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Oct 24

Mammoth Terraces: Always Changing Always Worth a Visit

travertine TerraceMammoth Hot Spring Terraces is one of the main attractions to see in Yellowstone National Park.  Along with Upper and Lower Falls, the wildlife, and of course Old Faithful making a trip to the Mammoth Terraces is a must do whenever you are in the park.  This geothermal area of the park is a little different than the others due to the fact it is not going to have any high-spouting geysers but it does have the one of the greatest collections of hot springs with terraces made up of travertine deposits in the world.  Picture the landscape from an outer space planet in a science fiction movie and you end up having a pretty a good idea of what the Mammoth Terraces are all about.Liberty CapThe terraces are divided up into two main sections the Lower Terrace and Upper Terrace.  The Lower Terraces are easily accessed as they set adjacent from Yellowstone village of Mammoth Hot Springs.  Just walk across the main park road get on one of the boardwalks and you are there.  To get to the Upper Terrace you can either take the board walks up the 300 feet to the top or drive around and stay in your car for the 1.5 mile loop through the Upper Terrace.  At the time of our most recent visit to Yellowstone we were with my wife’s parents so they drove to the top while we walked the Lower Terrance and they walked down.  We then took the car at the top parking lot and picked them back up at the bottom, which worked out great.Hot SpringsThe Lower Terrace has more features and in our opinion better looking scenery then the Upper Terraces so if you are running short on time stick to the lower part.  However both geothermal areas are worth seeing if you have the time.  In all there are more than 50 named thermal features in the area with some of the highlights being the Liberty Cap, Palette Spring, Minerva Spring, Orange Spring Mound, and Canary Spring.Lower TerraceOne of the great things about Mammoth Terraces is that no matter how many times you visit Yellowstone National Park your visit to Mammoth Hot Springs will be different each time.  This particular hydrothermal area is constantly changing.  The hot springs that were active during last visit might be dry now and old dead springs might be active once again.  If you are there on a cold day you might be lucky enough to see some buffalo or elk that frequent the area use the hot springs to stay warm.  It might even make you want to but don’t the water can be scalding hot and even downright deadly so stay on the boardwalks.Mammoth Hot SpringsRemember that you are in wild country and it can be dangerous if you do not use common sense and sound judgment. Not only are the animals wild but so is the land and getting too close to either can make a great vacation go sour and even be deadly real quick. Animals will protect themselves, their area, and young while the geothermal areas are fragile and dangerous so stay on assigned paths. If you use caution and are prepared Yellowstone will be a great life experience and please leave it just as you found it so the next person can enjoy. Happy Travels!!!Upper TerraceMammoth Terraces
Located next to Mammoth Hot Springs 5 Miles from the North Entrance
Nearly 3.5 miles of boardwalks and walkways
Easy Level Trail with about 300 feet of elevation gain
Plan for at least an hour and half

To see all of our reviews of things to do in Yellowstone National Park click here and for more information about the park go to their website at http://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm

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2 comments

  1. freda phillips

    Great pictures. I can hardly believe this place.

    1. Kenny and Karen

      Thanks for the nice comment!

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