Home Page Start |  Previous |  Next  

Page 2


Xanterra put us up at a campground in Gardiner for a few days while we received our training.  After getting the trailer set up in the campground, we couldn't resist the temptation to go into Yellowstone Park to look for wildlife.

Elk sightings our first evening in Yellowstone.  Also saw a couple of coyotes but were not able to get pictures.

We had one more day on our own before checking in with Xanterra to start our Xanterra training, so we decided to spend it exploring some of the sights at the north end of Yellowstone Park, as eventually we would be stationed in the southern part.


mammoth hot springs 1 At Mammoth Hot Springs, geothermally heated water passes through limestone deep in the mountain. When the water emerges from the hillside as hot springs it cools and leaves behind the minerals it contains as travertine.  This has been described as the mountain turning itself inside out.

mammoth hot springs 2
mammoth hot springs 4
Where springs are active, travertine is deposited around the edges of cooling pools, building up walls and terraces.  The colors in active pools are due to algae that thrive in the springs' hot water.
The location and activity of the springs is highly variable from year to year and even month to month.   Inactive areas dry out leaving stark white travertine behind as the algae die.  If it remains inactive for a number of years the clean white ages to a dirty grey.

mammoth hot springs 3
The Mammoth Hot Springs townsite is situated at the base of the travertine terraces.  It was originally built to house the US Army when it was garrisoned here prior to the formation of the National Park Service, and currently serves as park headquarters.  We took our Xanterra training here.

liberty cap
undine falls
The Liberty Cap is thought to have been formed by a hot spring that built up higher and higher deposits until it no longer had enough hydraulic pressure to emerge from the top.
Undine Falls, east of Mammoth Hot Springs.

Continue ...

Text and images Copyright © 2003, F D Wilson

  Home Page Start |  Previous |  Next