Shawn and I got up early so we would have plenty of time to get to the West Thumb Geyser Basin. Shawn wanted to make another stop at the Prismatic Hot Springs. We got to the Prismatic around 10am. It was hard finding a parking spot. When we were there the other day, we saw a ranger giving out parking tickets. I didn’t want to park in the wrong place. I dropped Shawn off and then drove around once and then I saw a car pulling out so I was happy to get that spot. I had plenty of Prismatic photos so I wasn’t in a hurry to get any more. I walked up the boardwalk and was glad to see there weren’t that many people. I couldn’t see Shawn but I assumed he walked around the other side. He showed up a few minutes later. He got what he wanted and so we were off to West Thumb.
West Thumb Geyser Basin overlooks Yellowstone Lake, the largest lake above 8,000 feet elevation in North America. The shore of the lake hints of what exists below.. Surveys of the lake bottom documented hot springs and hydrothermal vents just offshore. You could see the swirling patterns in the water.
We started walking on the boardwalk. First you didn’t even see the lake – there were many hot springs pools – some seemed active and others not so much. There was a map to follow that explained everything you were seeing.
It took about an hour to walk around the boardwalks. There were several tour groups which made it a bit more difficult. As much as I enjoyed the thermal areas, after a while they all start looking the same.
We went from there to Canyon Village and decided we would eat in the lodge restaurant but when I looked at the menu – it was a lot of fast food and a long line. We heard there was a nice restaurant with a view of the lake. We found the restaurant but it was closed. It was suppose to open in about 10 minutes so we waited and were the first ones in. We had a lovely seat by the window and a great view of the lake.
Our lunch was very good. Shawn had another bison burger and I had a salad. By the time we left, we had decided to go to the Fishing Bridge. It use to be a famous place for fishing but was closed down in 1973 to protect spawning cutthroat trout.
It was getting late so we thought we had better get back to our hotel as we had a lot of packing and organizing to do before we left West Yellowstone. We wanted to leave early because we needed to return our car to the rental agency. We also wanted to have some time to eat and look around the shops in Jackson Hole one last time.