Yellowstone National Park Geysers, part 1 - easy to miss but awesome sights!

Episode 18 January 15, 2020 00:26:47
Yellowstone National Park Geysers, part 1 - easy to miss but awesome sights!
2TravelDads Podcast
Yellowstone National Park Geysers, part 1 - easy to miss but awesome sights!

Jan 15 2020 | 00:26:47


Hosted By

Rob Taylor Chris Taylor

Show Notes

Best geyser recommendations in Yellowstone National Park. Must-see hot springs and geysers that most people miss when they visit Yellowstone. Show notes here:  Yellowstone NP Geysers Part 1

We share our favorite geysers and hot springs that most people skip when they visit Yellowstone. Check out our top picks for natural wonders that are too easy to drive by but YOU'VE GOT TO SEE!

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:03 What Speaker 1 00:03 could the two travel. That's podcast. Here we share our favorite destinations, travel tips I've used for saving money and stories from our adventures. Be sure to check out our show notes at two travel Hey there, welcome back to another episode of to travel ads podcast. I'm Rob, I'm still Chris. Every time women, um, it's for people who haven't listened before. This is true. So today we are starting, or actually we're not starting. Um, this is our second episode of our Yellowstone national park series. Um, and today is part one of two for the geysers of Yellowstone. There's tons of them. So you know, we're gonna highlight not all of them because there are so many, but um, gosh, we've got probably 50 to talk about from hotspotting. I think we've seen them all. We haven't seen them all because there's so many that you have to actually, you can, you can hike to them and maybe that's our plan for next time. Speaker 1 01:05 Yeah, the kids will be bigger, so it'll be easier. I don't know if you saw this, but I actually have Yellowstone on the calendar for next summer already. No. Okay. Anyways, um, so let's start with the most famous and yet the lamest of the Geyser basins. What is your least favorite Geyser basin? I don't know. I've never really thought about it before. I've never thought like, gosh, you know, I really don't like that Geyser basin. Actually you've directly said that out loud about old faithful guys. Really? Yeah. After we left it last time you were like, Oh, just really isn't great. I really don't like this place. Oh that's right. Cause there's only like one, there's only like one good thing there I guess a couple, but because it's the morning glory pool and then old faithful is really about it. Yeah. So we're starting with old faithful Geyser basin because it is, it's the most famous, it's got old faithful, which goes off about every hour or so. Speaker 1 01:57 Um, it is pretty cool. You know, the water shoots pretty high. They have amazing viewing platform built all around it so that, you know, it can accommodate hundreds of people at a time. Watching it. Um, but beyond that, the highlights really are, I think the visitor center, which is, which is pretty new. Um, the visitor center, old faithful is awesome for both kids and adults because it totally breaks down the science behind geysers. Um, and it even has a kid zone that is all about like kid friendly, like hands on guys or stuff. Yeah. Activities and things like that. So yeah, the boys really enjoyed that and they were upset that we left that to go watch old faithful men. A huge cafeteria too. Oh yeah. So, um, lots of different cuisine. Yeah. At the, um, at the old faithful lodge. Not the old faithful Inn, but the old faithful lodge, which is the, um, it's on the South East side of old faithful. Speaker 1 02:54 Um, there's actually a pretty great, well it's the big dining room that has, um, a multicultural cafeteria attached to it. Yeah. And big huge windows so you can actually watch old faithful, um, while you eat your lunch. Yeah. And I think you can even get like a, an old faithful logger. That's right. Oh, all of the Yellowstone beers. That's right. There, can't remember. It's an old faithful IPA or AOL or you know, something I don't remember, but I took lots of pictures of them. Yeah. And I even made my own Instagram hashtag that was find your beer. Yeah. Kind of like find your park for national parks, but it was find your beer for national park theme and you can get them not just there but at other shops throughout the park. Yeah, it's true. And into Montana. Um, but anyways, so beyond old faithful and the dining room and the visitor center, there are some other cool things to see there. Speaker 1 03:41 Um, grotto Geyser is a fun Geyser that, um, has a really weird shape from all the