We will spend our second day in Yellowstone entirely on the northern Grand Loop Road. Through the Norris Geyser Basin we will head to Mommoth Hot Springs and Tower-Roosevelt.
You can find the first day of sightseeing in Yellowstone, together with weather and lodging information here:
Norris Geyser Basin
Norris Basin is going to be our first stop of the day. Here you will have to walk 2.5 miles (3,6 km) on wooden walkways. Norris Basin consists of two parts. The first one is the Black Basin and there are no exceptionally spectacular geothermal formations here, but there are some that do deserve some attention.
From the parking lot we first go left. Right at the beginning it is worth to stop at the Emerald Spring. Just as the name suggests, it is dyed to a greenish-emerald color. The water filters the sunlight producing a blue color, which then reflects from the yellow sulpfur at the bottom, producing this green tint.
Slightly further, on the right, you will pass the Steamboat Geyser. It currently holds the record for being the highest erupting geyser in the world. Its eruption reaches over 300 feet (91 m) high. Unfortunately you have to be extremely lucky to witness it. The geyser goes off very irregularly, sometimes with 4, and sometimes 50 days between eruptions. It is thus very unpredictable (small 3-12 meter high eruptions happen from time to time). But it is worth a shot, perhaps it will be your lucky day…
Going further we reach the Echinus Geyser. It looks as it was just another colorful lake. In the past it used to erupt regularly every several dozen minutes, but now it is highly unpredictable and the eruptions happen very rarely. Echinus is the largest known sour-water geyser in the world. Its water is almost as sour as vinegar. It is perhaps fortunate that it doesn’t erupt too frequently, as it is located very close to the walkway and in case of an eruption there is a risk of getting marinated. Sour geysers are extremely rare, and the Norris Geyser Basin has the biggest number of them in the world.
Porcelain Basin is the second part of the Norris Basin. First we will pass the constantly steaming Fumaroles. The entire hill looks as if it was boiling. Later we descend towards a couple of pastel-blue springs. You should also go and see the Whirligig Geyser while you are at the Norris Basin. Although this geyser recently stopped being active, its vivid colors are worth seeing. In addition to the common yellows and oranges, there are also lime-green stripes produced by algae living in the water.