Mammoth Hot Springs

If you are in Yellowstone another of its impressive natural formations that you have to see are the terraced pools of Mammoth Hot Springs.  The northern entrance to the park is one of the busier ones with its closer proximity to civilization and chances are this would be the first thing you would see.

Like other places in the park vehicle parking is somewhat limited and combined with the vast network of wooden walkway trails for everyone to spread out on it was not crowded at all.  Visiting by motorcycle was ideal in places like this as we could always squeeze into small spaces and find a place to park whereas most of the cars had to park at the bottom of the hill with quite a bit of walking ahead of them 😉   If you are in the park do check it out, its well worth it. Plus there’s much to do in the historic town of Mammoth Hot Springs, formerly Fort Yellowstone.

The colors are caused by the same bacteria and microbial mats I mentioned earlier that are able to thrive in the extreme heat and acidic conditions.  As the precipitates build up and the water moves elsewhere the bacterias die off leaving the stark white formations seen below.

The springs were very cool, unfortunately we’d eaten lunch in town just before this and my Dagwood sandwich did not agree with me.  Of course we had to be far away from the bike when I started getting sick bad, by the time we got back Cece was practically having to carry me 😉  At least we got a few good pics before we had a man down.   She had a few bites of my sandwich and started getting sick a few hours after me.  If you’re eating lunch in Mammoth Hot Springs don’t get the Dagwood!

Above and below are good examples of the ever changing landscape of Yellowstone where geologic changes can be seen on a human time scale.  The springs have changed positions into the surrounding trees and killed off all the ones it surrounded.  Along the walkways were names of all the various springs making up the Mammoth site and several of the nameplates were overlooking springs that are no longer active while fresh new ones have sprung up in other unanticipated places like the very bottom pics.

Mammoth Hot Springs as seen from the highway.  That is a huge amount of buildup over the centuries.

No idea what this wildflower is.  Like the desert wildflowers we are used to it’s beauty must be often overlooked, it was about the size of a dime.

Another picture showing the resilience of life.  This tree had been uprooted at one point and knocked downhill with only a couple of roots holding it in and somehow it had grown back upright again.

Relentless spread of the springs into new territory and covering everything in its path including the stick above.

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