calcium deposits and stuff over thousands of years for millions of years. Um, and it's really active and funny to watch. So that's a fun one. Um, and then along the river there's, you know, Riverside guys are, that goes off not very frequently, but when it does, it's enormous, like 200 feet in the air. Um, a bunch of other, just really random ones that are unpredictable. And then, um, morning glory pool, which is like the stereotypical Yellowstone postcard hot spring. It's really pretty. I mean, it really is. So it's, it's beautiful until you see the grand prismatic and, but we're going to wait to talk about that just saying, but yeah, no, it's, if you haven't gone and like really explored any, this is just like your first taste of geysers and hot Springs in Yellowstone. Speaker 1 04:33 It definitely is pretty. Um, and they also, there's a lot of information there about, um, why you don't touch hot Springs or throw things into them such as pennies because every year or a couple of years they have to actually clean away. Yeah. They have to like vacuum out stuff that people have thrown in, um, which is dumb that they have to do that. So it's ridiculous. Yeah. Um, what other cool thing though about the old faithful Geyser basin? I know kinda bad mouth it, but it is, it is cool and it's, it's pretty and it's great exercise. I guess the thing is you have to see it if you haven't been to Yellowstone. Yeah. Right. But it's, it's maybe it's the best one to start with because it in comparison to others is kind of anticlimactic. Yeah. So it's a great first impression. And then after you see others, you'll be like, Oh my gosh. Speaker 1 05:21 I mean, I think everybody wants to see on Facebook. I know, and it's great that it is so consistent. Um, but the other things about the old faithful guys guys or basin is it's actually a bikeable Geyser basin. So they've got, um, some pretty wide paths that go across a good portion of the basin, um, starting at the visitor center and going all the way out to morning glory pool, which is actually far, you've crossed the fire whole river and everything. So, um, that's kind of a cool highlight that I would love to do next time. Yeah. I mean, one tip though, if you're, you're not biking and if you're walking and if it's summertime, it gets extremely hot out there. You, it's wise to actually have an umbrella of an umbrella or something to shade yourself from Paris because yeah, because it does get really hot. Speaker 1 06:07 Yeah. It's funny because Yellowstone, I mean in our first episode we talked about, you know, being there in July and having snow. Um, but it really is that sort of crazy, um, intense sun when you're there. And I was thinking, so one of, one of the things we'll talk about today is Westland guys are based, that's the other one that really is just a scorching experience because it's so exposed. Um, but yeah, no, great tip. Be prepared with hats and um, umbrellas just for the sun. And then, um, the last tip for old faithful Geyser basin is to watch for bison. So we've never been there and not seen bison. And that's actually, um, a place where there have been several tourists, gourd and the vast, that's what you call it when you get hit by a bison. Did you know that? I also thought it could be stupid, but yes, I thought it was Gord. Speaker 1 06:58 Well, you also call it stupid, but anyways though, so you always want to watch for them. Um, got some really cool video and photos of Bisons rolling around Bisons bison rolling around in the dust and grunting and stuff. So it's a cool place for that. But yeah, safety first. Um, the next stop that we're going to talk about is the biscuit basin. So each Geyser area is called a basin. Um, I don't remember why there's a geologic explanation for it in terms of what makes a basin versus the plateau or a Valley or anything. So anyways, but biscuit basin is next and it's actually really close to old faithful Geyser basin. And you know, Chris was mentioning that you can hike to a lot of geysers, um, or the, you know, we haven't seen a lot and there's actually quite a few trails that go out of biscuit basin to, you know, see a bunch of other geysers that are off the beaten path. Speaker 1 07:54 And I think that should be our theme for our next visit. TL stone is the off the beaten path. Geysers yeah, it could be fun. Um, but what was your favorite part about the biscuit basin? Um, I think it has to be the Sapphire pool. Um, and the old pal pool. I love the old pal pool. The black Oh Powell pool. Yeah. I say it that way because all of her, he was growing up and reading to make sure he had a map