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Windows into the EarthThe Geologic Story of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks$
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Robert B. Smith and Lee J. Siegel

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780195105964

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195105964.001.0001

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Yellowstone Tour

Yellowstone Tour

(p.175) 9 Yellowstone Tour
Windows into the Earth

Robert B. Smith

Lee J. Siegel

Oxford University Press

This tour of Yellowstone National Park and the Hebgen Lake earthquake area begins at Yellowstone’s south entrance, just north of Grand Teton National Park. Those entering Yellowstone from other directions may start this tour at any stop that is convenient. For that reason, we have not shown cumulative mileage for this trip from start to finish. Instead, we provide cumulative mileage only from one stop to the next, and for points of interest between them. (Figure 9.1. See also Figure 1.4 for a view of the region’s topography.) Two long days or three less hectic days are required for this 251-mile tour. For those with limited time, some time-saving options are included, such as skipping West Yellowstone, Montana, and the Hebgen Lake earthquake area (Stops 7—12) or omitting Mammoth Hot Springs and other stops on the northern end of the park (Stops 14—16). If you want to spend only two days in Yellowstone and its environs, start early the first day (136 miles) and continue to Stop 12, West Yellowstone, Montana, where overnight accommodations are available. During the second day, visit Stops 13—20 (115 miles). If you wish to divide this chapter’s tour into three days, begin at Stop 1 and proceed through Stop 7, also West Yellowstone (79 miles). Spend the night there. Tour the Hebgen Lake area, Stops 8—11, the second day and return to West Yellowstone, Stop 12, the second night (57 miles). Cover Stops 13—20 the third day (115 miles). The tour ends inside Yellowstone, so you may want to spend the night in the area if you have a long drive home. The driving tour of Yellowstone is passable only from late spring to fall, when park roads are open. West Yellowstone, Montana, and the Hebgen Lake area, Stops 7—12, are accessible year-round, although winter snow covers most geological features. Vehicle odometers vary, sometimes significantly, so mileages should be taken as approximate. Some visitors may choose to drive part or all of these tours in a direction opposite to the one we use.

Keywords:   Back Basin Trail, Castle Geyser, Domes, Echinus Geyser, Firehole Falls, Geothermal, Harlequin Lake, Indian Pond, Lava Creek tuff, Madison Plateau

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