Exploring Yellowstone: The Waterfalls

With so many sites to see, it’s impossible to fit everything into a week. We ended up missing out on a lot of the waterfalls in Yellowstone, including some of the pretty grand ones, in order to see more geothermal areas of the park; things we just don’t see in Michigan. It was a difficult decision but when we go back, and we will go back, I plan on picking up where we left off on the hunt for waterfalls.

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Exploring Yellowstone: Mammoth Hot Springs

What makes something as remarkable as the Mammoth Hot Spring Terraces? There are four key ingredients: heat, water, limestone and a rock fracture system that allows hot water to reach the earth’s surface. Yellowstone has all of these elements and the Mammoth Hot Spring Terraces are a grand display of it. This major thermal feature of the park has hot pools, coral formations and is in constant flux. Every time you visit, you’ll get to discover something new. There are two “terraces” to visit; the upper and the lower. How it works is the water is heated below the surface of the earth by a magma pool and then seeps through the rock fracture system to the surface. The hot water evaporates as the waters cool and leave behind the limestone.

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It Means Something: The Devils Tower

The Devils Tower National Monument is a mystical land mark and not because it was made famous in the classic movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” Located in Crook County, Wyoming, the tower has been a sacred place for Native American tribes for centuries and is still used today. The tower rises above its surroundings to about 5,114 feet in elevation and it’s rough, cracked vertical surface has captivated all who have seen it. The Native Americans believe the marks were caused by a giant bear climbing to the top (that’s actually how the tower received it’s name but it was mistranslated to Devil’s Tower). Science isn’t sure. What is agreed upon by geologists is that the tower was formed by intrusion; magma being forced into or between other rock formations.

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