and what to make sure we checked every single pool, but he got to the Oh power pool and it's like, Oh, palp Oh, Opal. Opal. Yeah. You know, he's a super smart kid and I love it. You don't want to change though. You don't even know those things. There's those things that you don't realize that you have to learn how to say otherwise. Speaker 1 08:36 Oh, pal, it makes sense. Yeah. But, um, so the biscuit basin has a lot of, um, gem themed, um, pools and Springs and geysers. So the Sapphire pool is really gorgeous. It is got some of the most deeply beautiful turquoisey Sapphire, um, colors. And that spills down into the black diamond pool and the black Opal pool, which again, not black, but really deep, beautiful, beautiful colors. And the, um, between all the pools, you know, there's these streams and kind of like teeny tiny waterfalls that connect them. And because the water starts to cool a little bit as it goes, thermophiles start to build up. And those are, those are cool little bacteria that are really colorful and um, yeah, it, gosh, the best example of it really is there at the biscuit basin going between, um, the smaller like the Sapphire and the black diamond pool and stuff. Speaker 1 09:34 It's just gorgeous. Um, some other highlights there are like the mustard spring, which that's a cooler spring, so it has the thermophile starting to grow in it. Um, and you know what, maybe should I, I should explain that or do you want to talk about what thermophiles are and why they grow? Oh, no, you can do that. I'm not a scientist. I'm not a scientist either, but I love to talk about it. Um, so with thermophiles you cannot, no, I like talking about your gross. So thermophiles they grow as the pools start to get cooler. So at the closest spot to where the, um, events are, you know, heating super heating the water and you're getting that acidic hot spring water. Um, that's where it's of course, you know, the hottest boiling. And as it gets to the edges, it starts to cool. And as it cools, there are different types of bacteria and they make bacterial mats and um, different, different bacteria can live at different temperatures and different acidities. Speaker 1 10:35 So you start to get yellows and oranges and red and Brown. And you know, as that plays into the blue, you get, um, green and it's, it's, it's what makes them so colorful and pretty. So that's thermophiles. Um, and then the last little guys are to call out about the biscuit basin is, um, the jewel Geyser. And it's adorable. It's just this cute brother one that erupted while we were there. Yeah. It's just this cute little spunky Geyser that, um, shoots water in all kinds of directions. And it's not exciting in comparison to some of the bigger geysers. But, um, it's cute and it is, it's like the little kid Geyser. So anyways, biscuit basin kind of something easy to drive by. Totally worth stopping that and enjoying next up is the West thumb Geyser basin. Well the rest of them guys are basin. Um, it's the largest Geyser basin. Speaker 1 11:30 Um, and it's also on the shores of y'all don't make, which I think is pretty cool. Uh, because there's some amazing views there where you see your left geothermal activity right by the Lake. Is that really the largest? Yeah, that's really interesting. It must be because it can they consider that whole kind of Lake shore as it like wraps around now that I'm thinking about it. Yeah. Cause you can see geysers going way up beyond what you can access. Yeah. I didn't even occur to me, but it is huge. It's enormous. But there's some really cool sites and stuff there. Um, and I think, um, one of the coolest things that I've seen there, uh, is that, uh, is it the black pool? Yeah, the black pool that, so quick story back when we first started the travel blog years ago, like five years ago, six years ago, um, the black pool was the very first photo that I ever shared to Instagram that somebody else shared and it was shared by the national park service and that made me feel so special. Speaker 1 12:25 That was like for me, that was like a blogging milestone was I shared a photo on Instagram and the national parks park service used it. But yeah, no, the black pool, it's absolutely gorgeous and it has the most amazing color because it does, it's so ridiculously hot. I love it. Yeah. That's also another place where you need a parasol or an umbrella if you're there in the summer because there's not a lot of shade. It does get really hot. And even though it's right on Yellowstone Lake, there's no wind. I don't know why, but there's never wind. It's just hot and scorching. But, um, yeah, there's