Thermal features

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Posted by Granite Head ( on 16:26:36 01/04/20

In Reply to: Winter in Wonderland posted by Granite Head

Thermals are always interesting in the winter, which greatly affects their color (related to both low ambient temperatures and the resulting changes in the organisms that live in them and given them color, and the low angle of light), their steaminess, and the way the steam freezes on the surrounding trees, creating "ghost" trees. In addition to walking - or snow-shoeing or skiing - around the Upper Geyser Basin/Old Faithful area as Ballpark recommends, encourage your driver to stop at Beryl Spring and Fountain Paint Pots, aka the Lower Geyser Basin, along the way to or from Old Faithful. These areas can be gloriously gorgeous in winter. If you get an opportunity to stop at Norris Geyser Basin, take it, Norris is among the most spectacularly affected by the seasons.

One more recommendation: ICEtrekkers are a great investment for staying vertical in Yellowstone's winter, especially in thermal areas where there's ice all over the boardwalks, and for ice that's all over anyplace else you might want to be walking. With one very important warning: while they're terrific at dealing with packed snow and ice, they're deadly on hard-surface floors, like in tile restrooms. They turn into roller skates, so just walk cautiously when indoors!

Photo is from the Porcelain Basin overlook at Norris last February.

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