We visited Norris Geyser Basin this morning and attended a Ranger-lead walk with our friends Deas, Vice President of the Nealys on Wheels Blog. After a late dinner (and six (!) bottles of wine) we rallied, got up early and hit Norris Basin for an early morning hike. We caught the 9:30 Ranger hike through the Back Basin section of Norris.
Norris Basin is an ever-changing basin filled with thermal features & one of the hottest and most dynamic of Yellowstone park. Norris contains many acidic geysers which are rare in the world.
As we learned, one of the main features at Norris is Steamboat Geyser – the tallest active geyser in the world. Steamboat’s last eruption was July 2013 and erupted for 30 minutes followed by a week of steam – the geyser was 300’ high. The silica rich water in the area has killed many trees in the area.
We walked through the basin and viewed Vixen geyser – we were able to view this small geyser erupt twice, followed by the sound of a toilet flushing as it emptied. Norris has the greatest water chemistry diversity among Yellowstone’s thermal features.
Yellow deposits typically contain sulfur; dark brown contain various amounts of Iron, Emerald green contain algae as the predominant life forms, converting sunlight to energy, dark blackish green form in cooler water.
Porcelain Basin, closest to the visitor center and museum, contains a boardwalk to support a short easy hike with a good overlook of the area. A lot contains an RV and bus parking area. The Back Basin was the location of our morning Ranger hike and gave a good view of over 20 thermal features.
Norris presented a beautifully diverse selection of thermal features and is a quiet park of the park. Not a crowded as the famed Old Faithful Geyser basin and equally interesting!