Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Calcite Springs

This grouping of thermal springs along the Yellowstone River signals the downstream end of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

The geothermally altered rhyolite inspired the artist Thomas Moran; his paintings of this scene were among those presented to Congress in 1872, leading to the establishment of the park.

The steep, columnar basalt cliffs on the opposite side of the river from the overlook are remnants of an ancient lava flow, providing a window into the past volcanic forces that shaped much of the Yellowstone landscape. The gorge and cliffs provide habitat for numerous wildlife species including bighorn sheep, red-tailed hawks, and osprey.