Shell Spring (actually a small geyser) has an irregular crater that may remind you of a clamshell. The crater has a mustard-colored lining from sulfurous deposits splashed on during its very frequent small eruptions. Chances are good that Jewel Geyser (at the boardwalk junction) will erupt for you. The eruption interval averages 7 minutes, sometimes to 20 feet (6 m) high. In the 1930s, rangers found that Jewel would draw down a handkerchief placed in one vent and expel it from Jewel Geyser’s name comes from the shiny sinter beads around its vent. another during an eruption, but this practice was stopped when injuries occurred. (See Black Sand Basin Walking Tour, below, for the original Handkerchief Pool.) Two more very active geysers are located near the Biscuit Basin parking area. Out on an island in the Firehole River to the south is Island Geyser, which erupts most of the time. Near the road is Rusty Geyser, with an iron-oxide-stained crater. 13.9/3.1 Firehole River Bridge. 14.0/3.0 0 There’s limited parking along the road for access to trails.
A bicycle and hiking trail southeast leads to Old Faithful and passes near Daisy Geyser. A trail to the west joins the Mystic Falls Trail described earlier. 14.4/2.6 Through the burned trees or snags you may notice a red-orange stained area partway up the hill to the west. This is Hillside Springs, a nearly inaccessible thermal feature. Old-time stagecoach drivers called it Tomato Soup Springs. 15.4/1.6 Black Sand Basin side road southwest (right) to a large parking area. You can see all the features in this geyser basin by walking less than a mile (1.6 km). The basin is now best known for Emerald Pool at its south end. The lovely Iron Spring Creek meanders through the basin on its way north to join the Firehole River. There’s not a lot of iron in the creek, but there is a large amount of reddish brown algae, due to the creek’s thermal warming.
Back on the boardwalk Photo Gallery
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