Yellowstone National Park - Day 3 - Mammoth

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Cleopatra Terrace, as you can tell from the photo, this terrace is currently dormant, but the colors and brilliant white terraces remain beautiful even without water flowing. I imagine that the white portions could practically blind you on a sunny day! Cleopatra Terrace
Detail - Cleopatra Terrace Cleopatra Terrace - Detail
Minerva Terrace

(from website - link given below) "Minerva Spring is a favorite not only because of its wide range of bright colors but also for its ornate travertine formations. Since the 1890s, when records were first kept on the activity of Mammoth Hot Springs, Minerva has gone through both active and inactive periods. For several years in the early 1900s, it was completely dry, but by 1951 reports state that Minerva was again active.

During some cycles of activity, water discharge and mineral deposition have been so great that boardwalks have been buried beneath mounds of newly deposited travertine. Consequently, an elevated and movable boardwalk now spans the hill in the vicinity of Minerva. In recent years, hot spring activity has shifted dramatically from Minerva to other features on the Lower Terraces, and back again."
Minerva Terrace
Mound and Jupiter Terraces - Long View Mound and Jupiter Terraces (I think)
Top/Side View of Palette Spring

Palette Spring - Side top view
Palette Spring Palette Spring from the front.

(from website) "Water flows from a flat area and then down a steep ridge, creating a colorful hillside palette of brown, green, and orange (the colors are due to the presence of different heat-tolerant bacteria). This effect is much the same as an artist would achieve by allowing wet paint to run down a vertical surface."
Palette Spring - Detail Palette Spring Detail
Palete Spring Detail Palette Spring - Detail
At the Bottom of Palette Spring, and the bottom of the main Mammoth Terrace. Palette Spring - Bottom
At the very bottom of the main terrace, next to the road is this unusual structure called "Liberty Cap". The picture to the left was taken by me, May 2001. The picture to the right is one I found on the internet taken in 1872. I thought it'd be interesting to show the two pictures side by side.

Liberty Cap 2001 Liberty Cap 1872

(from an online guide to Mammoth - link given below) "This 37-foot (11-m) hot spring cone marks the northern portion of Mammoth Hot Springs. Liberty Cap was named in 1871 by the Hayden Survey party because of its marked resemblance to the peaked caps worn during the French Revolution. Its unusual formation was created by a hot spring whose plumbing remained open and in one location for a long time. Its internal pressure was sufficient to raise the water to a great height, allowing mineral deposits to build continuously for perhaps hundreds of years."

Virtual Tour of Mammoth Hot Springs
Moments after I took the pictures of Liberty Cap the sky opened up and it began to pour, no more pictures today, we were running too fast to the cars! Continue on to see the aftermath of the storm on our camp! Next ===>

Page design and all photos copyright to Joelle Miller June 2001 unless otherwise noted. Unauthorized redistribution or reproduction of these images strictly prohibited and punishable by law.