Upper Geyser Basin: the small Geyser Hill loop

Written by Sandrine Published on 03/04/2018
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Geyser Hill is a small area near the Old Faithful parking lot, which is part of Upper Geyser Basin. It is composed of several rather active geysers, hot springs and other geothermal phenomena. Geyser Hill can be visited thanks to a small loop of 1 km on wooden pontoons.

After passing Old Faithful Geyser, the main path crosses the peaceful Firehole River and leads to the small Geyser Hill (well, I would say a promontory because the elevation is very low). After the river, you will notice the fork with the path that goes towards Observation Point and Solitary Geyser on your right.

Firehole River - Geyser Hill

From here, wooden pontoons begin and take us to discover very nice geysers and strange geothermal formations. Bacteria can also be observed in the runoff.

Feel free to use your camera in macro mode to take beautiful and fascinating pictures!

Giantess Geyser - Eruptions 2 to 6 times/year

The visit begins with Giantess Geyser, a small violent geyser that erupts between 2 and 6 times a year, propelling water between 30 and 61 meters! If you feel the ground shaking, it may be that an eruption is coming! But most of the time, it's pretty quiet that you'll find out.

Pump Geyser - Small permanent eruptions and Sponge Geyser - Boiling

A little further, we pass in front of the small Pump Geyser, almost in permanent eruption but causing only small splashes, a little like its neighbour, Sponge Geyser, another small geyser which was formerly a little more active with small eruptions reaching 30cm but which today does not cause a big bubbling.

Pump geyser - Geyser HillSponge geyser - Geyser Hill

To the right of Sponge Geyser and behind Pump Geyser you will notice a pretty ochre colouring coming from a mat of bacteria having taken up residence in the warm water flows of the zone. If you look closely, you'll see like big orange mushrooms.

Couleurs ocres - Geyser Hill

Bacteria mat - Geyser HillBacteria - Geyser Hill

Doublet Pool

Then we pass Doublet Pool, a warm spring with beautiful light blue tints formed by two small pools that meet in the middle.

Doublet Pool - Geyser HillClose up on Doublet Pool - Geyser Hill

Aurum Geyser - Eruptions every 3 to 7 hours

A little further on, we reach Aurum Geyser and Beach Spring. Aurum Geyser is a rather regular small geyser, causing a 4 to 7 meter jet for 90 seconds every 3 to 7 hours.

Aurum Geyser - Geyser Hill

Spring Beach

Then Beach Spring is a small, quiet hot spring in the middle of a round hole with thick edges.

Beach Spring - Geyser Hill

The pontoons continue to cross the whitish ground area. We will leave on our right the path which leads to Solitary Geyser, then a little further the one which leaves in direction of the central zone of Upper Geyser Basin.

Lion Geyser - Eruptions several times a day

We now arrive at Lion Group, a small group of 4 geysers, the largest of which is Lion Geyser who regularly causes a series of several eruptions expelling water up to 27 meters for a few minutes.

Lion Geyser and Castle Geyser

Heart Spring

A little further away is Heart Spring, a beautiful warm blue-green spring in the shape of a human heart.

Earth Spring - Geyser Hill

Beehive Geyser - Eruptions every 8 to 24 hours

We now arrive near Beehive Geyser and Plume Geyser. Beehive Geyser is remarkable with its small conical base of 1m20 which erupts every 8 to 24 hours producing a jet going up to 61 meters during nearly 5 minutes!

Plume Geyser - Eruptions every 20 minutes

As for Plume Geyser, it propels water to 8 meters every 20 minutes! Normally, you should be able to see it at least once (unlike us who missed it, not having had knowledge of the information)!

Beehive geyser - Geyser HillAnemone Geyser - Geyser Hill

Anemone Geyser - Eruptions several times per hour

Finally, the loop ends with Anemone Geyser, a kind of small nervous geyser located at the bottom of a rather pretty round cavity. Finally, in reality they are two, two small geysers very close: Big Anemone for the biggest and Little Anemone for the smallest. Their eruptions reach between 1 and 2 meters and occur every 6 to 10 minutes for Big Anemone and every 6 to 35 minutes for Little Anemone. Sometimes Little Anemone is in permanent eruption, which decreases the frequency of Big Anemone eruption. There is also a good chance that you will see them erupting as you pass.

That concludes the visit to Geyser Hill. From the north of the loop, it is possible to join other geothermal phenomena by continuing towards the center of Upper Geyser Basin.

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