Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming, USA by Wade Thorson

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Picture Story

Mammoth Hot springs is located on a hill of travertine in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Created over thousands of years, the hot water from the springs bubbled up and deposited calcium carbonate into step and pool formations. The water temperature at the surface is generally about 170 degrees (80c), so bathing is highly not recommended. The algae surviving in the warm pools color the travertine different shades of brown, orange, red and green.

I spent the night camping in the forest outside the park, and awoke early to make it to the Hot Springs by dawn. I may have miscalculated the driving distance, and missed sunrise. I still arrived early enough for some nice low side light. I spent the next couple of hours looking and photographing from the boardwalks and foot trails. The air was cool, and the steam from the hot pools created a nice ethereal fog. The dead trees where an interesting oddity I thought, having survived enough to continue to keep standing. The colors and textures of the travertine provided plenty of subject matter and deserved the time to analyze. The cloud cover helped keep the harsh sunlight at bay that entire beautiful spring morning.


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