YELLOWSTONE PARK TOURPRINCIPAL POINTS OF INTEREST.
GARDINER, THE NORTHERN ENTRANCE (N. E.) TO MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS (M. S.):1
Gardiner (altitude, 5,300 feet) is the terminus of the branch line of the Northern Pacific Railroad and is immediately north of the northern boundary line of the park. Here is located the entrance arch of basaltic rock. Automobiles are required to stop at the point of entrance to register and purchase permit. Guides, horses, outfits, and supplies can be secured in Gardiner. There is a fair camp site near the town. As camping is not allowed between Gardiner and Mammoth Hot Springs, the next camp sites are near the headquarters power plant, which is located just east of Mammoth Hot Springs. The distance from Gardiner to Mammoth Hot Springs is 5 miles; the road lies along Gardiner River.
Electric Peak is due west of the railroad station at Gardiner and is easily recognized by its sharp point and general reddish color. It is the highest mountain in the park (11,155 feet) and one of the peaks of the Gallatin Range. It is so named by reason of magnetic disturbances noted by the first party to ascend this mountain with surveying instruments.
Sepulcher Mountain is east of Electric Peak and southwest of Gardiner. It can be easily ascended by trail from Snow Pass, 1-1/4 miles south of Mammoth Hot Springs, and turning to the northwest as the trail enters Swan Lake Basin, or by trail direct from Mammoth. It has an elevation of 9,500 feet, and from its summit is obtained a magnificent view to the south and east. It is named from rocks on its eastern face, which suggest the head and foot stones of a grave.
Gardiner Canyon, entered 1 mile from Gardiner, is a deep, narrow gorge between walls of gray sandstone on the east and compact volcanic breccia on the west. Eagle Nest Rock on the east side has been a nesting place for ospreys since the park was first discovered.
Through Boiling River, 3-1/2 miles from Gardiner, a large volume of warm water from the Mammoth Hot Springs flows directly into Gardiner River. The water in this river is not boiling hot, as inferred by the name, but varies in temperature, due to variations in the volume of underground steam, the highest temperature recorded being 136° F. in 1896.
The road from Cody via eastern entrance joins the loop road at Lake Junction (L. J.) about 2 miles north of Lake Hotel. (See p. 45.) The route from Cody is given on page 51.
From Boiling River the road ascends 600 feet in 1-1/2 miles to Mammoth Hot Springs (6,264 feet), the administrative headquarters of the park. Here are located the superintendent's office, United States commissioner's office, Mammoth Hotel, Yellowstone Park, Wyoming, post office, and stores where supplies, curios, etc., may be purchased. It is one-half mile farther south to the junction of the road to Mammoth Camp and the road to Norris Geyser Basin. Straight ahead is the Mammoth Camp. No private camping is permitted above the power plant nor along Glen Creek, nor in Swan Lake Basin, so the next camp site is 7.4 miles south of Mammoth Hot Springs on the road to Norris. A small herd of buffalo is kept one-half mile south of Mammoth Camp following the road past the camp. There is a small camp site near the buffalo corral. The main attractions of this locality are the large and beautiful hot springs and terraces.
THE TERRACES AT MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS.
In seeing the springs and terraces the direction here given is usually followed, although the trip may be reversed if desired. The path starts at Liberty Cap, an extinct hot-spring cone, now standing 40 feet above the surrounding formation. It is similar in all respects to the travertine deposits which make up the terraces and is the result of processes of erosion. At Mammoth Hot Springs the deposits from the hot water consist almost exclusively of carbonate of lime and are essentially different from those of the geyser basins, the latter being made up mainly of siliceous sinter. Under favorable conditions this carbonate of lime at Mammoth Hot Springs may deposit rapidly, as is shown by the thin film of travertine found coating all objects exposed in waters issuing directly from the springs. Small articles left for five or six days in the water frequently show a deposit one-sixteenth of an inch in thickness. There are some other minerals in these waters, but it is true here, as at all other points, that the most of the coloring is due to a low form of vegetable life that will grow in hot water up to a temperature of 180° F.
From Liberty Cap the path runs southwest for 400 feet and then turns to the south, ascending the first bend to Minerva and Mound Terraces. At Mound Terrace there is a side path to Pulpit Terrace, which passes around Mound Terrace to the left. Two hundred feet beyond Minerva Terrace the path climbs the next bench at a very steep angle and continues southeast to the main Jupiter Spring, which is at present the largest spring on this formation. Being large and safely approached on the south side, this spring gaves the tourist his best point to view the general features of these springs. The water appears to be boiling, but in reality is not quite hot enough. At many of the springs upon the broad terraces the water presents the appearance of boiling springs, when as a matter of fact the temperature is far below the boiling point. The violent agitation is due to the escape of carbonic-acid gas at the surface. The phenomenon may be observed at a number of localities throughout the park. The boiling point on the terraces is 200° F. The blue color of the water here and elsewhere in the park is not a mineral color nor a reflection from the sky, but is the natural color of clear water in large bodies. The water escaping from Jupiter Spring rushes down the hillside to the east, forming the incomparably beautiful Jupiter Terrace. From Jupiter Spring the path leads in a general southwest direction past Canary Spring, now dry, across an amphitheater of old formation, dotted with small pine trees. At the southern end of this amphitheater the path passes around a shoulder and to the left lies Angel Terrace. Glen Spring, which is on the right, is now nearly or quite dry. The tourist passes up the next bench around Angel Terrace, keeping this terrace on his left until a shoulder of formation on the right is passed. The path then turns sharply to the right to a narrow gulch ascending the next bench. At the top of this bench at the left is the Devil's Kitchen, which may be descended by means of the ladders as far as the tourist finds comfortable. The tourist should note that this is the only opening it is safe to descend, as at all the other caves and openings carbonic-acid gas is present to a dangerous extent. Indeed, many birds and small animals fall victims annually to the gas in these openings, although the principal one has been covered by wire netting. A side path leads from Devil's Kitchen to Lookout Point and the Buttress, two prominent points on the old inactive Highland Terrace, from which the view is extensive. The main path then extends a short distance to the west of Bath Lake, where the bathing is very fine in the clear lukewarm water discharged into this lake from a hot spring on its southern shore. The path then runs over a slight rise to the northwest and down to Orange Spring, a very large prominent formation sometimes called Orange Geyser, although not possessing any of the characteristics of a geyser. Here the path merges with an old carriage road. Should the tourist be sufficiently interested he may follow this road in a southerly direction to Soda Spring, Stygian Cave, and the White Elephant. Otherwise the path leads northeasterly to Narrow Gauge Terrace, which has become slightly active within recent years at its western end. South of Narrow Gauge Terrace the path turns sharply to the right and runs along the Esplanade until it turns north and descends to a level formation, which is crossed to the Diana Spring. The waters flowing from this spring form the wonderful Cleopatra Terrace. About 500 feet from Cleopatra Terrace is a side path to Palette Springs, which has recently become active again. Beyond the side path the main path descends to the level of the starting point, with Hymen Terrace, in some respects the most beautiful of all, on the left. It will repay the tourist to make a side trip completely around this terrace.
McCartney's Cave is an old extinct spring, the opening of which is now covered by wire netting, on the grass lawn near the tennis court. Cupid's Cave, west of Jupiter Spring, has been closed up by deposit from a hot spring and can not now be visited.
SIDE TRIPS FROM MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS.
Around Bunsen Peak.Twelve miles by a saddle-horse trail, south from Mammoth. Passes buffalo corral, climbs side of Bunsen Peak to Middle Gardiner Canyon (second canyon in size in the park), Sheepeater Cliffs in canyon sides, along the canyon with view of Osprey Falls (150 feet), and returning via Golden Gate and main road. Guide not necessary.
