WyoJones Yellowstone Geyser Pages

Monument Basin

Gibbon Geyser Basin






click photograph for larger image

Photos by Gregory L. Jones. Copyrighted material, no copies or alteration or other uses without authorization of the author.

Monument basin was named for the weird cones of geyserite shown above. Just why these cones grew this way is unknown, however, the growth of the cones is the reason that geyser activity has ceased. The deposition of silica along the geyser vents eventually sealed them off and prevents geyser activity. The same process that built the cones eventually killed the geysers. Near the hill at the back of the picture above is the only active geyser, Momument Geyser, also called Thermos Bottle Geyser. It has a tall slender profile. The picture below shows a close-up of this unique geyser.


Geyser Name Interval Duration Height
Monument or Thermos Bottle Almost continuous Occasionally quiet 1 to 3 feet
Eruption Description: Steam hisses out with a fine spray of water. In this picture the geyser was emitting a fine spray but it is difficult to see. Geyserite deposition in the Geyser's vent appears to be slowly choking the geyser similar to what apparently has happened to its' neighbors.



How To Get to the Monument Basin

West of the Artist Paintpots Turnout, about 1 mile, the road crosses the Gibbon River before reaching Beryl Springs. The trailhead is located just west of the bridge on the up-river side of the road. The last time I hiked the trail there was no sign at the trailhead but there was a trail registration box a few feet along the trail. The trail leads along the river for almost 1/4 mile then switches back climbing gently for almost another 1/4 mile before it heads steeply up the hill gaining 600 feet in about a half mile. The climb is strenuous and one should take it slow. The trail comes out of the burned trees to an area overlooking Gibbon Canyon. It is a good view to the southwest . At this point the trail heads north a few feet and comes out in the desolate little depression where the "monuments" are. There is a good view here of the Gallatin Range to the north and Gibbon Meadows to the east. The fires burnt the trees that used to obscure this view. The round trip hike takes about 2 to 4 hours depending on you physical condition. Even though it is relatively close to the road, this is a "back country" area in that there are no boardwalks in the thermal areas. Exercise caution and use the trails and paths worn by previous visitors.


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Copyright 1996, 1997, 1998 [Gregory L. Jones]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 03/16/06