Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Seeing the Terraces

Sunday August 21, 2011
Mammoth Hot Springs Campground
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming


This morning we were out by 8:15 and on the way up
what I am now referring to as the Sage Trail
rather than the campground trail.
We hoped  to beat the heat and the crowds,
and do the Upper and Lower Mammoth Terraces hikes
before either got too heavy.

Well actually one is a hike and one is a drive
but we hiked them both.  
As I’ve said, I’m not a fan of driving. 
I prefer Shanks Horses as my grandfather used to say.


No elk on the plaza so we went straight over
to the Terraces Boardwalk.  We’ll be doing
the lower terraces first since they are
right here in the town.  Here is their map.
What looks like it goes up hill – does.


Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces (8)

More serious warnings.


Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces (9)


We passed the Liberty Cap
which is a cone shaped mound named in the 1870’s
for the hats worn in the French Revolution.



Looked more like a gnome with a knit cap on to me
at least at this angle.


Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces (13)


Terraces are my favorite formations
here in Yellowstone.
Closer views of the one above.






Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces (281)


Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces (16)


In the middle of this formation is a mound
known as the Devil’s Thumb.




You can see Palette Springs from this direction just beyond the thumb.



Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces (273)


This was one of the most beautiful formations
I’ve seen and I took tons of pictures.


Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces (268)



Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces (267)


Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces (265)


Finally David pulled me away from here and we
continued on around the Boardwalk past


Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces (255)



Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces (251)





Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces (250)



And on to Minerva Terrace which is dormant at
this moment


Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces (236)


but used to look like this.



However, given the way things change here
literally over night, it may look totally
different when you get here.
We talked to some people on the boardwalk
who were shocked at how different these
formations were from when they were here 3 years ago.


On around the maze like boardwalk we went.
We found that the maps at junctions didn’t
quite seem to follow what the board walk actually did.
Here are a few of the lovely things we saw along the way.






Eventually the boardwalk led to stairs up to
the Main Terrace which over looks the town and
leads to the Upper Terraces Drive.
It’s a fair climb even though it looks
small off to the right in this photo.


Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces (204)


Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces (197)


The Main Terrace was large.
All of these were taken obviously
from the boardwalk.


Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces (167)


Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces (151)


Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces (134)


Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces (130)


Between the Main Terrace and the beginning of the
Upper Terraces Loop was Canary Spring,
another absolutely gorgeous formation.





Hope you can see the water cascading over the edge here.




Just too unbelievable.




I think I’d better save the Upper Terraces for tomorrow here.
I’ll bet you agree we’re getting close to overdose.


  1. Like I've said before, "How can you overdose on spectacular??" Wow, that was amazaing!!

    Sorry you had such a terrible trip to get here, but glad you did so we get to see all this beauty. Mammouth is definitely going on our TODOS list.

    Can't wait for the Upper Terrace :o))

  2. makes one feel like they are on the moon to visit there...

  3. Makes you wonder how they built the boardwalks with all the hot spots and dangerous areas?

  4. Spectacular! I had no idea there was a boardwalk there. Will most definitely have to do this walk when we get back to Yellowstone.

  5. Oh my gosh -- the terraces are breathtaking. Can't wait to see the Upper Terraces!

  6. Really nice pictures, we were there last fall. such a wonderful area.

  7. I missed out on this....wow. Gorgeous. Like another planet - different even from other places in Yellowstone. Amazing!


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