Buffalo herds (tame).Small show herd is kept in summer in corral 1 mile south from Mammoth Hotel, on road to Bunsen Peak. Guide not needed. Formation automobiles and surreys from the hotel and camp drive to this corral. Main herd is kept at buffalo farm on Lamar River, 30 miles east from Mammoth, on stage road to Cooke City. More than 400 head of pure-blood bison under fence or herder. Accommodations at Camp Roosevelt (18 miles) and plenty of good camp sites and fine fishing.
Tower Falls (132 feet).Near mouth of Tower Creek, 20 miles southeast from Mammoth. Beautiful falls and mountain scenery. Guide not needed. Camp Roosevelt, 2 miles from Tower Falls.
Petrified trees.Seventeen miles by automobile road and three-fourths mile on side road southeast en route to Tower Falls. No guide needed.
Specimen Ridge and Fossil Forest.Twenty-four miles southeast by automobile road, thence 4 miles by well-marked trail.
Northeastern portion of park.A trip could be made to include the petrified trees, Tower Falls, main buffalo herd, Specimen Ridge and Fossil Forest, and some of the best fishing in the park in Yellowstone River in vicinity of Tower Falls, Lamar River, and Slough Creek. The Yellowstone Camps Co.'s Camp Roosevelt on Lost Creek, 2 miles northwest from Tower Falls (18 miles from Mammoth), provides accommodations. Automobile road to Tower Falls, Slough Creek, and Soda Butte, but other points would have to be reached by trail, and guide and pack train would be needed. Excellent camp sites in abundance on this trip.
Electric Peak (11,155 feet).Ten miles northwest by trail; 8 miles may be done with saddle horse, balance on foot, and a portion of it is difficult and somewhat dangerous. Highest mountain in the park. Fine view on all sides. Guide needed.
Bunsen Peak (8,600 feet).South 7 miles. Saddle horse can be ridden to top. Fine view. Guide not necessary.
Mount Everts (7,900 feet).Northeast. Saddle horse can be ridden up from either end, over the top, and down the other end; total distance, about 15 miles. No guide needed.
Sepulcher Mountain (9,500 feet).West 5-1/2 miles by well-marked saddle-horse trail. Fine view. Return trip may be made via Snow Pass.
MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS (M. S.) TO NORRIS JUNCTION (N. J.).
Three miles from Mammoth Hot Springs, on the road to Norris Junction (20 miles), are the Silver Gate and the Hoodoos, altitude 7,000 feet. The massive blocks of travertine, piled up in a most confused manner and covering several acres in the neighborhood of Silver Gate, were evidently thrown down from higher levels, probably as the result of some violent earthquake shock, accompanied by powerful lateral thrusts. One-half mile farther is Golden Gate (7,245 feet), where the concrete viaduct should be noted as part of the difficult engineering this pass presented. Bunsen Peak is on the left, Terrace Mountain on the right. At the head of Golden Gate Canyon is Rustic Fails, 70 feet high.
Immediately after passing Rustic Falls the road leads into Swan Lake Basin. The abrupt passing from the frowning walls of Golden Gate Canyon to this open, smiling mountain valley is typical of the many unexpected changes that form the scenery along the park roads.
On the right are the many peaks of the Gallatin Range. Electric Peak (altitude 11,155 feet), at the extreme north; then the long, flat summit of Quadrant Mountain (10,200), then Bannock Peak (10,400), Antler Peak (10,200), The Dome (9,900), Trilobite Point (9,900), and Mount Holmes (10,300) on the extreme south. Mount Holmes, especially, is visible from many points along the road. Glen Creek, which flows through Swan Lake Basin, contains many red speckled brook trout. Camping is not allowed along Glen Creek or in Swan Lake Basin because drinking water for headquarters and the hotel and camps at Mammoth Hot Springs is taken from this region.
Swan Lake (7,256 feet) is near the 5-mile post. After passing the 6-mile post, camping is permitted at any point over 100 feet from the road. Between 6-mile post and Appollinaris Spring, 10 miles from Mammoth Hot Springs, are many good camp sites. All the streams along the road have trout in them.
Gardiner River (7,300 feet) is crossed at the 7-mile post. Here the road enters Willow Park (7,300 feet), comprising the valley of Obsidian Creek, which is frequently crossed by the dams of beaver and dotted by their interesting houses.
At Apollinaris Spring (10 miles from Mammoth Hot Springs, altitude 7,300 feet) is a landing platform on the left of the road for those tourists who wish to stop and try this water. On the opposite side of the road is a good camping place, the next camp site being 4 miles farther on the right side of the road.
Obsidian Cliff (12 miles from Mammoth Hot Springs, altitude 7,350 feet) is a cliff of hard, black volcanic glass. It is the most prominent exposure of this rock in the park. Obsidian also occurs in the red and white forms. It was much used by Indians for arrow heads and other stone implements, this being one of the few points in the park frequented by them before its discovery by white men. On the right at this point is Beaver Lake, the dam here being very long and heavy. An old beaver house can be seen near the south end of the lake.
A camp site (14 miles from Mammoth Hot Springs) is passed 1-1/2 miles south of Beaver Lake; next camp site is just south of Bijah Springs, 3 miles farther on.
Roaring Mountain (15-1/2 miles from Mammoth Hot Springs, altitude 7,550 feet) is especially to be noted as a late development of thermal action. In 1902 this mountain side was covered by a heavy growth of pine timber, and the only evidence of subterranean heat was a small opening among the pines 30 feet square on the extreme top of the mountain, in which a little steam could be seen from the ground. In the year mentioned activity became greater; the formation gradually spread to its present size.
Twin Lakes (16 miles from Mammoth Hot Springs, altitude 7,513 feet) are two beautiful lakes very close together, connected by a small brook, yet they are of different colorone blue, the other green.
Bijah Spring (17 miles from Mammoth Hot Springs, altitude 7,500 feet) is alongside the road. There is a good camp site just south of this spring.
The Frying Pan (18 miles from Mammoth Hot Springs, altitude 7,500 feet) is a peculiar hot spring, stewing away in a manner that earned its name.
THE NORRIS RANGER STATION is at the crossing of the Gibbon River, where there is good fishing for rainbow trout. Back of the ranger station there is a small camp ground.
Just south of the Ranger Station is NORRIS JUNCTION (N. J.).
NORRIS JUNCTION (N. J.) TO CANYON JUNCTION (C. J.).
The road leading to the left at Norris Junction is the direct route to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, but is used generally by the traveling public in coming from the Grand Canyon rather than in going to it from other points. This is due to the traffic rules of the park which guide travel around the loop-road system in a counterclockwise direction. The Norris-Canyon road, however, is open for traffic in both directions at all times of the day or night. Its length is 11 miles.
NORRIS JUNCTION (N. J.) TO MADISON JUNCTION (M. J).
The road leading to the right at Norris Junction is the regular loop road to the Lower and Upper Geyser Basins as well as to Norris Geyser Basin which is one-half mile south of the Junction.
NORRIS GEYSER BASIN.1
(Altitude 7,470 feet.)