these great boardwalks that take you down from the parking area and there's actually steam vents in the parking lot because I mean, Yellowstone, the whole caldera is just one big steam vent and they open up at any random time. Speaker 1 13:12 Um, but it's got great boardwalks that take you down and wind you through everything from, there's, there's some small paint pots, there's some little geysers. There are these gorgeous pools, like the black pool, they'd be a best pool there too, which is also really pretty. Yeah, that's, and that's, it's like maybe 20 out along the edge of the Lake too. Yeah. So it's so gorgeous. You, you just, it's another one of those spots that is so easy to pass over because it's not famous, but it's totally worth it. And the most beautiful spot I think is the Lakeside Geyser and it's actually, you know, it's in the Lake and it just, it has its cone that has formed and yeah, those fishing cones and stuff that are there is what they call them. Yeah. And I guess like there's like a legend that people used to be able to catch their fish and then cook them in those fishing coats cause the water were so hot. Speaker 1 14:03 That's fascinating. Isn't that interesting? I wonder if it made the mistake, right? Yeah. I guess back then you had to do what you had to do. Yeah. Eat your food. Yeah. And um, another kind of cool thing about the Western Geyser basin, and this is something you would have to book on your own. Um, I will look for a link, but it changes based off of seasons is that you can actually <inaudible> yup. Yup. You can kayak past the West thumb Geyser basin and it's, um, it looks gorgeous. We've seen kayakers doing it. I'm always led by a guide and it's on my Yellowstone bucket list to someday get to do that. Yeah. Well we'll have to do it. It's, it's just, it's such a beautiful spot. And it, it's funny because the Lake right there looks like the Caribbean. It's just, it's, it's absolutely beautiful. Speaker 1 14:50 And then I remember seeing really beautiful ducks. Remember this last time? Yeah. They look like they look like Mandarin ducks, but they're not there. Yeah. Super, super, pretty. So, um, yeah, so that is the Western Geyser basin. And then, um, the next one that I think we should kind of chit chat about is the Norris Geyser basin. Um, which, so it's, it's funny, there's just so many guys at Yellowstone and this is the last spot that we're really gonna get into deeply. Um, Norris Geyser basin has a cool museum. Um, it's just, it's very small. It's old perfect spot to, um, chat it up with Rangers. But it kind of separates the Geyser basin into two areas. Um, the first spot is it's North of the little visitor center slash. Museum and that is the porcelain basin. I think it's just the best. It is definitely one of the most dramatic looking places if you're into Geyser photography, um, the Norris Geyser basins, porcelain basin side is just, it's, it's Epic. Speaker 1 15:58 So you've got, it looks like colorful death. Well, I mean it is cause it's got, it's got all these different pools and you see the different colors of clay, not just thermophiles but clay and stone and dead trees that are, I mean clearly at one point they were able to grow right there and then as the ground superheated and killed the roots. The trees just died in place and I'm pretty sure are in the process of becoming petrified from all the minerals. But, um, the porcelain basin just as like rising steam all the time making it this interesting and dramatic landscape. I love it. It's really easy to not stop there because there's other stuff that's more famous that you would be seeking out. So yeah. Um, this is why I think it's like if you're going to Yellowstone for the first time, you could just Google and check out lots of different pictures or obviously go into our, um, check out our travel blog, check out our travel blog. Speaker 1 17:00 Right. Cause we've, we have the whole article dedicated to geysers. Yeah, yeah. Uh, but you just got to figure out what is it that you want to see and to plan your route accordingly because it's a huge park. Yeah. And if you're just looking for like top 10 sites in Yellowstone, you're not going to get spots like the porcelain basin. It's gonna say go over to Steamboat Geyser, which we'll talk about in a second. Um, and then, you know, you'll arrive at the North Geyser basin and you'll start walking around and you'll head right there and you'll miss half of it and you will just be like, Oh, this was cool. But what did I miss in the meantime? It's funny cause actually when we, um, when we got there, we went to the porcelain