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Aug 04

Midway Geyser Basin: Yellowstone National Park

Grand PrismaticThe Midway Geyser Basin may be small but it is mighty.  Home to two of the largest geothermal features in Yellowstone National Park.  The crater of Excelsior Geyser formerly the largest geyser on the planet.  The Midway Geyser Basin also houses one of the must see attractions in Grand Prismatic Spring.  Grand Prismatic is a large rainbow colored pool that is 370 feet across and 120 feet deep.  It is really an incredible sight to behold. Excelsior Geyser
Yellowstone’s Midway Geyser Basin is the smallest of the three main geysers basins in regards to fewest thermal features but it still packs a punch.  At just under a mile of boardwalk it is a great family friendly area to explore.  Just make sure you stay on the path.  Little to no elevation except for a short ramp up to get to the basin. This is a very easy trail that is suitable for all ages and abilities.
Midway Geyser BasinOn a side note if you have little kids the steam coming off the geysers and springs might scare them.  My youngest who was one and half at the time squealed with glee walking through the fog.  Unfortunately, my four-year-old was a little intimidated walking through areas where she could not see what was on the other side.  My quick on her feet wife told her it was like walking through a cloud.  This got her to relax and enjoy the rest of time at Midway Geyser Basin.  By the time we were done she wanted to go around again so she could “walk through more clouds.” Grand Prismatic Spring
Midway Geyser Basin is also home to two smaller pools Turquoise and Opal.  When compared to the steaming aquamarine pool that is Excelsior Geyser and the impressive Grand Prismatic Spring.  The two smaller pools will just be a footnote in your memory.  Though if they were in different parts of the park they would be more stunning.  There is one last interesting thing to see in the area and that is the runoff of the Excelsior Geyser into the Firehole River.  This water flow has created several different colorful drainage channels including one thats next to the bridge that leads to the Midway Geyser Boardwalk.
Flow into Firehole RiverAs of 2016 the national park service was working on an official trail that overlooks Grand Prismatic Spring. This spur trail will be part of the Fairy Falls Trail which is highly recommended.  Like many people before me and after I took the social trail up to see Grand Prismatic.  One of our fondest travel stories took place there.  Years ago. We met a lovely young couple from China on that social trail.  After an exchange of pleasantries, we offered to take pictures for each other.  Well, I had my camera set on a 10 second delay from an earlier shot and had forgotten that fact.  As he hit the button the timer started beeping.  I told him I would fix it and he was like “No that’s ok… I hold it.”  I still get a chuckle out of that.  After talking for a few more minutes and wishing each other safe travels we said our goodbyes. Turquoise Pool
Midway Geyser Basin is nice little area that is extremely popular.  So the best luck (especially in the busier summer months) of finding a parking spot is to go early.  Of course the ‘go early’ mantra works for just about anything in Yellowstone National Park.

  • Geothermal Areas of Yellowstone National Park like Midway Geyser Basin

There are many geothermal areas of Yellowstone National Park and all have unique and wonderful features.  Mammoth Terraces, Biscuit Basin, West Thumb Geyser Basin, Black Sand Basin, and Artists Paint Pots.  Whatever your plans are when you visit Yellowstone National Park make sure you seek out some of the geothermal areas the park is famous for.

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