The path for viewing this formation starts immediately in front of the old lunch station and follows the boardwalk in a southwest direction to the road near Black Growler. Owing to the unsafe condition of the crust through this part of the trip it is not wise to step off the walk. Constant Geyser, Whirligig Geyser, Valentine Geyser, and the new opening of the Black Growler are passed in the order named. The new opening of the Black Growler first made its appearance in August, 1912, and has steadily increased in power ever since; it is about 100 feet from the old opening and farther down the hill. This serves to illustrate the main characteristic of this basin, which is its unstableness. The phenomena of this basin, with the possible exception of the Constant and Minute Man, are constantly changing in size, locality, character of eruption, and nature, of contents of tube. The old opening of the Black Growler is near the road and is now inactive. Tourists now proceed southwest along the road to the Bathtub, on the left. Some seasons this is an active geyser, playing at intervals of a few minutes; in other years it boils violently, but does not throw out any water. From the Bathtub a path leads south past Emerald Pool and some small paint pots that have developed since 1905 to the New Crater Geyser. This geyser is a comparatively recent outbreak of a well-known old vent, but unknown to those who witnessed the first display of the so-called New Crater. The texture and color of the most recent deposits are due mainly to salts of iron derived from minerals in the fresh rock exposed by the opening of the New Crater. The floor of the Norris Geyser Basin consists of siliceous sinter similar in all respects to the sinter bottoms of the other geyser basins. It is frequently covered with brilliantly tinted algous growths, which flourish luxuriantly in the warm waters. The path leads southwest down the hill past the Echinus Geyser to the platform near the Minute Man Geyser. Three hundred feet southeast of the Minute Man, near the base of the hill, is Norris's biggest geyser, the Monarch. Unfortnately this geyser has the varying habit, and it is almost impossible to foretell what its period between eruptions will be. During 1913 it played every hour, and further varied its custom by throwing black mud instead of clear water as it had previously done. Some seasons it has been known to play only once or twice. The path continues south to Fearless, Palpitator, Corporal, Vixen, and Pearl Geysers, all small and with such uncertain periods of eruptions that they are unsatisfactory to visit.
Congress Pool is on the left of the road south of the old lunch station, and has at times been a quiet pool, a boiling pool, a steam vent, and a mud geyser, changes occurring so rapidly that one month it may have quite different characteristics from what it had the preceding month or what it may have the following month. The Hurricane is now a mud vent on the right of the road south of the Congress Pool.
ELK PARK, GIBBON MEADOWS, GIBBON CANYON.
From Norris Geyser Basin the road leads southwest to Madison Junction (14.1 miles). It passes through Elk Park, where there is a camp site, then runs along Gibbon River through a short canyon, interesting from the peculiar rock formations. Through Gibbon Meadow, 4 miles from Norris, altitude 7,315 feet, are good camp sites; the next camp site is below Gibbon Falls, 5 miles farther on.
At the south end of Gibbon Meadow a branch road leads to the left to Gibbon (or Artist) Paint Pots, located on the mountain side, 50 feet above the meadow level and a half mile from the loop road.
Just after crossing Gibbon River the first time (about 5 miles from Norris Junction) is a route that leads back up the river, then up the mountain for about three-fourths mile to the Monument Geyser Basin, which is very interesting on account of the peculiar forms of the geyser cones and because it is the highest of all the park geyser formations. It is not, however, of enough interest to the casual visitor to pay for the visit, the thermal activity being practically extinct.
The road now leads through the main Gibbon Canyon for 5 miles, first on one bank of the rapidly flowing stream, then on the other. The canyon is characterized by fine views and many curiosities, but the tourist has time and inclination now only for the more prominent. Beryl Spring (5 miles from Norris, altitude 7,296 feet) is a fine boiling spring close to the road. Iron Spring (8 miles from Norris, altitude 7,100 feet) is a cold mineral spring that, like Apollinaris Spring, is usually sampled by tourists. Gibbon Falls, 80 feet high (8-1/2 miles from Norris), is the very pretty waterfall of Gibbon River on the left as the road descends. One-half mile farther is a good camp site on the left.
The loop road continues down the Gibbon River, passing an interesting hot lake about 13 miles from Norris Junction, and near the point where the Gibbon and Firehole Rivers meet the road from West Yellowstone, Mont., the western entrance (W. E.) enters the main highway system.
This is MADISON JUNCTION (M. J.),1 altitude 6,900 feet.
MADISON JUNCTION (M. J.) TO OLD FAITHFUL (O. F.)
From the junction of the west entrance road with the loop highway the latter crosses the Gibbon River, then the Firehole, turning thence up the Firehole River. The mountain on the right is National Park Mountain, where the discoverers of the park, before their camp fire in 1870, formulated plans for securing the establishment of this great playground. At its foot the Gibbon and Firehole Rivers join, forming the Madison, one of the three great branches of the Missouri River. The Gallatin River, another branch, heads in the northwestern corner of the park. The confluence of the Madison, Gallatin, and Jefferson, the third branch, is at Three Forks, Montana. These streams were all named by Lewis and Clark while on their famous expedition in the early years of the last century.
At 2.3 miles from Madison Junction the loop road passes the Cascades of the Firehole. Above this point there is good fishing in the Firehole for eastern brook, Loch Leven, brown, native, and rainbow trout, and also whitefish. There are several good camp sites in the timber at the left of the road. Camping is not permitted between the road and the river.
FOUNTAIN RANGER STATION is situated on the left, 5.7 miles from Madison Junction. In front of this station a short road to Excelsior Geyser and Upper Geyser Basin branches out to the right. This short road, however, misses most of the Lower Geyser Basin. One-half mile from the Ranger station Nez Perce Creek is crossed. This is the last camp site till Excelsior Geyser, 4-1/2 miles farther, is reached.
LOWER GEYSER BASIN.2
Lower or Fountain Geyser Basin (altitude 7,240 feet) is the largest of the park geyser basins, but its curiosities are too scattered to admit of more thorough examination than can be given to the more prominent ones along the road.
After passing the old Fountain Hotel and crossing a flat a few hundred feet wide the road ascends a low hill to the Mammoth Paint Pots, a striking example of what has been given the name "paint pots." They occur everywhere throughout the park, but the more prominent are here and at Thumb of Yellowstone Lake.
From the unloading platform at the Mammoth Paint Pots a side path leads along the ridge through the pines to the Fountain Geyser, which is surrounded by a great many small geysers. The Fountain Geyser was in former years very prominent, more on account of the vast quantities of water erupted than of its height. From 1911 to 1916 the eruptions were erratic and seldom witnessed, but it has since played more frequently.
The Clepsytra, Bellefontaine, Jelly, and Jet are all small geysers near the Fountain; usually one or more of them is in eruption.
South of the Mammoth Paint Pots the loop road proceeds in a straight line in a southwest direction. A branch road leads to the left to Firehole Lake and other curiosities. It is usually taken by the tourist unless it is important to hurry on. The first interesting feature is Hot Lake, at the western end of which is a pair of constantly playing geysers, known as the Black Warrior or Steady. But the most remarkable feature here is the second lake at the extreme western end of the road, known as Firehole Lake. It the tourist leaves his conveyance and follows the path a hundred yards or so to the extreme eastern point of the lake, he will see the so-called flames. But they are to be seen from only two points, and should the wind be causing a disturbance of the water he may not see them at all. There is a circular opening in the bottom of the lake of a deep seated spring not unlike other vents of thermal waters. Through this vent, which usually stands full of clear, transparent water, numerous bubbles of mingled air and superheated steam rise gradually. Before reaching the surface they unite to form one large mass that in its upward passage strikingly resembles a flame of fire. This continues till the bubble bursts, only to be followed by a repetition of the phenomenon. The phenomena are far better seen at Firehole Lake than elsewhere, but under favorable conditions they may be seen at other localities. On the return the road1 branches to the left, leading to the Great Fountain Geyser, playing every 8 to 12 hours, and rightly considered as one of the sights of the park. Even during the quiescent period the beauty of its pool and the delicate tracery of its formation are worthy of close examination.
