Travertine terraces at Yellowstone’s Mammoth Hot Springs

mammoth hot springs

Out first stop in Yellowstone National Park was at Mammoth Hot Springs.

mammoth hot springs

I seriously felt like I had just stepped out of the space craft on to the surface of another planet.

I really like this scene above of a photographer in this photographer’s paradise.

mammoth hot springs

According to the National Park Service website: Travertine terraces are formed from limestone. Thermal water rises through the limestone, carrying high amounts of the dissolved limestone (calcium carbonate). At the surface, carbon dioxide is released and calcium carbonate is deposited, forming travertine, the chalky white mineral forming the rock of travertine terraces. The formations resemble a cave turned inside out. Colorful stripes are formed by thermophiles, or heat-loving organisms.

mammoth hot springs

I’ve been in love with travertine ever since I led the Marble Masterpieces tour for the Los Angeles Conservancy for many years. So it was pretty amazing to see it forming under my feet.

mammoth hot springs

If you’ve ever visited the Getty Center in Brentwood (Los Angeles, California) the whole complex is built in travertine. (Click here to view one of my posts about the Getty.)

mammoth hot springs

I love reflections and random objects and making connections, so this combination of live trees reflected in the water and a dead tree in the foreground spoke to me. These unexpected opportunities are why I enjoy photography.

mammoth hot springs

From the National Park Service website: Mammoth Hot Springs are a surface expression of the deep volcanic forces at work in Yellowstone. Although these springs lie outside the caldera boundary, scientists surmise that the heat from the hot springs comes from the same magmatic system that fuels other Yellowstone thermal areas.

mammoth hot springs

In the center you can see the Historic District. From the National Park Service website: The Mammoth Hot Springs Historic District includes Fort Yellowstone, where 35 structures remain from the 1890s and early 1900s when the US Army administered the park. Significant conservation policies were developed here that led to the origin of the National Park Service. The Mammoth Hot Springs Historic District has statewide significance as the administrative and concession headquarters of the largest national park in Wyoming. Fort Yellowstone is also listed as a National Historic Landmark District, the highest designation.

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mammoth hot springs

mammoth hot springs

This last guy is called Liberty Cap, formed by a steady flow of hot water emerging from a single source which deposited layers of travertine. The cone continued to grow as long as there was a source of water which evidently dried up.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Travels, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 

 

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Lower Falls at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone National Park

lower falls yellowstone

The Lower Falls are the second most photographed area of Yellowstone (Old Faithful not too surprisingly the most photoed). It is located at the head of the “Grand Canyon” of the Yellowstone River.

lower falls yellowstone

At 308 feet (although in 1867 it was described as “thousands of feet”) it is quite impressive. Look at that vapor trail at the bottom… I didn’t notice it until I saw my photo!

lower falls yellowstone

According to Yellowstone.net: The canyon’s colors were created by hot water acting on volcanic rock. It was not these colors, but the river’s yellow banks at its distant confluence with the Missouri River, that occasioned the Minnetaree Indian name which French trappers translated as roche jaune, yellow stone.

lower falls yellowstone

There’s a nice trail along the Yellowstone River that I walked along. Give me free time on any trip to wander off by myself to take pictures and I am happy.

lower falls yellowstone

My friend J and others went off on a hike but I wanted private time with my camera!

lower falls yellowstone

And soon it was time to catch up with my companions and hear their stories!

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Travels, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 

Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

I really wish I had taken better notes on my trip to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. We zipped around to so many places I lost track of where we were, so trying to identify my photos is proving to be very difficult! Next time I take a trip I am documenting it at least hourly.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

However, I am pretty sure all the photos on this post were taken in the vicinity of the Lamar Valley. Yes, those are American bison you see above. Some of my companions had a discussion regarding the difference between bison and buffalo. They are indeed different. Bison are found in North America. The two main buffalo species are located in Africa and Asia.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

As usual on my trips I really didn’t know what to expect. All I knew about Yellowstone was Old Faithful and I also knew the Grand Tetons were big. End of story!

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

I was totally unprepared for the stunning beauty of Big Sky Country.

Big Sky Country

We traveled through both Montana and Wyoming.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

As a city girl I am not used to such wide open spaces. But I totally embraced the idea of such freedom.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

Miles and miles of pine trees interspersed with the brilliant yellows of the aspens.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

And those skies… endless blue with fantastical cloud formations we don’t see in LA.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

I love fences and we saw all kinds on this trip. My friend J who was my roommate said she has a habit of singing songs that come to mind when she is traveling around. My contribution was “Don’t Fence Me In!”

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

We also saw a million “water features,” a term I was reminded is used at the Disney theme parks! In this case it was rivers, lakes and ponds.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

I took about 1,700 photos during the six-day trip in the motor coach (not counting the first and last days which were primarily transportation days to and from the airport).

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

I had to break the photos up into nineteen folders in the Lightroom catalog. This is merely one of those folders. I don’t know if I will ever be able to upload everything to my blog. So this is just a taste.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

The color palette was mostly greens, browns, purples and blues with accents of the yellow aspens.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

I was so taken with the grand vistas I had to force myself to scale down from time to time to see things like this moss on the rocks.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

We had great weather most of the time… both J and I have great weather karma so the weather forecasts of doom and gloom didn’t have a chance.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

Oh, those clouds… if you painted a picture they would look unreal.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

We had quite a few stops for photo opportunities. My finger couldn’t stop clicking away.

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As much as I would like to think some day I will return to this glorious region I know that will never happen. Too many other places in the US I have not seen yet!

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Travels, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!