Volcanic Springs

Geysers, Hot Springs,
Mud Pots, and Fumaroles

Midway Geyser Basin of Yellowstone

The Midway Geyser Basin is the southern section of a hydrothermally active depression and caldera ring fracture zone between the 160,000 years old Mallard Lake Resurgent Dome in the southeast and the Madison Plateau lava flows in the west. The much larger, northern section of the depression is occupied by Lower Geyser Basin, so Midway Geyser Basin, separated only by a forest of lodgepole pines, is virtually part of it.

As the name implies, Midway Geyser Basin, also called "Hell's Half Acre" by the famous author J. Rudyard Kipling, is located half way between Upper and Lower Basin. Compared to those it is relatively small, extending only 1.5 km (1 mile) alongside Firehole River, so nearly all thermal areas are easy to reach and to observe. Excelsior Group (which comprises Grand Prismatic Spring), Flood Group, and Rabbit Creek Group are lined up along the highway. Only Rabbit Creek Hot Springs and Rabbit Highland Hot Springs, collections of colorful pools and paint pots, are true backcountry areas and lack paved trails, but they are at moderate hiking distance.

Midway Geyser Basin, Excelsior Group with Grand Prismatic Spring, view from Midway Bluff towards Madison Plateau:

Midway Geyser Basin Excelsior Group Yellowstone

Midway Geyser Basin, Excelsior Group

Virtual, descriptive tours through the single groups:


Content and photos on this homepage are protected by law. You may save photos on your Computer, but it is not allowed to use them in any other case without permission of the author. If you want to use photos originated by the author, please ask. Please respect licence conditions of photos of third parties on this homepage.