Between Firehole Lake and the Great Fountain, Bath Lake, with its bathhouse, is passed; Young Hopeful, Narcissus, Bead, and Pink Cone are all small and interesting geysers.
To the west of Great Fountain a footpath a half mile in length runs past Surprise, Diamond, Five Sisters, and Buffalo Springs. All are worth visiting if one has the time.
From the Great Fountain two roads lead back to join the loop road. The one running northwest passes the imposing cone of the White Dome. This cone is large and interesting, but the geyser itself is too feeble to detain the tourist long.
The other road leads west, and about 200 feet from the Great Fountain is a violently boiling spring close to and at the right of the road. This is Firehole Pool, with phenomena similar to Firehole Lake, but it is often necessary to walk entirely around the spring to find a favorable point of view.
One hundred feet farther, at the right, is Broken Egg Spring, an exquisite dainty. For the next mile or two the road approaches Twin Buttes, a prominent landmark in the southern end of Lower Geyser Basin and west of Firehole River.
MIDWAY GEYSER BASIN.
Midway Geyser Basin (4.7 miles from Fountain Ranger Station) is, properly speaking, a part of the Lower Geyser Basin, but owing to the size of its features it has often been given a separate designation. There are numerous camp sites along the river above and below Excelsior Geyser. The next camp site is at Biscuit Basin, 3 miles farther on.
The greatest attraction here is Excelsior Geyser, which once was the largest geyser in the park, but which has not been active since 1888. The beautiful tints and colors of Prismatic Lake and Turquoise Spring make them worthy companions.
Biscuit Basin (8.1 miles from Fountain Ranger Station) is in reality the lower end of the Upper Geyser Basin. There is a good camp site here, the next being near Riverside Geyser, 1-1/2 miles farther. Fishing here, and in fact all the way from Nez Perce Creek is good, but the constant fishing makes the fish wary.
The road forks opposite Biscuit Basin; the road on the right should be taken if Biscuit Basin is to be visited. If no stop is to be made at Biscuit Basin, either road may be taken, as they unite near Mirror Geyser.
Biscuit Basin is on the west side of Firehole River and is reached by a footbridge. Sapphire Pool, one minute quiet and two or three minutes later violently boiling, is the attractive feature here. The peculiar formation at its south end gives the name of "Biscuit" to this basin. A short distance west the Jewel and Silver Globe are small geysers whose striking formations give them their characteristic names.
Mystic Falls is on Little Firehole River some distance to the west and rather difficult to find.
A half mile after leaving Biscuit Basin, at the right and below the road, is the Artemisia Geyser, which has a beautiful crater and throws a tremendous volume of water in action.1
UPPER GEYSER BASIN.1
A mile and a half south of Biscuit Basin at the base of a small hill the road branches again. The road on the right should be taken, as on it is Morning Glory Spring, whose beautiful shape and color make it an object of universal admiration. At this point we enter the far-famed Upper Geyser Basin, where the largest and finest geysers of the world are gathered together in a small space only a mile north and south by a half mile or less wide.
The Fan Geyser is on the right between the road and the river. The Mortar is a few feet farther up the river. At their best these geysers are very interesting, but unfortunately have been seldom in eruption for the last eight seasons.
At the left, just above the bridge on the extreme edge of the river, is the Riverside, one of the prominent geysers of the basin. Its period is very regular, ranging from six to seven hours. An overflow from the lower opening presages an eruption within an hour. A camp site is located on the knoll above the Riverside Geyser. The next camp site is southwest of Castle Geyser, nearly 1 mile by road from this point. Special camp grounds for private parties traveling in automobiles are provided here and south of Old Faithful Geyser.
At the left and close to the road is the Grotto Geyser, differing from most, in that the empty crater is more interesting than the eruption. At this point it is usual to follow the path instead of keeping to the road.
From here to Old Faithful Geyser there are two roads and a path. The road to the left is the direct road, but it does not pass any curiosities except Castle Geyser. (See description under the trip by path, below.) The road to the right (the Blacksand Road) is slightly longer and passes many curiosities.
The road to the right turns up the hill, and immediately beyond it comes close to a group of geysers and springs. Of these, the Daisy is a powerful little geyser that plays frequently and regularly. During the last few years it has been increasing in frequency and power. Next to it on the west is the hooded opening of the Comet, while over near the edge of the formation is the Splendid. The Comet and Splendid very seldom play. These three geysers, as well as all springs in this neighborhood, are connected. When one of the geysers of this group plays it appears to affect them all.
A quarter mile beyond, the road passes a crested spring on a mound on the right. This is the Punchbowl. Then the Black Sand Spring, Specimen Lake, and the Spouter Geyser are passed. Near the Spouter is a footbridge to the west bank of Iron Creek. On crossing the bridge, Cliff Spring is seen close to the bank of the stream on the left, immediately before one are the attractive Sunset Lake, Handkerchief Pool, and the Rainbow Pool, and to the south lies Emerald Pool, one of the most beautiful of the Upper Basin springs. As the road leads on across a more or less level stretch it passes the Three Sisters group of springs and shortly afterwards joins the main road a couple of hundred yards or so north of Old Faithful Inn.
The path that leaves the road at the Grotto Geyser leads past the shattered cone of the Giant Geyser, the greatest geyser of them all, but rather uncertain in its periods. At the right of the Giant are the Bijou and Mastiff, two small geysers that are playing most of the time. On the opposite side of the river east of the Giant are three pools, normally quiet, but apparently connected to the Giant, as the surface of their waters lower each time their big neighbor erupts. A short distance farther is the crater of the Oblong Geyser, beautiful to look at either while quiet or in action. Crossing the river on a footbridge and continuing, the path passes Chromatic and Beauty Springs and on to the Economic Geyser. For many years this small and active geyser played every three minutes, using the same water over and over again, but lately its action has been erratic and sometimes months pass without its being seen.
A quarter mile farther to the south, at the base of a rock-covered hill, is one of the finest geysers, the Grand, which plays 200 feet high in a series of eruptions, its eruptions being smooth, strong, and powerful, as well as beautiful to behold. Immediately to the north is the Turban Geyser, so called because of the image of a turban seen in a detached piece of its northern rim. All the springs and geysers in this section seem to be more or less connected to the Grand, for while each geyser plays independently their water supply seems to be affected by the action of the Grand.
The Triplets, Bulger, and Chimney are for the most part quiet pools, but sometimes violently agitated. The Tardy is a very powerful little geyser, with such a small opening that there is a sharp whistling noise to each eruption. The Spasmodic is a small geyser. But the important member of this group is the Sawmill Geyser. Here the violent whirling motion of its waters in action is due, no doubt, to the explosion of bubbles of superheated steam, aided, perhaps, by some peculiarity of its crater.
It is usual here to turn to the right and cross the river on the footbridge. The path then leads up the hill to the Crested Pool, a beautiful open spring of great depth. It never boils, nor is it at all affected by the eruption of the near-by Castle Geyser. This is another powerful geyser, and is, so far as known, unconnected with any other spring or geyser. It is also peculiar, in that it frequently spurts up 15 or 20 feet, just as if it might play. This spurting sometimes continues for several days and is usually an indication that the geyser will not play. This geyser has the highest and probably the most remarkable cone of any.
From this point the path leads to the ranger station on the river bank, where the river is crossed again to the east side on another footbridge. Immediately in front and a hundred yards from the river is a rounded hill of geyser formation, with a group of four geysers on its top. These are the Lion, Lioness, and two cubs. The Lioness, which is the large open crater of boiling water, and the large cub, the smaller of the two cones, are very seldom in eruption. But the little cub, the smallest opening, plays every hour or two, and the Lion, the largest of the cones, plays frequently.
