Saturday, August 24, 2019

Yellowstone Day 2: The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Norris Geyser Basin

This morning I set out early towards the Canyon area by driving east towards Tower Junction and up over Dunraven Pass.  My goal was to reach Artist Point by 7:00 am.

Artist Point is a viewpoint along the southern rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.  From here you have a spectacular view of the colorful canyon and Lower Yellowstone Falls. 

I wanted to arrive early in the morning so I would have a good chance of seeing the falls without having to deal with summer crowds and sure enough at 7:00 am there were very few other people around. 

From Canyon Village I drove west across the park to the Norris Geyser Basin.  According to my park guide Norris is the hottest and most volatile area inside Yellowstone and I definitely got a feeling of otherworldly-ness here after arriving at the first overlook to view out over the steaming basin from above. 

There is a constant sound of gurgling, bubbling, and hissing going on in Norris and the pungent sulfur smell seems much stronger than it does in other areas of the park.

The lime-green colored streams that flow around Norris basin are caused by a type of algae that thrives in hot acidic waters.

I completed my early morning loop drive and arrived back at the campground by 10:30 am.  On the way I passed through the Mammoth Visitors Center area where there was a family of elk grazing and laying around in the grass.

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