This short spur trail drops from the Upper Terrace Drive to view spectacular Canary Spring. So named for its bright yellow color, Canary owes its brilliance to sulfur-dependent filamentous bacteria. The colors blend here in delicate tints on the creamy rock face.
The Mammoth Terraces are constantly changing as new springs show up and others become inactive. Canary, like other springs in the area, enjoys active phases (like now) and periodically goes dormant. Years of observation of the hot spring activity at Mammoth indicate that while change is ongoing and sometimes takes place literally overnight, the overall level of activity and water discharge has remained relatively constant throughout the decades. Here, as in few other places on earth, geological activity can be appreciated on a human time scale.
Thanks to guidebook author, Tom Carter, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about visiting Yellowstone, check out his book, Day Hiking Yellowstone