Yellowstone is fascinating and dangerous not only because of the wild animals, but also because you have to be very careful due to the hydrothermal features. There are areas called fumarole fields full of thermal vents, hot springs, acidic mudpots, and colorful paintpots. There can be toxic fumes in these low areas.

These areas are fascinating, but it’s important to stay on boardwalks or step only where signs say you may walk. There are large areas full of hot spots with very thin ground crusts around them. If you step in the wrong place you can easily break through to the boiling water underneath. It will scald you and you won’t be able to get out quickly, if at all:

2002 Yellowstone hot spot 750

Beautiful but deadly:

2002 Yellowstone hot field 750

Some hot spots are very colorful due to the minerals:

2002 Yellowstone orange field 750

Yellowstone also has quite a few geysers throughout the park that erupt with hot water either occasionally or regularly. Old Faithful is the well-known geyser that erupts regularly but it’s not the only one. Below is the Lone Star Geyser, which is about a 45 minute walk through the woods. It erupts every three hours:

2002 Yellowstone Lone Star geyser 750

Yellowstone is huge and there are lots of nature-type things to do like hiking, photography and programs presented by rangers. We took our time and made our five days into a low-key relaxing experience.

After leaving Yellowstone, we stayed overnight in a hotel outside the north entrance. At dusk the elk strolled onto the property and slept overnight on the front lawn. Another reason not to drive at night!

2002 Yellowstone North hotel 750