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Friday, August 26, 2011

Back from a road trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park - Day 7

Yellowstone, Mammoth Hot Spring area (elevation 6200 feet). Beautiful morning Hike to Bunsen Peak (8564 feet), just 5 miles South of Mammoth Hot Springs, 2 miles ascent and 1330 feet elevation. We started at 9:00 am and enjoyed some shade in the forest before the trail gets exposed. Very peaceful view at the top.

From the trail, view of Mammoth Hot Springs Headquarters (Fort Yellowstone) and Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces.

We've heard quite a lot of these large Mormon's Crickets. They make a strong rattling noise when they jump-fly in the meadow.

Orange Spring Mound, Mammoth Hot Springs Upper Terraces trail. We spent the afternoon on another planet: unbelievable structures, combination of colors, materials and shapes. The scientific explanations are very interesting (there are some panels along the trail), but the sight of these landscapes is quite mind blowing.
After a while, I was not reading anything anymore, I was just watching and not trying to make sense of what I was seeing.

On the lawn in front of the Albright visitor center, listening to park ranger Leigh Dunworth  for a short and animated talk, "Wonders of Wildlife", about how the wildlife in Yellowstone adapts to the harsh weather and conditions.

Mammoth Hot Springs Lower Terrace trail. Liberty Cap on the left.

White Minerva Terrace is dry for now, due to the constant changes in the way the springs flow in the area.

An evening at Boiling River. A 10mn trail to get to the spot where the boiling hot spring water coming down from Mammoth Hot Springs mixes with cold Gardner River. The current is a little bit strong but the river is rather shallow.
We saw an elk herd passing by and crossing the river.

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