To the west on the next elevation is the Devil's Ear, and a little farther on is the Doublet, both quiet boiling springs. Then the path turns to the south to the Sponge Geyser, remarkable for the color and texture of its formation and the explosiveness of its eruptions, although it only throws its water 2 or 3 feet.
Next a low mound to the south is ascended, and on it are located three open pools, sometimes quiet, sometimes boiling, and sometimes in action. The connection between all three is very close. The first pool with the raised rim in the Teakettle; the second, the smaller of the rimless pools, is the Vault; the largest pool is the crater of the Giantess, a large, powerful, and uncertain geyser. It is just as well not to approach the Giantess too close. It has not much consideration for the safety of its visitors and has been known to break forth into eruption with no warning whatever from its quiet, smiling crater. When this geyser does start the vast masses of erupted water are wonderful to behold.
Now the path turns south and then down toward the river, but the tourist should keep far enough to the south to avoid the small openings that indicate the dangerous nature of the ground between the Giantess and the nearest point of the river.
On the edge of the high bank of the river is the broken crater of the old Cascade Geyser. Immediately opposite, on the west side of the river, is the small, round opening of the Chinaman Spring.
At this point the tourist turns a little north of west to the cone of the Beehive, the most artistic and symmetrical of all.
Crossing the bridge below the Beehive and going south to the very head of the basin, the visitor arrives at Old Faithful Geyser, the tourists' friend. Other geysers may be more powerful, others may throw their water higher, others may have more beautiful craters, but Old Faithful has some of each of these qualities, and in addition it plays often and with regularity. It had the honor of welcoming the first explorer, and never since that day has it failed any tourist.
OLD FAITHFUL (O. F.) is the general designation of the head of Upper Geyser Basin. It is 55.2 miles from Gardiner (N. E.), 50.2 from Mammoth Hot Springs (M. S.), 29.9 from West Yellowstone, Montana. the western entrance (W. E.), and 16.1 miles from Madison Junction (M. J.).
Here is located Old Faithful Inn and Old Faithful Camp. A general store, bathhouse, and picture shop are located near these establishments. Here also, just south of Old Faithful Geyser, is a large free public automobile camp ground.
UPPER GEYSER BASIN RANGER STATION is located northwest of the hotel and camp on the Firehole River.
SIDE TRIPS FROM OLD FAITHFUL INN AND CAMP.
Shoshone Lake and Geyser Basin.Four and one-half miles by road via Lone Star Geyser, thence 8 miles via well-marked trail. Union Geyser, 100 feet high; Bronze Geyser. Fishing for Loch Leven, lake, and eastern brook trout.
Jackson Hole and Lake.Sixty-seven miles (25 outside of park). Lewis Lake and Falls. Teton Mountains in Jackson Hole; Grand Teton, 13,747 feet. Fishing for native and lake trout. Automobile road. Board and lodging at Sheffield's resort, $4 per day and up.
OLD FAITHFUL (O. F.) TO WEST THUMB OF YELLOWSTONE LAKE (W. T.).
As the road leaves Upper Geyser Basin it begins its long climb to the Continental Divide, first along Firehole River and then up Spring Creek Canyon. Two miles from Upper Basin there is a platform on the right to enable one to view the pretty Kepler Cascades.
At the junction of Firehole River and Spring Creek (3-1/2 miles from Upper Basin) the road leaves the Firehole, but there is a branch road to the right running three-quarters of a mile to the Lone Star Geyser, which plays for 10 minutes at intervals of 40 minutes, height 40 to 60 feet, altitude 7,600 feet. On this branch road are good camp sites, the next being 6-1/2 miles farther up the main road at De Lacy Creek.
The first crossing of the Continental Divide, 8-1/2 miles from Old Faithful, at an altitude of 8,240 feet, is through Craig Pass alongside of a little lily-covered lake, Isa Lake, whose waters in spring time hesitate whether to flow out one end into Pacific waters or out the other into Atlantic waters and usually compromise by going in both directions.
Then the road turns down the narrow and tortuous Corkscrew Hill to a little valley at De Lacy Creek, hemmed in by pine-covered heights on all sides. Here is the last good camp site before reaching the Thumb, 9 miles from De Lacy Creek.
Soon after leaving De Lacy Creek the road comes out on Shoshone Point, from which Shoshone Lake is in plain sight and the Teton Mountains can be seen on a clear day. There is fine fishing in Shoshone Lake, which can be reached by a trail following down De Lacy Creek for a distance of about 3 miles from the main road.
The road descends a little from Shoshone Point and then climbs to the Continental Divide again at an altitude of 8,345 feet (15-1/2 miles from Old Faithful).
From this point it pitches rapidly down through dense timber until within 1 mile of the Thumb, when a glimpse of Yellowstone Lake (altitude 7,741 feet) is had. A little later Duck Lake is passed far below the road on the left.
As the road leads out to the lake shore the road forks. The road to the right leads to the boat landing, Lewis Lake, the South Boundary, and Jackson Lake. The road to the left is the loop road.
THE WEST THUMB (W. T.).
THE THUMB RANGER STATION is on the left just beyond the forks of the road.
At the Thumb the tourist should see The Paint Pots. They are not so large as the ones in the Lower Geyser Basin, but are more brilliantly colored. The Fishing Cone is situated on the margin of Yellowstone Lake (altitude 7,741 feet), a quarter mile north of the boat landing. The Lakeshore Geyser, which frequently plays to a height of 30 feet, is on the lake shore, 200 feet north of the boat landing. This locality is more or less dangerous, as the crust is thin, and it is sometimes very slippery around The Paint Pots.
The Thumb is 19 miles from Old Faithful (O. F.), 17 miles from Lake Junction (L. J.), 23.5 miles from the South Entrance (S. E.), and 48.5 miles from Moran, Wyo., on Jackson Lake.1
WEST THUMB (W. T.) TO LAKE JUNCTION (L. J.).
The road from Thumb follows the shore of Lake Yellowstone for about 5 miles. There are camp sites 2 miles from Thumb, 5 miles from Thumb, and on Bridge Creek, 11 miles from Thumb.
As the road passes around Thumb Bay fine views of Mount Sheridan to the south are had. Near the top of the hill is obtained a fine view of Thumb Bay on the right; a little later the Knotted Woods on the left are passed. The road then traverses a rolling table-land covered with dense pines. At a point 10 miles from Thumb the road crosses Bridge Creek; a half-mile farther is a camp site. The Natural Bridge is about 11-1/2 miles from Thumb; it is 200 yards from the road on the left and in plain sight. There is a camp site at this point, and from here to the Yellowstone Canyon good camp sites are numerous. A special site and a free public automobile shelter for motorists desiring to make camp are reserved near Lake Outlet.
LAKE HOTEL AND LAKE CAMP.
Near the Lake Hotel (15.1 miles from Thumb) is the boat landing, and a general store selling supplies and curios. Lake Camp is a short distance east of the hotel. There is good fishing all along Yellowstone Lake, but especially at the outlet of the lake, 1-1/4 miles north. Boats and tackle may be rented at the boat landing. The United States Fish Hatchery is a short distance west of the Lake Hotel.
LAKE RANGER STATION is a short distance north of the Lake Camp.
SIDE TRIPS FROM A LAKE HOTEL AND CAMP.
Jackson Hole and Lake.Sixty-two miles (25 outside of park), Lewis Lake and Falls. Teton Mountains in Jackson Hole; Grand Teton, 13,747 feet. Fishing for native and lake trout. Automobile road.
