If you are following this series, you know we are traveling down the road in Yellowstone National Park from Madison Junction to Old Faithful. This post is on the Midway Geyser Basin.
Half way through this route, you can stop at what was one of my top favorite spots in Yellowstone; Midway Geyser Basin. What made this site stand out was the size of the hot springs and the colorful bacteria mat that flowed out from it.
Once you park, you must cross over the Firehole River on a footbridge. This is where you first notice that this site might be big. You will notice water gushing into the river from the springs on your left as you cross.
After a small set of stairs, you see a large pool. When you see it, you are amazed at it’s size because up to this point, most pools just a few feet across. There is a bunch of steam coming off of it and the color is a brilliant blue. The pathway splits here and makes another loop.
This loop takes you to a much larger pool that is oozing water out of its top in all directions. This creates an enormous bacteria mat that is full of colors. This pool is called the Grand Prismatic Spring. This spring is a must see. It is approximately 200 feet across and heated to 170 degrees. The brilliant color in these springs actually comes from refraction of light by fine particles in the water reaching down to 120 feet in depth. This color is complemented by the bacteria mats’ red and orange colors.
This basin is in a three way tie for my favorite site at Yellowstone with Old Faithful and the Southern Falls of the Yellowstone River. Make sure to have this site be one of you stops on your trip. I added some pictures below to help you get a good feel for what you can expect at this site: