Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, USA about 1892


MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK — This is the northern entrance to that most wonderful section of the United States, which Congress has very properly “dedicated and set apart as a public park or pleasuring grounds for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” Every year the wonders of this National Park are becoming more known to those for whose use and pleasure it has been reserved. It is sixty-five miles long and fifty-five miles wide, and all of it is more than 6,000 feet above the level of the sea. Its mountains have an altitude of from 10,000 to 12,000 feet, and wear continually their mantles of dazzling snow and ice. The geological features of this region are most extraordinary. Within its limits there are no less than fifty geysers which throw up columns of water from 50 to 200 feet in height, and volumes of steam to a much greater altitude! It also contains probably 10,000 hot springs, whose water varies in temperature from 160 to 200 degrees! The famous Yellowstone Lake, near the south-east corner of the Park, is one of the most beautiful bodies of water in the world, twenty-two miles long, nearly 8,000 feet above the sea, 300 feet deep, clear as crystal, and surrounded by snow-covered mountains from 3,000 to 5,000 feet higher still. Here too are the Falls of the Yellowstone River, 360 feet high; the wonderful calcareous deposits known as the “Grand Terraces;” and, most remarkable of all, the Grand Canyon, whose almost vertical walls, only a few hundred yards apart, rise to the height of 1500 feet. Between these, when one looks down, the river seems like a vein of silver in a mountain gorge; and when one from the bottom of the canyon looks up, he sees merely a narrow line of sky, like a blue river curbed by granite banks. The varied colors in the stone composing this great chasm produce a combination here unsurpassed in the world (from John L. Stoddard, Glimpses of the world; a portfolio of photographs of the marvelous works of God and man – 1892)


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