Porcelain Basin in Yellowstone National Park

Porcelain Basin in Yellowstone National Park

Location: Yellowstone National Park

Length: about a mile roundtrip

GPS Coordinates: N 44 43.568 W 110 42.120

The Norris Geyser Basin is the hottest geyser basin in Yellowstone National Park. Some people call this part “the land of extremes”. Tourist will see here the tallest geyser, but at the same time this geyser is infrequent, new and old geysers, springs that have been damaged by people. We encourage you to follow the rules of the park and stay on specially designed trails.

The basin is located on the intersection of three major faults and they are the main reason why Norris Geyser Basin is dynamic and very hot. The highest yet recorded temperature in any geothermal areas in Yellowstone National Park was measured in a scientific drill hole at Norris Geyser Basin – 459°F (237°C) at the point of 1,087 feet below the surface. There are very few thermal features at Norris Geyser Basin under the boiling point of 199°F at this elevation.

Seismic activity of the region and water fluctuations influence and change features in the basin every day. There is also an interesting fact that most of the waters in the Norris Geyser Basin are acidic, even in geysers.

Norris Geyser Basin is divided into two areas: Back Basin and Porcelain Basin. There are fabulous developed trails in both areas, and both are worthwhile visiting. The Porcelain Basin can be explored by hiking, even walking along two boardwalk loop trails. The main is about 0.5-mile long. Though these trails are short, you will be amazed by the beauty and color of the thermal features.

Don’t miss the Porcelain Basin Overlook that opens fantastic views on the basin. As you walk along the trails, take delight in the color of the water, the thermal features get its color from siliceous sinter or geyserite that has been deposited here for centuries. Geyserite is brought to the surface by hot water.

We recommend taking a travel-guide before walking along the trails in the museum. This guide will help you to explore the places you will be passing by, such as Constant Geyser, Whirligig Geyser, Pinwheel Geyser, famous Ledge Geyser, as well as Crackling Lake with emerald color of the water.

We are pretty sure that after visiting Porcelain Basin, you will want to extend the exploration by visiting Back Basin with its’ own unique geothermal features.

Photo: Roman Khomlyak

Photo Editing: Juliana Voitsikhovska

Information: Marina Petrova

Pictures taken: 30.06.2016

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