Old Faithful – West Thumb

Yellowstone’s Grand Loop Road heading East from Old Faithful to West Thumb.

craigmapContinuing east on the Grand Loop Road is Craig pass and Isa Lake. Elevation here is 8,261
feet. Isa Lake straddles the Continental Divide and it’s water flows to both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
West thumb geyser basin is one of the most beautiful in Yellowstone. On the edge of Yellowstone Lake it contains many beautiful hot springs and their runoff channels.
One of the most famous features here is Fishing Cone. It’s cone is surounded by the waters of Yellowstone Lake. It was reported that one could catch a fish and cook it while it was still on the hook.

Madison Jct to Old Faithful

Yellowstone’s Grand Loop Road heading North from Madison Jct to Old Faithful.

fireholemapThis section of the road follows the famous Firehole River and will lead you to the Upper, Middle and Lower Geyser Basins. Near Madison Jct is a turn off to beautiful firehole canyon and firehole falls. The Fountain Paint Pots are in the Lower Geyser Basin. Here mud boils and bubbles and sometimes spurts into the air. The mud is composed of clay and silica which was formed by chemical decomposition of rock minerals. Past the Paint Pots is a side road that leads to one of the best geysers in Yellowstone – Great Fountain Geyser. It erupts to heights of 100 to 150 feet with rare bursts reaching heights of 200 feet. Midway Geyser Basin is dominated by two gigantic features, Excelsior Geyser and Grand Prismatic Spring. Excelsior Geyser spills into the Firehole River at a rate of over 5 million gallons a day. The upper geyser basin contains two thirds of all the geysers in Yellowstone. It is highlighted by the most famous geyser in the world – Old Faithful.

West Entrance to Madison Jct.

The West Entrance to Yellowstone National Park.

madisonmapThis section of the park is dominated by the beautiful Madison River. Most of the road follows the river thru this natural entrance to the heart of Yellowstone.
Mount Haynes is approximately 8000 feet high and was named after an early Yellowstone Photographer.
Just west of here (Madison Meadows) is where the Firehole River and the Gibbon River join to form the Madison River.
In this vicinity is where the Washburn-Langford-Doane expedition of 1870 spent the last night of their expedition. Around a campfire that evening, it is reported, that the first concept of setting aside the wonders that is Yellowstone as a National Park was discussed.

Related Yellowstone Net Pages