Yellowstone National Park, Day 3, Morning

We headed out before sunrise once again, this time going north to Norris Geyser Basin. This large thermal area occupied nearly the entire morning!

Norris Geyser Basin – Porcelain Basin

Upon arriving a Norris Basin, we first headed to the Porcelain Basin. This thermal area is to the north of the parking area and consists of a loop trail through a basin filled with thermal pools and geysers.

The first view one has of the Porcelain Basin is through the trees. Just a hint of what is to come!

There is a choice of paths. The option we took was to turn to the right and walk along the edge of the basin. This path has some excellent views of the thermal basin down below.

A panoramic view of the basin from the furthest point up above. Heading down requires backtracking a bit and walking along a path that descends downwards.

There is a good sized lake above the basin near where the panorama was taken. It is along a trail that leads to a campground. Thermal waters feed the lake.

This fumarole by the trail caught our attention. It was venting steam and was filled with a little bit of green water.

Should we have visited tomorrow instead? Its unclear how this geyser gets its name and where the actual geyser is located in this long pool.

The loop trail in the basin mostly consisted of a long boardwalk that went over various thermal flows. There was definitely a large variety of sights to see!

While walking above Porcelain Basin, we noticed a geyser erupting down below. It might have been this one, somewhere in this scene. There is a recorded eruption time on Geyser Times that is about right.

This body of water is Crackling Lake. It appeared to be the largest single body of water in Porcelain Basin.

Most of Porcelain Basin is clear of trees. Except these dead ones standing near the edge.

A last look down into Porcelain Basin as we left the area.

Norris Geyser Basin – Back Basin

Back Basin appears to refer to the large thermal area to the south of the parking lot. Like the Porcelain Basin, it has a loop trail, though significantly longer.

The first thermal feature we encountered as we walked away from the Porcelain Basin was the Forgotten Fumarole. Luckily, they remembered to put up a sign!

This unnamed pool was bubbling as we walked by.

It maybe looks a bit like a crater?

The Veteran Geyser was a bit past the less interesting Corporal Geyser. Veteran Geyser had a small pool filled with blue water and was occasionally spraying water into the much smaller pool adjacent to it.

There was a small group of three people watching this geyser. They appeared to be geyser enthusiasts, for lack of a better term, and were waiting for it to erupt. We hung around for a little bit but left. Based on the data in Geyser Times, it looks like we just missed the previous eruption and the next one didn’t happen until about three hours later. Good thing we didn’t stick around!

Porkchop Geyser gets its name from its shape, though it isn’t clear from the trail as the geyser is rather far away. Perhaps the trail is so far away because the geyser exploded in 1989, throwing rocks 200 feet away.

Looking back to where we were towards Vixen Geyser. The three people that we saw watching it are tiny little dots near the center of the frame. They thought it would erupt again soon and mentioned to look back as it would eject water rather high up in a thin stream.

The Green Dragon Spring was at the furthest point along the loop trail. It was a bit hard to photograph as the wind was not cooperating and was blowing the steam towards us. We did get lucky though when the wind changed for a bit.

So this is where Donald Trump gets his hair!

This pool caught our attention though unfortunately we didn’t photograph a sign. This might be Yellow Mud Pool but that is uncertain.

We did get the name of this one – Crater Spring! It looks more like a crater than the previous crater feature.

This geyser spews acidic water when erupting. It was named due to the geyser’s mineral deposits reminding a scientist of sea urchins – echnioderms. It is definitely a very unique looking geyser.

This unnamed thermal feature was emitting very tiny bits of boiling water. Very different from most of what we saw today.

A large quantity of thermal water flowing down from above. The texture on the rock is interesting, it appears like tiny little terraces.

A very colorful hot spring! Like Green Dragon, it was a bit hard to photograph as the wind kept blowing the steam towards us.

Steamboat Geyser is located above Cistern Spring. The two are linked, Cistern Spring drains when Steamboat Geyser erupts. It can eject water up to 300 feet in the air! It periodically ejects much smaller streams of water, which is what we saw today. Like Vixen Geyser, there were three people who were waiting for it to erupt. No eruption was logged on Geyser Times for today.

A very colorful little pool of water that was next to the trail on the way back to the parking lot. A beautiful way to end our morning at Norris Geyser Basin!

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