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Midway Geyser Basin

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Midway Geyser Basin contains a small collection of mammoth-sized springs, and it is actually part of the Lower Geyser Basin, but because of its isolated location between the main features of Lower and Upper geyser basins, it became known as Midway.

Rudyard Kipling, who visited Yellowstone in 1889, immortalized this basin by referring to it as "Hell's Half Acre." The main highlights of this boardwalk are Excelsior Geyser/Spring and Grand Prismatic Spring—often times, both features are obscured by steam rising from the surface of their water. The hotter the air temperature, the less likely steam will hinder your view.

Both springs are extremely large, and it is hard to get a good sense of their beauty from the boardwalk. Grand Prismatic Spring is unbelievable in color and size, and from the boardwalk you can see the ring of red fading into orange, yellow, and then to the blue center of the deep pool. We also noticed a funnel of steam making its way across the surface of the spring like a mini tornado. In contrast, Excelsior Geyser, now considered a spring, is a silty blue color all around. The runoff from this huge spring drains in a colorful orange ribbon down a bank into the Firehole River.


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