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gem icon Grand Prismatic

24 votes

Overview

Yellowstone is a place of superlatives. The park features one of the most geothermally active areas on the planet, hosting the highest volume of geysers outside of New Zealand and Iceland. Though small in size, the Midway Geyser Basin is home to some of Yellowstone’s superlative features.

Grand Prismatic Spring is one of the largest hot spring pools in the world, and is the central attraction of the basin. With a diameter of 371 feet, the size of the pool is awe inspiring, even without the jewel-tone colors of the water. The middle of the pool is a deep azure, a result of the dissolved minerals within the spring. As the water gets shallow, sulphur deposits and the presence of extremophiles makes the water appear first green, then yellow, and finally a fiery orange. This scenic pool will give off a large quantity of steam in cooler weather, so warmer days are the best time to get a clear glimpse of the brilliant colors of the pool.

Another of the superlative features found within the Midway Geyser Basin is the relic of the Excelsior Geyser. In it’s prime in late 1800’s, the geyser had a propensity to throw water as high as 300 ft. into the air on occasion, violently expelling thousands of gallons of water. Not only were historic eruptions recorded as being 300 ft. tall, they were also measured to be nearly 300 ft. wide. While Excelsior Geyser no longer erupts in such shows, the pool present today is a highly productive spring. Nearly 4,050 gallons of water are expelled into the Firehole River every minute, making Excelsior Spring one of the most productive in the world. Take a moment to enjoy the sulfurous-looking tributaries into the river, as extremophiles have made a brightly colored home in the waters that pour into the river.

Though Grand Prismatic and Excelsior are the two largest features in the basin, the Turquoise and Indigo Springs rival their larger cousins in beauty. Visitors should be sure to take the time to explore the Midway Geyser Basi...

Short Walk: A bridge and series of boardwalks bring visitors the short distance from the parking area to the springs.

Family Friendly: Grand Prismatic Spring lives up to its name, and kids will enjoy the brilliant colors of the area.

Gem Type: Hot Spring

Shared by:
Mikhaila Redovian

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Shared by Mikhaila Redovian on May 12, 2016. All Page Views: 816. Last Month: 9.