On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions. From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
This series was created by Alain Chamot (1971-2020).
Yellowstone National Park is a truly miraculous place, with all of the wonders of nature — trees, mountains, canyons, waterfalls, lakes, rivers, wildlife — that you would expect to see in any national park but with an absolutely stunning array of colors, geysers, mud pits, hot streams and pools, most of which are fairly easy to get to. If this park isn’t on your bucket list, you really need to add it. There is nothing like it anywhere else in the world.
It’s one of those places that you really do have to see in person, as pictures just don’t do it justice. Everywhere you look, there’s something spectacular to see. I took over 600 pictures in the few days that I was there and narrowing that down to just 24 to post here, in 3 sets of 8, was torture.
Reputed to be the largest log structure in the world, the Old Faithful Inn is perhaps the best known of the U.S. National Park lodges. It is an amazing structure inside and out, with reservations required as much as a year in advance if you wish to stay.
The Old Faithful geyser, still as faithful as ever, with its eruptions still timed to the minute.
The colors mostly come from the algae that thrives in the heated water. Expert viewers can even tell something of the temperature of the water from the color of the algae.
The deeper-colored pools tend to be quite hot, and quite dangerous. Exposure to the hottest pools can parboil you in minutes.
Odd rock formations abound, as minerals brought up by the geysers accumulate into odd shapes over the years.
This is one of the saddest sites at Yellowstone, despite the stunning colors. The Morning Glory Pool was so named because of a delicate fluted edge surrounding a beautiful pool of a uniform deep blue, making it resemble a morning glory flower.
The edge was broken off, piece by piece, by souvenir hunters decades ago, and because of the literally tons of trash thrown into the pool, the pool’s vents have become partially blocked, altering the temperature of the pool and changing its color. The park service regularly vacuums out the pool and tries to remove all of the garbage but it has been unable to stop the pool’s slow decline or to restore it to its former beauty.
A static image doesn’t really do these pits justice, as you really do have to see these bubbles developing and popping to appreciate them. There is this constant low-level susurration everywhere in Yellowstone, much of it from the various geothermal features.
Buffalo are scattered throughout the park, although I’ve only seen the larger herds on the eastern side of the park. Unless the spectators are being foolish, the buffalo ignore them and think nothing of walking along the road and trails throughout the park.