Mammoth Hot Spring in Yellowstone National Park

Mammoth Hot Spring in Yellowstone National Park

Location: Yellowstone National Park

Length: 1.75 miles

Elevation Gain: 300 feet

GPS Coordinates: N 44 58.108 W 110 42.459

The Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces are very popular among the tourists and they have been popular since the very development of the Yellowstone National Park. The terraces were first described by the Hayden Survey in 1871 and they received a name of White Mountain Hot Spring.

It should be said that Mammoth Terraces are changing their shape and color constantly. Very interesting thing happens when you come to Yellowstone and want to see your favorite spring, but it doesn’t exist anymore. This happens because of constant changes, for example, springs that are active in 1-5 years may be dry, but their geothermal activity may resume.

Not only their activity, but also their color changes significantly. The color of young travertine formations is bright white, but with time the color is changed to gray. This white color they receive in the result of dissolving of the rocks in hot water, when white chalky minerals are deposited on the surface of the terraces. These terraces that remind us steps are formed when hot water flows long the Morris-Mammoth Fault. Dissolved calcium and bicarbonate are brought to the surface where pressure lessens and Carbon dioxide escapes as gas and the carbonate is combined with calcium and precipitates as travertine.

There is a number of geothermal features to pay attention while hiking here. Liberty Cap is one of them. Its’ height is 45 feet and this cone is formed by a flow of hot water, depositing numerous layers of travertine. It stopped to grow as soon as the source of water found another way out. This spring is not active, but popular among the tourists.

Minerva spring and terrace is one of the most visited and beautiful terraces at Mammoth. It receives its gorgeous color from blue-green algae and cyanobacteria that vary in color from green and yellow to orange and red.

It should be said that Mammoth Hot Springs area is considered to be the park’s headquarters. This region is full of history: the buildings in the region are one of the oldest in the park. We recommend visiting the Visitor’s Center and learning more about the times when U.S. Army was in charge of Yellowstone National Park.

Photo: Roman Khomlyak

Photo Editing: Juliana Voitsikhovska

Information: Marina Petrova

Pictures taken: 27.06.2016

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