An early rise on our last day led us to Boiling River just a few minutes north of Mammoth. Boiling River is where a large hot spring enters the Gardner River, allowing the hot and cool waters to mix into a temperature comfortable enough to bathe in. We spent a few hours enjoying this natural hot tub, relaxing from a few days of hikes, enjoying the natural beauty around us. While quiet when we arrived, by the time we left there were many visitors.
Later in the day we visited the Travertine Terraces near our hotel. The terraces have been described as fountains frozen in time or inside-out caves. However you view them, they are unique and remarkable. Each had its own style and grandeur. How are they formed? “The Travertine terraces are formed from limestone. Thermal water rises through the limestone, carrying high amounts of the dissolved limestone (calcium carbonate). At the surface, carbon dioxide is released and calcium carbonate is deposited, forming travertine, the chalky white mineral forming the rock of travertine terraces. Colorful stripes are formed by thermophiles, heat-loving organisms. Travertine formations grow much more rapidly than the more common sinter formations in the park because of the ‘soft’ nature of limestone. Due to the rapid deposition, these features constantly and quickly change.”
We said goodbye to Yellowstone and began our trek to Bozeman, where we met up with Phatty and had a fun night out on the town.
1211 E Main St, Bozeman, MT, United States