TO NORRIS GEYSER BASIN (about 14 miles)
The road gently climbs the inside of
caldera rim and follows
the Gibbon River to Gibbon Falls (the falls actually fall over the Yellowstone
Caldera), then through the Gibbon Canyon to Gibbon Meadows, Elk meadows,
and finally Norris Junction. Along the way you may see Beryl Spring
(because of its blue-green gemstone color), Elk and Bison, Coyotes,
Eagles, Ravens, Geese, Ducks, and occasionally other birds or mammals.
A short hike from the road are the Artist's Paint Pots.
Restroom are located at Norris Geyser Basin.
Contains two distinct basins of different
character: the Back
Basin & Porcelain Basin. WARNING: These basins are the hottest
and most geologically active geyser basins in Yellowstone and are constantly
changing. The attractions in the Back Basin include: Steamboat
Geyser (world's tallest active geyser with eruptions from 300 to 400
feet but very unpredictable), Echinus Geyser (erupting at near regular
intervals of 30-60 minutes, for up to one hour, and heights to 60 feet,)
Echinus Geyser received its name because of the pebbles in the basin
are reminiscent of tiny sea urchins. Minute geyser, Green Dragon Spring
(with boiling green water in a sulfur-lined cave,) Porkchop Geyser (currently
a boiling hot spring, but with a history of explosive eruptions.)
The Porcelain Basin Self Guiding Trail
is a .75 mile round trip trail. The attractions in the Porcelain Basin
include: Porcelain Springs, Whirligig Geysers, Ledge Geyser, Blue Geyser,
Black Growler, and many hot springs that are acidic and arsenic rich.
The various colors that are found in, and around the edges of the hot
springs are the result of the minerals such as iron and arsenic combining
in a myriad of compounds. Additionally the lime-green Cyanidium algae
thrive in this environment along with cyanobacteria that is orange and
Artists Paint Pots is a 1 mile round
trip hike which include mudpots, steam vents and small geysers. Be sure
to visit the two mudpots at the top of the hill which provide one of
the best close-up views in Yellowstone.
JUNCTION TO MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS (about 21 miles):
Just north of the meadows at Norris junction
the road climbs the divide between the Gibbon River drainage and the
headwaters of the Gardner River. Five or six miles into this journey
the visitor finds Roaring Mountain. This steaming mountain side occasional
draws small groups of elk and bison because of its warmth. The rest
of the journey is a gentle descent toward the upper terraces of Mammoth
Hot Springs where over-the-snow travel ends. The upper terraces are
available to the winter visitor. The lower terraces are available to
conventional vehicular travel.