Yel­low­stone Na­tional Park: Jump into chill­ing beauty

The Washington Post Sunday - - TRAVEL - PHO­TO­GRAPHS AND TEXT BY BON­NIE JO MOUNT

I used to think that Yel­low­stone was more bizarre than beau­ti­ful. Not any­more. Amer­ica’s first na­tional park of­fers a land­scape of ex­tremes: spew­ing gey­sers, bub­bling mud pots, hot springs, cold rivers, vi­o­lent wa­ter­falls, lan­guid lakes, lush val­leys, a rocky canyon and peaks just high enough to force a flat­lander’s breath. The sky changes con­stantly. Blue above. Gray over there. Mist on the hori­zon. A rain­bow overmy shoul­der. There’s wildlife ev­ery­where. And end­less pho­to­graphic pos­si­bil­i­ties. I could spend a life­time here. I had three days. Andmy handy smart­phone cam­era. Travel light. Rise early. Stay out late. Look ev­ery­where. In a gen­eral store, I found sou­venirs. And a T-shirt pro­mot­ing Yel­low­stone as the “old­est & best.” I bought it.

Visi­tors cool off in the Fire­hole River in Yel­low­stone Na­tional Park in­Wy­oming on a sunny af­ter­noon

in June. This and all other im­ages in the photo

es­say were shot us­ing an iPhone 6.

Clock­wise, from top: Dur­ing a cool morn­ing, visi­tors wan­der throughMid­way Geyser Basin, pass­ing Ex­cel­sior Geyser and its ris­ing steam. With the geyser’s

tem­per­a­ture of nearly 200 de­grees, the basin was once known as “Hell’s Half-Acre,” but Ex­cel­sior hasn’t had ma­jor erup­tions in more than a cen­tury. Visi­tors ob­serve the hard­ened white cal­cium car­bon­ate ter­races at Pal­ette Spring atMam­moth Hot Springs; a bi­son heads for a meal af­ter loung­ing at the

edge of­Mud Vol­cano/Sul­phur Cal­dron (which smells like rot­ten eggs be­cause of hy­dro­gen sul­fide); a hiker ex­plores a trail lead­ing to Trout Lake.

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