Mammoth Hot Springs
|In these photos that which appears as fog is hot steam from the springs. The temperature of the springs is around 180°.|
|On left is Liberty Cap a dormant hot spring cone. The right photo is of steps of Minerva Terrace eroded by the flow from the springs.|
The delicate travertine formations around this area were all created by hot spring water. Heated by Yellowstone's volcano, water travels through buried limestone, then bubbles to the surface to deposit travertine gathered from the limestone.
Named for the Roman goddess of art, Minerva Hot Spring sculpted Minerva Terrace. The spring sometimes flows abundantly, while other times is completely dry.
|Snow and near-boiling water|
|Shimmering in this hot spring is a living palette of color. Billions of heat-loving microorganisms called "thermophiles" carpet the spring. Spirulina is just one of many thermophiles living at Mammoth Hot Springs. Scientists study these thermophiles and their habitats to determine whether other worlds might support life.|
|Looking down from Mammoth Hot Springs toward the Visitor Center and the buildings of Fort Yellowstone.|
|I would eventually climb to the overlook on the rise on the left. There I could see the view in the right photo and the view of the Visitor Center complex below left. The Hot Spring below right is near the rise.|
The climb from the parking lot to the overlook on the rise was about 350 feet change in elevation. I had walked all of the trails, when I was here in 2002, but nothing looked familiar.
|There were some really cool snow formations and the trail ends here. Some places you just couldn't go. The maintenance crews kept some of the trails open, but that was a full-time job.|
|New Blue Spring on the Main Terrace|
Another dormant spring
Trees praying for spring
|Another Main Terrace Spring|
|A couple more views from the overlook|
|On the right is a close up of the scalloping effect of the spring on the left|
|The bridge on the right is just to the right and below center of the photo on the left. It crosses the Yellowstone River.|
|A couple of more springs whose names were not available to me (lack of signs) and a distant look of the Hot Springs Terrace below right.|
Back at Fort Yellowstone
And then there was wildlife