Heart Lake and Geyser Basin.Twenty-eight miles south by trail. Guide needed. Fishing for lake and native trout.
Southeast Arm of Yellowstone Lake.This trip is made by boat.
LAKE JUNCTION (L. J.).1
Nearly 2 miles from Lake Hotel and Camp the road to East Boundary and Cody branches off to the right. It is 26.6 miles from this point to the East Entrance (E. E.) and 81.6 miles to Cody, the east gateway city, 15.4 miles to Canyon Junction (C. J.), and 17 miles from West Thumb (W. T.).
LAKE JUNCTION (L. J.) TO CANYON JUNCTION (C. J.).
Six miles from Lake Junction is the Mud Geyser and Dragon's Mouth Springs, located 100 yards to the left of the road, and around the next corner down a steep bank between the road and the river, some fine examples of paint pots may be seen. There is good fishing all along the river. The road soon enters and crosses Hayden Valley and then enters a narrow valley by side of the Yellowstone River.
Thirteen and a half miles from Lake Junction, and right at the head of the rapids, a branch road leads to and across the Chittenden Bridge to the Canyon Camp. This camp is most attractively located among the trees on the rim of the canyon and the roar of Upper Falls is ever present. The road extends to Artist Point. There is a path along the rim that can be followed on foot, and a great many magnificent views of the Upper Falls, the Lower Falls, and the Grand Canyon may be seen to advantage.
The loop road leads to the left, in about a half mile the platform at Upper Falls, 109 feet high, is reached; steps lead down to the rim of the falls. A few hundred feet farther on the left are the special camp site and free public automobile grounds for private parties traveling in automobiles, and opposite, on the right, is the CANYON RANGER STATION.
A short distance west of the ranger station is a general store where supplies of all kinds can be purchased, and immediately beyond there is a fork in the road.
CANYON JUNCTION (C. J.).
SIDE TRIPS FROM LAKE HOTEL AND CAMP.
This is Canyon Junction, 15.4 miles from Lake Junction, 42 miles from the East Entrance, 18 miles from Tower Falls Junction, 11 miles from Norris Junction, 10 miles from Summit of Mount Washburn, 1 mile from Canyon Hotel, and 2 miles from Canyon Camp. The road turning to the left is the short cut to Norris Junction., 11 miles distant. The main loop road continues north to Canyon Hotel.
CANYON JUNCTION (C. J.) TO NORRIS JUNCTION (N. J.).
On the crossroad from Canyon Junction to Norris there is a steep hill for the first mile and then the road winds through timber-covered rolling country to Virginia Meadows, altitude 7,765 feet, 7 miles from Canyon Junction, where there is a camp site, and the fishing is good. This is the only camp site between Canyon Junction and Norris. At the lower end of the meadow Gibbon River is crossed and the road continues down its northern bank past the Virginia Cascades (65 feet) to Norris Junction, 11 miles from Canyon Junction.
If the canyon is to be viewed from the northern rim, the road to the right is taken. A high steel bridge is crossed over Cascade Creek. At the east end of the bridge a path leads to the right down the edge of the gulch to Crystal Falls, a lovely little falls that is often overlooked in the presence of the larger attractions. This path can be followed to top of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone, 308 feet high, but is dangerous. Another path from the end of the bridge leads to the left; this is a short cut to the Canyon Hotel. The loop road winds up the hill, affording here and there glimpses of the Grand Canyon. At the top of the hill are stairs to the Lower Falls. A few hundred feet farther the road forks. The loop road turns out to the left and leads to Canyon Hotel, Dunraven Pass, Mount Washburn, and Tower Falls. The road to the right leads to Inspiration Point.
On the branch road about 1 mile from Canyon Junction is Lookout Point, reached by walking a hundred feet out to the right of the road. Down the gulch to the right of Lookout Point is a rather steep trail leading to Red Rock, a fine point from which to view the Lower Falls. Grand View and Castle Ruins are other good points from which to view the canyon.
But better yet is Inspiration Point, at the end of this road. This point, Artist Point, Lookout Point, and the edge of the Lower Falls are the best places from which to view the wonders of the canyon. The view from each is different from the others, and each merits a careful inspection from the tourist. This canyon is some 20 miles in length, but it is only the first 3 miles below the Lower Falls that carry these wonderful colors. This is due to the fact that in times gone by fumes rising from hot springs deep in the ground have risen through the rhyolite rock of this 3-mile section until the rock has been decomposed and changed. The remainder of the canyon has not been acted on by the hot-spring fumes and hence retains its dark-gray walls.
A short distance from Inspiration Point, on the east side of and close to the road, is the Glacier Boulder, not by any means the only glacier boulder in the park, but the most striking example of this force. This boulder must have been brought a distance of at least 20 miles by the ancient glacier that carried it and dropped it here for the wonder of the tourist.
There are several most interesting side trips for sight-seeing, fishing, etc., to be made from Grand Canyon on foot or on horseback, via good trails. Most of these can be made safely without a guide, if careful inquiry is made beforehand.
CANYON JUNCTION (C. J.) TO TOWER FALLS JUNCTION (T. J.).
In honor of Gen. Hiram M. Chittenden, the engineer officer to whom the excellence of the present park roads is largely due, the road from Canyon Junction to the top of Mount Washburn is known as the "Chittenden Road." It is usually not free from snow until after July 1. It leads up past the Canyon Hotel. Camp sites are scattered all along this road, the best being at Dunraven Pass, 7 miles from Canyon Junction, at an altitude of 8,800 feet. These are not very good, owing to lack of water, the first water to be counted on being at Tower Creek, 17 miles from Canyon Junction by the loop road through Dunraven Pass and 20 miles by road over Mount Washburn.
At Dunraven Pass the road forks; the road to the left is the loop road to Tower Falls, shorter and avoiding the heavy grades of Mount Washburn, that to the right leading to the top of Mount Washburn (automobiles can be driven to the extreme top and down the northern side). It is well to get up Mount Washburn as early in the day as possible, on account of the heavy winds that spring up later. The climb is long, but the views constantly unfurling as the tourist rises are unrivaled, and the time taken in the slow climb is put to good advantage by the sight-seer. The view from the top of Mount Washburn, altitude 10,388 feet, is equaled only by that from Electric Peak and Mount Sheridan, both of which are as yet too inaccessible to be climbed readily.
Beyond Mount Washburn the road enters an open country free from heavy timber, and so affords numberless opportunities to view the surrounding region. The grade is a steadily descending one for 7 miles to Tower Creek, altitude 6,400 feet. An unloading platform is reached just before crossing the bridge over Tower Creek and a path leading over the hill reaches the bottom of the canyon below Tower Falls, 132 feet high. An excellent view of the falls is obtained from the crest of the hill. The two columnar walls in the sides of the canyon across the Yellowstone should be noted. Fishing in the river at this point is good.
The next camp site is near Tower Falls Ranger Station, 2 miles farther on. The road after leaving Tower Creek passes first the towers, or minarets, that give this section its name; then passes close to a wonderful cliff of columnar basalt that overhangs the road. This is the famous Overhanging Cliff. Shortly after the Needle is reached. This is a long, slender spire that starts at the river's edge and mounts up nearly 300 feet.
Shortly after the bottom of the long descent from Mount Washburn is reached, 2 miles from Tower Falls. Here a branch road leads to the left to Camp Roosevelt. There is a very pretty walk back of Camp Roosevelt, up through Lost Creek Canyon and past Lost Creek Falls. Northwest of Camp Roosevelt and several hundred yards distant is TOWER FALLS RANGER STATION.
TOWERS FALLS JUNCTION (T. J.).
