Turquoise blue water. Fiery yellow, orange, and brown rays. To see some of Yellowstone’s most vivid colors, stop at Midway Geyser Basin. Located West of Old Faithful, the basin houses four hot springs rimming a boardwalk loop.
The two largest features produce the most steam, sometimes blocking out views of the water. Excelsior Geyser Crater forms a huge pool of crystal blue water. It used to be a geyser, but no longer erupts. Instead, it pumps gallons of boiling water daily into the Firehole River.
Looking like a large blue sun with multi-colored rays, Grand Prismatic Spring attracts photo buffs. As the largest hot spring in the U.S., its pool sits atop a wide mound, which overflows with hot water. The overflow forms a ring of streams that teem with colorful thermophiles, or heat-loving organisms.
Down the road, a new trail from the Fairy Falls Trailhead climbs to an overlook of Midway Geyser Basin. For photographers, the platform at the top is a good place for a shot of Grand Prismatic from above.