Yellowstone – Geothermal Natural Wonder

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.

Last week we explored the natural beauty of Yellowstone National Park. This week, we feature images and details about the vast fields of geothermal energy stored in the earth underneath this unique place. The opening photo features Mammoth Hot Springs in a view from the boardwalk near the uppermost levels of the five terraces. There are about fifty hot springs that created the large limestone structures. Two terrace boardwalks have been created that allow visitors to view the springs from several levels.

Yellowstone II-15

There are many types of geothermal activities in the park but the hot springs are a big tourist draw. There is a nearby village with a hotel that attracts many visitors each year. The north park entrance is quite close to the hot springs, so it is a short drive via highway 89 coming south from Gardiner, Montana.

Mammoth Terrace Map-1

There is a placard that identifies the various terraces and other landmarks in the hot springs area. The photo above is linked to a 4K closeup. If you click on the image, you will navigate to the Flickr album where you can zoom in and drag the map around for a closer view of the terrace map. The placard is located at the point where “You Are Here” is noted in red text on the map.

As a side note, that herd of elk featured in last week’s post was captured on the hillside opposite the hot springs pictured in the lower left corner of this map.

Yellowstone II-12

You will find as you climb the boardwalk that each of the areas has a slightly different look based upon the flow and erosion of limestone at that particular point. One of the rangers at one point described the site as having the appearance of an inside-out cave. I have included several other images of Mammoth Hot Springs in my Flickr gallery, so let’s take a look at some of the other geothermal attractions.


After staying in Cody for the night, we headed westbound to the east entrance into the park. Once inside, we found ourselves on the northeast corner of Yellowstone Lake where there are several active steam vents. This area, known as Steamboat Point, has a few parking spots and a placard describing the geothermal activity.

Yellowstone II-7

Roadside Spring West is a small thermal pool visible just in front of Nymph Lake as seen from the Nymph Lake viewpoint. Nymph Lake and Roadside Spring West are located in the Norris Basin area. If you check out the image of Nymph Lake in last week’s post, you’ll see this spring in the foreground of the image.

Old Faithful

I close this post with a repeat from last week’s post of probably the most famous geothermal event, the eruption of Old Faithful. An average of 11 times a day, Old Faithful spews a stream of steam and water at200+ degrees in a show that attracts millions of viewers annually.

Click on any of the images above to view the entire gallery of photographs captured at Yellowstone (including a few not published here.) Once in the gallery, you can click on each image for a closer view and scroll underneath the image to see the photograph’s metadata. There you will find links to other related galleries as well.

John Steiner


  1. Very informative post and great photos! We have to hope that Yellowstone will not blow up like it did so long ago. It could be catastrophic for the entire world.

  2. Good shot of Old Faithful, I know how difficult geysers are to shoot, the water quickly turns to steam and the right effect for the photo is quickly lost. As always, the photos are even more impressive in Flickr. This diversity of landscapes in the western parks always creates something different to see.

    • Thank you. I do like the ability to share the higher resolution versions and the Metadata for those interested. It was worth the effort to change themes to better support the feature.

  3. I loved Yellowstone and all your photos are bringing back some great memories of our visit! One highlight was seeing an elk actually sitting on one of the terraces at Mammoth Hot Springs 😀 I must dig out the old photos some time!

    • That elk standing on the terraces would be something to see. They must “hang around” the springs a lot. The biggest herd we saw in the park was on the hillside across from those terraces. That’s the herd I shared in last week’s post of photos.

  4. Yellowstone is one of my favourite National Parks in the US… have been twice, but did not manage to visit the Mammoth Hot Springs area. So happy to read about it!

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