it all on my lens.
The steam over the middle of the spring looks blue in the distance.


The boardwalk did not have side rails so when there are a lot of people, it can be dangerous. There is a bench, but mainly people used it to stand on to get a photo  (like I did).  We returned in the morning when we were actually staying in Yellowstone.  There were fewer people and we were able to take photos without worrying about being bumped.  The second time we were there, we saw at least 30 hats on the ground, pair of sunglasses and a child’s toy.

I really enjoyed the spectacular rainbow rings of algae and the multicolored mist of the gorgeous pool. I think it was my favorite feature of Yellowstone.

5 thoughts

  1. I am just catching up on your pictures but these are phenomenal. Wow! The colors are just incredible. Sounds like a good trip and all the pictures are beautiful.


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