basin and we saw some cool stuff like the hurricane vent, which was awesome. Speaker 1 17:41 It's just like a hole in the earth that has hot steam blasting out super fast and loud. And, um, all of our screamed, it startled him when it started. He just took off running when it all of a sudden went, which was awesome. Um, and then the crackling Lake is gorgeous. And then once you pass those, those like kind of key sites in the porcelain basin, it takes you to this trail that, you know, it looks like it's maybe going to be just like a short little loop, but you can keep on building off of that loop because the North basin, so even though West then might be the largest in general, the Norris basin I feel like has the largest, um, set of trails that make it accessible. So as you're going, you can choose to head back at any time just by, you know, turn onto that next trail and it'll take you back to the main entrance or you can keep on going and you'll have lots of other options. Speaker 1 18:34 So we were doing that and we were planning to, you know, just be really, really quick at Norris. And then we were like, this is too amazing. And we ended up spending a ton of time there and it kind of foiled their plan for the rest of the day because we got, so, I don't know, what would you call it? We were just, we were just so excited. There was so much cool stuff to see. Yeah. Right. So we were still interested that kids were still interested. So we just had to keep going. We forgot how much our feet hurt. Yeah, it's, it's true. And you know, something cool about the Norris area is that it has a lot of um, space that is within forest. So while the rest of um, like West thumb and old faithful are so exposed and so hot, Norris actually offers you some shade, which is kinda cool. Speaker 1 19:22 Yeah. Yeah. So, um, but then the other two kind of big sites at Norris that most people are there for are going to be the Emerald pool. It's just another beautiful hot spring. Um, but the Steamboat Geyser and the Steamboat guys are actually goes off, um, pretty frequently. So um, goes off usually once every hour or two. Um, when we were there, we were there in a weird spot of hiccups where for some reason it wasn't going off and it went, it was like a three hour period or something without blasting off. But it is just such an amazing site in itself because it is such a huge Geyser that it's cone and all the surrounding kind of terraces that come from it are just huge and gorgeous and white and orange and there's a couple of different viewing platforms so you can hang out and wait for it. Speaker 1 20:13 Um, but that's, that's basically, that's the main attraction and why most people are going to be stopping at Norris. Um, another thing to know is just, it was like realizing, um, Norris also has overflow parking because a lot of people do like to just stop in, just to catch the Steamboat Geyser. So parking can be tricky. Um, and you might have to park in an overflow parking lot and then cross the grand loop road and then walk through the woods and do all this. And it's kind of a big to do. Um, you know, it's okay, let's add a little hike to your day. It's still worth stopping even if you can't park in the main area. Um, or I think a lot of the trails, I mean there's boardwalks and stuff throughout most of these, right? So yeah, good for strollers and that type of stuff. Speaker 1 21:01 Yeah, I mean I would hesitate to say that it's mostly accessible, um, either for wheelchair or strollers, but, um, there are really well maintained boardwalks that do cover most of the ground. Um, for example, if you wanted to do the porcelain basin, there are stairs that go down to it, but then there is also a long winding boardwalk ramp that gets you down to the right level to be able to, you know, experience it. So, um, yeah, I'm trying to think if there was any of the places we've talked about so far that are straight up not accessible. Um, yeah, no, I think that's a good call out that the um, yeah, strollers, wheelchairs. Good to go. Actually, the next spot that we talked about, and it's the last spot that we're going to discuss in this episode is the, um, is the artist paint pots. Speaker 1 21:57 So do you remember which ones those are or do you remember the RSP and pots? Do you want to tell your fun story? I think I told that in our first episode. Yeah. So anyways, I broke my grammar there. For those of you that haven't listened to about previous episodes on our first trip together, I'd be landed on his hand and he freaked out and he slammed his camera down really, really hard. Just flung my hand and it