The ranger station is also regarded as Tower Falls Junction (T. J.) because just before this point is reached a road leaves the loop system and leads into the region of the Lunar River, thence up the valleys of the Lamar and Soda Butte Creek to the mining community of Cooke City, beyond the boundaries of the park.
SIDE TRIPS FROM TOWER FALLS JUNCTION AND CAMP ROOSEVELT.
Numerous streams and lakes teeming with fish are easily accessible from the ranger station and Camp Roosevelt. Many of these waters may be reached by automobile, but others lie at considerable distances from the roads, and can only be reached with saddle-horse outfit. Saddle horses and full equipment, including supplies and fishing tackle, may be procured at Camp Roosevelt.
From the standpoint of scenery and natural phenomena and prevalence of wild life, this section of the park is second to no other in interest. Furthermore, its opportunities for rest and recreation are unsurpassed.
The following trips are worthy of special mention: Tower Falls (132 feet), 2 miles distant on the loop road between the Junction and Mount Washburn. Beautiful falls and mountain scenery. Guide not necessary.
Petrified Trees, 1 mile west on loop road, thence southeast three-fourths of a mile on side road. Standing trunks of two petrified trees.
"Yanceys."This is a beautiful place where a famous old character, "Uncle" John Yancey lived for many years. Fishing is usually good here.
Buffalo Ranch.On the Lamar River, near the mouth of Rose Creek, 11 miles from the ranger station and Camp Roosevelt, is the big Buffalo Ranch, where more than 400 head of pure-bred bison are cared for.
Specimen Ridge and Fossil Forest, 6 miles distant by trail. East of Yellowstone River and south of the Lamar River.
Soda Butte, 17 miles distant, is a mound that was formerly a huge hot spring crater. It is chiefly interesting because there are no other objects, even remotely similar, anywhere in this section of the park. At this point SODA BUTTE RANGER STATION is located.
Soda Butte Canyon, beginning 17 miles northeast of Camp Roosevelt, is a gorge of unusual beauty, which offers splendid opportunities for the study of water erosion. The road to the northeast corner of the park traverses its entire length.
Cooke City.This is a picturesque old mining camp, and lies just beyond the park boundary at the northeast corner of the reservation. Above it rise Pilot Knob (altitude 11,977 feet) and Index Peak (altitude 11,740 feet), two extraordinary mountains that were used in early days as important landmarks by travelers moving back and forth in a wholly unsettled region.
Grasshopper Glacier.A few miles beyond Cooke City is a glacier in which millions of grasshoppers are embedded. These insects were caught in the snows of the remote past, and have for centuries formed a part of a body of ice of huge proportions.
TOWER FALLS JUNCTION (T. J.) TO MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS (M. S.)
The first camp site beyond the ranger station is 1 mile west, where a side road bears off to the left to the Petrified Trees, three-fourths of a mile from the loop road. The next good camp site is at Blacktail Deer Creek, 10 miles farther.
After leaving Petrified Trees Junction the road climbs a hill 3 miles long, then traverses Crescent Gulch to the Blacktail Deer Divide, from which point there is a long, steady descent to Gardiner River, within 2 miles of Mammoth Hot Springs.
At Blacktail Deer Creek is a good camp site, and there is good fishing for native and rainbow trout. A trail to the right, just beyond the bridge, leads to Yellowstone River, 3 miles away, where there is more good fishing.
A mile and a half beyond this creek the road crosses Lava Creek, and a few hundred yards below is Undine Falls (60 feet), remarkable for the development of basalt in the walls of its canyon (East Gardiner or Lava Creek Canyon). It is 5 miles from Mammoth Hot Springs, and there is a good camp site. Good fishing for native and eastern brook trout.
At Gardiner River, 16 miles from Tower Falls Junction, the road crosses on the highest and longest steel bridge in the park, 2 miles from Mammoth Hot Springs.
WEST YELLOWSTONE, MONT., THE WESTERN ENTRANCE (W. E.), TO MADISON JUNCTION (M. J.).
West Yellowstone, Mont., is the terminus of the Oregon Short Line Railroad, and is the western entrance to the park. Guides, outfits, and supplies for park trips can be secured. This is the post office for tourists entering and leaving via the western entrance.
The road lies up Madison River to Madison Junction at the confluence of the Gibbon and Firehole Rivers (13.8 miles), where the loop road is reached.1 At West Yellowstone the road lies through a level country, and, as the river is ascended, low hills appear on either side. They increase in height as the river is ascended until they culminate in Mount Burley on the right and Purple Mountain, on the left. Camp sites occur 3 miles, 7-1/2 miles, 12 miles, and 13 miles from West Yellowstone. There is fine fishing at all points for trout.
CODY, WYO., VIA EASTERN ENTRANCE (E. E.) TO LAKE JUNCTION (L. J.).
Cody, Wyo., is the terminus of a branch line of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. It is located 55.4 miles from the eastern entrance of the park. The Yellowstone Park Transportation Co. operates automobile stages from Cody daily. Guides, outfits, and supplies may be secured here. Camping parties from Cody would do well to carry with them feed and forage enough for the first 40 miles, as most of the available space is occupied by farms and ranches. After this point is gained there are frequent camp sites to the park boundary.
Cody was founded by the famous scout, the late Col. Wm. F. Cody, "Buffalo Bill," many years ago, and is a typical western plains town. It is situated on a bench or shelf above the Shoshone River, and below the table-land that stretches away toward the east. It is therefore invisible to the traveler on the roads from Thermopolis, Basin, Powell, and other Wyoming towns to the eastward until he comes very near to the limits of the town.
Leaving Cody for the trip to Yellowstone Park, the road leads into the Shoshone Gorge, across the Shoshone River, and thence to the plain opposite the town. From here the road turns southwestward through the plains and runs for several miles through an arid, treeless waste. The sulphur mill on the east side of the river stands out prominently a short distance from Cody.
The wonders of the trip to the park begin with the entrance to the Shoshone Canyon, the stupendous gorge through which the Shoshone River takes its course. On the right lies Rattlesnake Mountain and on the left Cedar Mountain. The two constituted a single mountain until the river cut a deep, narrow gash through its center of solid rock. The walls of the canyon are nearly perpendicular, and yet along the face of Rattlesnake Mountain the Reclamation Service of the Department of the Interior blasted from the solid rock a splendid road 8 miles long. In many places the road passes through tunnels in the granite walls. This is the road that is traveled through the gorge and out to the park. The Government found it necessary to construct this road through the apparently inaccessible canyon in order to provide the means of transporting materials to construct the great dam of the Shoshone reclamation project. At the upper end of the canyon the Shoshone Dam itself is reached. This dam is the second highest in the world, 328 feet from the lowest foundation to the top of the parapet, being 48 feet higher than the Flatiron Building in New York. At its base it is 108 feet thick up and downstream and only 80 feet long. On top it is 200 feet long and 10 feet thick. The cost of its construction was $1,356,585, but the value of the crops raised by the use of the stored water in 1916 was $601,000, and only about one-sixth of the irrigable area was cropped.
Leaving the dam the road follows the shore of the beautiful Shoshone Lake, which was formed by closing, with a great wedge of concrete, the narrow gash in the rock walls of the canyon. Scientists state that this lake occupies the basin of an ancient body of water which existed thousands of years ago. Where this lake overflowed the water gradually wore a passageway through the solid granite mountain, and in the course of numberless centuries formed the Shoshone gorge.
At the upper end of the lake the road turns into the valley of the North Fork of the Shoshone River and skirts the boundaries of several large ranches, many of which are favorite resorts of the big-game hunter. As the road continues westward beyond the ranch lands, a very mountainous region appears. The Shoshone National Forest is entered at a point where the valley suddenly narrows to a deep canyon. High mountains on each side of the river stand like huge sentinels at the gates of the forest.
