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Explore Yellowstone National Park’s Geological Wonders with VBT

Grand Prismatic SpringThe geology of Yellowstone National Park gives unparalleled insight into a unique terrain that contains the largest concentration of geothermal features in the entire world. Other than the famed Yellowstone geysers, the park is home to many fumaroles, thermal springs, and mud pots.  When huge volcanic eruptions—over 1,000 times more powerful than Mt. Saint Helens—occurred here over 600,000 years ago, they created a massive, lava-filled caldera. This massive caldera makes up much of what is now Yellowstone National Park. The magnificent landscape that we’ll explore on  our walking tour—including the impressive Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Yellowstone Lake, Hayden Valley and Geyser basins—has been sculpted over millennia. To learn more, read this short guide to some of the geological wonders you can experience while on our Yellowstone & Grand Teton: Walking America’s Wilderness vacation.

YelOldFaithfulThe Yellowstone National Park geysers make up two-thirds of the total amount found in the world. Although the park contains over 1,200 geysers—465 of which are active annually—the one that is on every park visitor’s agenda is the famed Old Faithful Geyser. Despite not being the largest of the Yellowstone geysers—that distinction goes to the 300ft blast of the Steamboat Geyser—Old Faithful’s consistency is what sets it apart. If we don’t arrive just in time to see an eruption, we won’t have to wait long since Old Faithful erupts every 90 minutes or so, hence it’s name. We’ll also have ample opportunities to view an eruption during our night’s stay at the awe-inspiring Old Faithful Inn, known for its spectacular seven-story tall lobby of log rafters and 85-foot stone fireplace. Located just a short walk from Old Faithful, you can always just step outside to view an eruption from the inn’s second-floor deck.

Hot Springs
Yellowstone is home to many hot springs including Mammoth Hot Springs, a large complex of hot springs located onYellowstone Thermal Pool a hill of travertine and accented by natural sculptures of cooled calcium carbonate. One of the highlights of our tour is the day we walk to the Grand Prismatic Spring (pictured at the top of this blog), the largest hot spring in the United States and 3rd largest in the world. The Grand Prismatic is known for its rainbow of colors that are caused by bacteria living at the spring’s edges: reds, yellows, greens, and blues create a vivid pool on the basin floor. VBT guests will view these amazing hot springs from our walking trail, far above the crowded boardwalks that skirt its shores.

Mud Pots
Yellowstone mud potAnother seemingly supernatural phenomenon of Yellowstone geology is the park’s mud pots which are like hot springs, except instead of boiling water they are made of bubbling clay. Over time the microorganisms in Yellowstone’s ground use super-hot gas from vents in the earth’s crust and convert it to sulfuric acid. The acid in turn breaks down hard rock into soft clay which liquefies and then bubbles as it releases more gas. During our stay we’ll have the chance to view prime examples of the park’s mud pots including the Mud Volcano and the Artist’s Paint Pots—a very colorful example of the normally gray mud pots.

These are just a few of the park’s geothermal attractions that you’ll get to discover on our new Yellowstone & Grand Teton: Walking America’s Wilderness. To learn more about the itinerary and departure dates for this walking vacation please visit our website. To request a full catalog with all of our vacations please click here. If you would like to reserve a vacation or speak with one of our Tour Consultants, please call 800-245-3868, available Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 6:30pm EST and Saturdays from 10:00am-3:00pm EST.

Walk Yellowstone National Park with VBT

OFI an Old Faithful
Yellowstone National Park, the large swath of land resting on the Yellowstone plateau in the northwest corner of Wyoming, is home to diverse wildlife, unique geological formations and the most concentrated amount of geothermal activity in the entire world. Originally home to Native Americans some 11,000 years ago, present day Yellowstone history began in 1872, when President Grant signed the “The Act of Dedicationinto law making Yellowstone the first National Park in the world, let alone the United States. Travelers on our Yellowstone & Grand Teton: Walking America’s Wilderness vacation will get to visit the park and view its famed geysers, traverse its nature trails, get up close to its wildlife and relax in a rustic lodge and lakeside hotel.

The vastness of Yellowstone National Park allows one to visit many times before they can fully experience all the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstonepark has to offer. There are so many things to do in Yellowstone National Park and visiting with VBT takes away the stress of worrying about all of your options and enables you to focus on the few that we have organized on amazing, adventure-filled days during your stay.  During our stay at the Lake Yellowstone Hotel— the oldest hotel in any National Park—we’ll  summit  Elephant Back Mountain on a trail that takes us through shaded old-growth lodge pole pine forests to an overlook offering impressive views of the lake below. Another day, we’ll spend discovering the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, whose oxidizing iron walls give off the appearance of the yellow color, perhaps the namesake of the river that formed the canyon. We’ll walk along the rim of the canyon and stop at spectacular viewpoints of the two largest waterfalls in the park—the Upper and Lower Falls.

Old Faithful Inn Lobby.Our final day of this vacation includes a scenic shuttle ride to the western part of the park so be on the lookout for unique wildlife like bison, elk, wolves, bighorn sheep and more. Once we’ve arrived, we’ll enjoy nature walks to the Grand Prismatic Spring and the Old Faithful Geyser. Our last night is spent in The Old Faithful Inn, a rustic-style lodge that opened in 1904 and was inspired by the great camps of the Adirondacks.  Most of the building materials used, including lodge pole pine and rhyolite stone, were found within a 5 mile radius of the Inn. Guests will enjoy relaxing by the magnificent fireplace or taking in the sunset on one of the giant porches with spectacular views.

Be sure to check back later in the week for a blog discussing some of the park’s geothermal attractions more in-depth. For more information about the rest of our Yellowstone & Grand Teton: Walking America’s Wilderness​ tour, please visit our website. To request a full catalog with all of our vacations please click here. If you would like to reserve a vacation or speak with one of our Tour Consultants, please call 800-245-3868, available Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 6:30pm EST and Saturdays from 10:00am-3:00pm EST.

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