Beyond the Geysers
Play the word association game and toss this one out: Yellowstone. "Old Faithful" or "geysers" will probably be the most common response. And why not? The park's hydrothermal features are weird, wonderful, and more plentiful there than anywhere else on earth (10,000-plus).
It's a big park, though - nearly 3,500 square miles of it. There's more to Yellowstone than those famous hot springs, geysers, fumaroles and mud pots.
Exhibit A: The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. (Yes, there are steam vents in the canyon walls...but they're not the main player.) Roughly 24-miles long and containing two waterfalls, the canyon can keep me busy for many hours at a time. Much of the rim is hike-able and can be thoroughly explored if you're so inclined. Be prepared for some steep descents.
Even if you just drive the rim and stick with marked vistas you'll be treated to some great sights. If you've been to Artist Point you'll recognize this view of Lower Falls, where the canyon begins:
Giant pinnacles, multi-hued rock, trees clinging to the steep walls...there is no shortage of potential subject matter. All you have to do is look more closely.
Here, the pinnacles create a beautiful sculpted frame for the trees on the other side.
SculptedRugged pinnacles frame some of the trees growing among them within the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
Steep DescentGrand Canyon of the Yellowstone
Bottom line: whether you're in Yellowstone or a state park near your home, look beyond the obvious. There is no limit to what you might see. It could be uniquely yours, and you could be the only one who captures it.
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