was the wrist strap, you know, have the rest drop on my breast for the camera because I formed my hand, created a lot of force in my camera, spun around and just hit the hip, the fence that was there and broke. Yeah. Good times. I'm gripping. This is why it's always good to travel with a backup camera. We each have one. So yeah, thankfully. And we still do that. Speaker 1 22:37 But, um, the artists paint pots is really cool. So you, um, you park and then you've got to start walking through the woods and you're like, Oh gosh, what am I doing? Is there actually anything here? Cause it's about a half a mile back into the woods til you get to the hillside. And that's one of the things that makes the artist paint Potts really interesting is that it? Um, there's a small little basin that's like a bubbling pond that has some different hot Springs and tons of thermophiles going between the different Springs. So it's very colorful. That's where do you remember that blood spring? It was just like a hole in the Hill and it looked like blood had been spattering out of it, you know? Yeah. So between like the iron and then the thermophiles that were growing, it really looked like a big bloody hole in the Hill. Speaker 1 23:21 So good times Yellowstone. Um, so yeah, when you walk back there, you, you get this view of this hillside that is just kind of steaming and weird and as you climb, this is one of those spots that is not accessible. Um, as you start to climb the stairs, you get this really interesting view of everything from the blood spring to the streams that are flowing into the woods. And then when you get to the top where you actually have those paint pots and paint pots are, are very different from geysers or hot Springs. Yeah. It's just like bubbling mud. But it's so smooth and creamy. It looks like paint. It is smooth and creamy. Yes. Yeah. It, uh, yeah, I mean, you know, when you think you're, I mean that's like paint, that's why they call them pink pots. I mean it's, yeah, it really relaxing to sit and watch. Speaker 1 24:11 Yeah. There's something really satisfying about watching an enormous bubble form and then pop really slowly and deflate. It's kind of gross and kind of cool it, um, the consistency of it. If you've ever worked with clay, it is, cause that's basically what it is. It's clay. Um, it's the consistency of slip that forms when you're working on a Potter's wheel. So it's, it's basically clay that has been dissolved by the acids and then there's some water mixed into it and it just bubbles. So as, as it dries, um, it forms, you know, small little terraces and stuff. But, um, those walls around the paint pot start to crack and it just, you gotta check out the show notes. There's some pictures in it, um, in them of the artists paint pots and they're just, it's really cool and weird. And also for some reason very smelly, like the whole entire place is really cool and weird and like, yeah, Yellowstone is amazing. Speaker 1 25:11 But, um, it's, so again, this is one of those spots where if you don't plan your time, you might be tempted just to drive by it because so what? It's just another Geyser basin and it is pretty small, but it is amazing and it's really unique in comparison with everything else you're going to see. I think that's definitely a most seat one. Yeah. So, um, in our next episode we're going to talk about some other spots, um, including like fire hole, Lake drive, um, fountain paint pots, which I think is the most awesome, cool place. Volcanoes, um, hot Springs, ma, uh, mammoth, hot Springs, all those different things. Um, yeah, so that's it for now. Cool. Um, make sure that you check out our next episode, which is going to be part two of Yellowstone's geysers. And, um, if you have any questions, always feel free to leave comments or send us a note through our show notes page and, um, give us a rating. Subscribe to our channel. Yeah. Share your stories too. I'm curious like what's your favorite place? Oh, you're in Yellowstone. Yeah, and if you have done some of those hikes that go off to those off the beaten path geysers we would love to hear about that and who knows? Maybe that would be a great opportunity to have you be a guest on the podcast. So anyways. All right, we're going to take off. Do you have an awesome day Speaker 2 26:29 and tune in next time? All right. See you guys. Bye to Joel dad's podcast is written by Rob and Chris Taylor and produced by Rob Taylor is Squamish Washington. If you would like to be on two trial dads podcast or sponsor it, please visit <inaudible> to travel

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