Proceeding into the canyon, many wonderful natural features appear on every side. The mountains are composed principally of red sandstone and have been carved into a million fantastic shapes by wind and water erosion. Signs attract the attention of visitors to the peculiarly shaped formations, the most interesting of which are Holy City, Chimney Rock, Clock Tower, Hole in the Wall, Dead Indian, Elephant's Head, Duck, Maimed Hand, and Pinnacle Point. As the park boundary is approached the mountains become more rugged and timber growth becomes heavier. The principal species of trees are Douglas fir and Engleman spruce.
Just after crossing the Middle Fork of the Shoshone River and leaving it to the right, as the road proceeds up Middle Creek, Pahaska Tepee is reached. This is an old hunting lodge, built and owned for many years by Buffalo Bill, and is very beautifully situated in the forest. Supplies of various kinds may be obtained at this point.
Two and four-tenths miles farther up Middle Creek the park boundary at the Eastern, Entrance (E. E.) is reached.
At the eastern entrance to the park is located the SYLVAN PASS?? RANGER STATION, and 1 mile farther is a good camp site. On both Shoshone River and Middle Creek there is good fishing for native trout. The next camp site is at Sylvan Lake, 10 miles farther. At Sylvan Pass, altitude 8,650 feet, 8 miles from eastern boundary, the road leaves Middle Creek and passes between high frowning cliffs on either side.
Two beautiful small lakes are passed, the first being Lake Eleanor and the second Sylvan Lake, a dainty sheet of water, set in the midst of heavy timber, surrounded by high and rugged peaks. Sylvan Lake is 10 miles from the eastern boundary and its altitude is 8,350 feet. At this point is a camp site; the next one is at Cub Creek, 4 miles farther. There is another camp site 4 miles beyond Cub Creek.
Turbid Lake, altitude 7,900 feet, 21 miles from the eastern boundary, has a camp site at its southern end. This lake is remarkable for the innumerable hot springs and steam openings in its bottom and along its shores. These springs keep the water more or less agitated and muddy, but there is good water for camp purposes in Bear Creek, flowing into Turbid Lake from the southeast. The next camp site is at Indian Pond, near the north shore of the Yellowstone Lake, 3 miles farther. The junction point of this road and the loop road is nearly 2 miles north of the Lake Hotel and 27 miles from the eastern boundary of the park. This is LAKE JUNCTION (L. J.).1
MORAN, WYO., VIA SOUTHERN ENTRANCE (S. E.) TO LOOP ROAD AT WEST THUMB (W. T.).
Moran, Wyo., is located on Jackson Lake, 25 miles south of the southern boundary of Yellowstone Park. B. D. Sheffield operates an excellent permanent camp on the north side of Snake River just below the great reclamation dam. The location is opposite the magnificent elevation of the Teton Mountains, 9 miles westward across the lake.
This mountain group is a magnificent outcropping of granite rising abruptly from the plain. It begins in low elevations just south of the southern boundary of Yellowstone National Park and rises rapidly to its culmination, 30 miles south, in the Grand Teton; south of the Grand Teton it subsides. Only few peaks of the many are officially named. These are, from north-south, Survey Peak, altitude 9,200 feet; Forrellen Peak, altitude 9,700 feet; Mount Moran, altitude 12,100 feet; and the Grand Teton, altitude 13,747 feet. The level of Jackson Lake from which these mountains rise is at 6,733 feet of altitude. The Grand Teton, therefore, rises apparently perpendicularly more than 7,000 feet from the water.
These mountains wear their winter cloaks of snow far into the summer. They carry, among their peaks and spires, many small glaciers. They constitute, therefore, a supreme scenic climax to the far different volcanic grandeur of the Yellowstone.
The country east of Jackson Lake is a fine rolling plateau, thickly grown with grass and wild flowers in parklike glades among forest patches. This is the home of an elk herd of very large size, which is separate from the elk herd that makes the northern section of the park its principal home. Game preserves protect the elk as far south as Snake River. Below that large numbers are killed by hunters in season, doubtless including many of the natural denizens of the national park which have strayed across the river.
There are fertile farms south of Snake River. From Jackson Lake reclaimed waters fertilize a large area west of the Tetons in Idaho. The dam at Moran is 86 feet high and 650 feet long. Its distribution system includes 713 miles of canals. The power and transmission lines have a length of 69 miles.
At the southern entrance of the park, altitude 6,850 feet, is the ranger station. A good camp site is near and there is good fishing for whitefish, native, Loch Leven, and lake trout in Lewis and Snake Rivers. Next camp site is 8 miles farther on.
Moose Falls is on Crawfish Creek, 1-1/2 miles north of southern boundary and 100 yards east of road. The road leads over the hills west of and parallel with the Lewis River to Lewis Fells (upper, 80 feet high; lower, 50 feet high), altitude 7,650 feet, 10.4 miles from south boundary. While climbing the hill through the burned section the tourist should look back at the Teton Mountains to the south. A good camp site is just north of Lewis Fails on Aster Creek, up which the road turns. The next camp site is at the north end of Lewis Lake, 4 miles farther on.
Lewis Lake, altitude 7,720 feet, is a heart-shaped lake, 3 miles north and south by 2 miles wide, lying to the west of Mount Sheridan. It has an extensive hot springs basin on its northwestern shore. Lewis River, which rises in Shoshone Lake farther north, flows through this lake on its way to Snake River. There is good fishing in Lewis Lake and its inlet for lake trout. The next camp sites after leaving Lewis Lake are 2 and 7 miles north.
From Lewis Lake the road climbs gradually up the Continental Divide, altitude 8,000 feet, and then drops down to Yellowstone Lake, a mile and a half south of the Thumb, 23 miles from the southern boundary of the park.1
TOWER FALLS JUNCTION (T. J.) TO BUFFALO RANCH, SODA BUTTE, AND COOKE CITY, MONT.
Two hundred yards east of Tower Falls Ranger Station, 18 miles from Mammoth Hot Springs, the road to the mining town of Cooke City, Mont., branches off from the loop road northeast across the flat. Good camp sites are frequent and there is good fishing for native trout to Soda Butte. The Yellowstone River is crossed on the longest single-span steel bridge in the park. Junction Butte is on the left. The road runs across open, grassy flats, strewn with granite boulders dropped by the glacier, to the bridge across Lamar River, 5 miles from Tower Falls Junction. Two miles beyond the bridge the Lamar Canyon is entered. Here the smooth, round, glacier boulders lie piled in immense masses.
Leaving the canyon, the road passes up the north side of the upper Lamar Valley, past the Buffalo Ranch (12 miles from Tower Falls Junction), where a herd of over 400 head of buffalo (bison) are maintained by the Government. Five miles beyond the road leaves the Lamar Valley and turns northeast up the Soda Butte Valley. As one ascends this valley he is treated to some of the finest mountain scenery in the park. Soda Butte, an old hot spring or geyser cone so named by the old trappers, lies alongside the road on the right 17 miles from Tower Falls Junction, with the Soda Butte Ranger Station on the left. Good camp sites continue frequently for 5 miles beyond the Butte, the next good camp site being 10 miles beyond the Butte. The northeast boundary is crossed (35 miles from Tower Falls Junction and 53 miles from Mammoth Hot Springs) in the midst of a heavy forest, 3 miles before reaching Cooke City. From Soda Butte the road follows up Soda Butte Creek through the heart of magnificent mountain scenery.
Last Updated: 16-Feb-2010