Thumbnail Image

Firehold River and Crater of Exceisior Geyser, Yellowstone Nat. Park, Wyo.

FIREHOLE RIVER AND THE CRATER OF EXCELSIOR GEYSER, YELLOWSTONE NAT. PARK, WYO. Excelsior Geyser, at which we are looking across the channel of the Firehole River near the upper end of the Lower Basin was one of the marvels of the Yellowstone Park region which most deeply impressed the early explorers. Its enormous pit 330 ft. in length by an extreme width of 200 ft., filled with steaming water "Hell's Half Acre," but in 1881 Col. P. W. Norris, then Superintendent of the Park, gave it the name Excelsior Geyser because of the tremendous upheavals observed there. In 1888 this geyser, then by far the largest in the world, became even more active than formerly and it was closely watched. At intervals of from an hour and a quarter to two hours violent upheavals would occur, lifting the entire body of water nearly 50 ft. Instantly following this would occur one, two or sometimes three tremenduous explosions, after which great columns of water, often accompanied by masses of the rocky formation, would be hurled upward to a height of 250 and even 300 feet. The tons of rock thus loosened and cast into the Firehole River from the crater evidently allowed the compressed subterranean waters to escape more freely, and since 1888, Excelsior has been inactive though its waters remain as hot as ever. (View looking W. Elev. 7,200 ft. Lat. 45° N.; Long. 111° W.)
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Photography,Stereoscopic,Yellowstone National Park,Wyoming
Embedded videos