WyoJones' Yellowstone Geyser Pages

Geyser erupting in the Kaleidoscope Group-July 1994

Kaleidoscope Group: This group of geysers lies to the north west of the Fountain Group in the Lower Geyser Basin. There are no boardwalks or trails into the group so only geysers with eruptive heights high enough to be viewed from the Fountain Paintpot nature trail or from the highway (the loop road just down the hill north of the Fountain Paintpot Parking lot) are noticed by park visitors. There are currently several geysers in the group that erupt to heights over 80 feet at times. There are also geysers which are normally dormant that have also reportly had eruptions over 80 feet high. Because the area is remote identification of the individual geysers from a distance is difficult even for experienced observers. The excact geyser in the photo is unknown but may be Kaleidoscope.  However, Drain Geyser was also very active in 1994 and is often mistaken for Kaleidoscope Geyser. The eruptions of the two geyser since 1991 have been observed to alternate eruptions. First Drain will erupt, then a pause, then Kaleidoscope will erupt ,then a pause, and then Drain again . This double cycle can take 15- 24 hours. Drain's eruptions range from 40 to 150 feet high while Kaleidoscope's eruption can be 20- 120 feet high . A third  geyser in the group can reach 100 feet which is active is Honeycomb geyser. Its' play is 50 to 70 feet high and can have reach 100 feet according to T. Scott Bryan in his book.  Another common geyser in this group is "Firehose" which has a characteristic angled eruptive water column.

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Last Updated 03/21/06