The Illuminating Lens

West Thumb Geyser Basin – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming – Part 2

On the west side of Yellowstone Lake is an interesting and colorful area called West Thumb Geyser Basin.  This area is one of the many active geological areas in Yellowstone National Park.  We spent several hours there along with hundreds of other visitors.  This is a very popular area in the park.

Colorful geyser pools among the trees at West Thumb

There is an extensive boardwalk that winds around, up & down the lake shore.  (The surface of the land, here, is very delicate so it is a must to stay on the boardwalk.) It gives a view of the lake where geyser holes are visible through the crystal clear water.

Geyser holes on Yellowstone Lake

Flowing into the lake are streams of minerals and microbial mats (microbes that thrive in the hot mineral rich environment) that are pouring out of the hot pools that are all about the area as you move back away from the lake.

Mineral stream flowing from geyser pool to Yellowstone Lake.

The colors here were a prelude to the colors we would see in other areas of Yellowstone.   I was drawn even more to my favorite color, aquamarine, which is the color of the hottest pools in West Thumb. The bright orange flow is actually coming from a beautiful aquamarine pool.

Mineral & Microbe mat flow from very hot geyser pool.


Geyser pool and Yellowstone Lake.

My favorite pool was, the all aquamarine, Abyss Pool.   This pool is very hot and very deep.   I could not stop making images of it!

Abyss Pool

I was drawn to the contrast of the white edge with that intense aquamarine color!

The edge of Abyss Pool

As we approached the junction in the boardwalk that lead back to the parking lot we saw this series of pools that were milky aquamarine instead of clear.

Milky hot pools with a future boardwalk under construction.

Our visit to West Thumb Geyser Basin was our introduction to the sights, sounds & smells of the very active geological area that is Yellowstone National Park.  Much more to come in future installments.  But our next stop is a peaceful pond with an amazing view of the Tetons.  Part 3 will be coming soon!

Visit Yellowstone National Parks West Thumb website for more details about this otherworldly wonder!

Please visit my West Thumb gallery for these and other images.

That is all for now!


Lynn Wiezycki

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