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Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity

52 Week Adventure Challenge

02.13.17

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Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity

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  • Sloqet Hot Springs.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • Relaxing at Sloqet Hot Springs.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • Sol Duc Hot Springs.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • Upper Sacred Pool at Breitenbush Hot Springs.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • Middle Sacred Pool at Breitenbush Hot Springs.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • East Lake Hot Springs.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • The Gardner River and Boiling River converge to form natural hot springs. -  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • Natural hot springs form where the Boiling River meets the Gardner River.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • Trail leading to the Boiling River Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • View of Strawberry Hot Springs in early morning.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • Early morning at Strawberry Hot Springs. -  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • One of the upper pools at Strawberry Hot Springs offers the perfect temperature.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • View from the upper pools at Strawberry Hot Springs.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • Penny Hot Springs.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • Penny Hot Springs.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • The Saratoga / Inlet soaking pool with a beautiful mountain backdrop.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • Fifth Water Hot Springs.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • Cool little waterfall into the hot pot.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • Hot water channeled through shallow canals at Mystic Hot Springs.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • A soaking tub embedded in travertine at Mystic Hot Springs.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • The canal splits in three to fill mid-temperature soaking tubs at Mystic Hot Springs.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • Slightly cooler tubs farther to the side at Mystic Hot Springs.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • Smaller pools emerge at extremely hot temperatures at Ruby Valley Hot Springs.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • The main soaking spring at Ruby Valley Hot Springs offers incredible views of the surrounding mountains.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • Emerald waters sparkle beneath blue skies at Ruby Valley Hot Springs.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • Tecopa Mud Baths.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • Tecopa Mud Baths.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • View west of the Eastern Sierra from near Wild Willy's Hot Springs.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • Wild Willy's Hot Springs.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • Palette Spring in Yellowstone National Park.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • Beehive and Lion Geyser in Yellowstone National Park.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • Pools of West Thumb Geyser Basin.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • Breaks in the wind let you see the rainbow colors of Grand Prismatic Spring.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • The first view of Bumpass Hell from the trail.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • A boiling mud pot at Sulphur Works.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
  • Sulphur Banks, Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.-  Hot Springs, Geysers, and Other Geothermal Activity
Article
Contributor

The star of week 7 of the #52AdventureChallenge is hydrothermal activity. Best beloved for soothing weary bones or simply serving as a stellar setting for good conversation with good company, hot springs most definitely steal the show. While most minds tend toward Yellowstone when thinking of sulfur-infused water soaking the ground, geothermally heated groundwater exists everywhere and in many forms—probably even in your backyard!

During rainfall or as the snow melts, water percolates through the earth's relatively porous crust, trickling its way hundreds of feet below the earth's surface, amassing minerals as it goes—everything from radium to the sulfur that best dominates our senses later. Eventually, the water will encounter a thrust fault or crack in the bedrock, and, as it becomes heated by the hot belly of the earth's core, it'll be forced back upward from whence it came.

If the heated water can swiftly navigate back to the surface, often by way of a slowly dissolving limestone byway, it'll emerge hot and ready to host a profound variety of plant, animal, and microscopic life that's generally radically different from the surrounding habitats (think watercress and tropical fish in the Canadian Rockies). If you're lucky, the water will be cool enough to enjoy a soak. 

Leave No Trace

From developed commercial hot springs, to small, handmade dammed pools, geothermal pools abound and serve up thermal water bathing experiences all across the West Coast. Note that far too many popular hot springs sites are extremely poorly taken care of by their patrons—if you don't have to work hard to find it, it's unfortunately probable that you will find broken glass and garbage. The Forest Service and other local management agencies are considering closing access to many of these sensitive locations due to excessive trampling of plants, large amounts of garbage, cans and glass bottles, human waste, and toilet paper left behind.  They simply do not have the staff or the funding to attend to these issues.  If you want to continue enjoying these areas, pack out all garbage and toilet paper and dispose of it properly, use vault toilets and other restroom facilities when provided, and stay on established paths. Using these areas responsibly will increase the chance that people can continue to enjoy them. Always practice the principles of Leave No Trace, and leave each site better than you found it.

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#52AdventureChallenge​

We believe good things come from people spending time outside. We strive to provide inspiration and supporting information on incredible adventures to make it easy for you to get outdoors and explore new places. We understand that life is busy, but we strongly encourage you to make time for outdoor recreation on a weekly, if not daily, basis. To keep you inspired all year, we've put together a list of 52 geologic features and adventure themes. Check them out and join us in our #52AdventureChallenge!

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