Orange Spring Mound

Rocky Mountain juniper tree fissure ridge, built up over centuries by sporadic see from the springs at its top. Solution caves, that is, depressions where runoff down the side has dissolved away the travertine, can be found along the northwest side of the elephant. Here they’re called The Grottoes. Angel Terrace may have been named for its snowy whiteness or for the delicate microorganisms that sometimes live around it. Healthy trees are growing on top of the tallest gray section, while dead trees provide witness to more recent activity. Elsewhere, the hot water and bacteria are creating travertine stalactites and areas of white, yellow, orange, and salmon colors.

One of the ranger-led hikes that go off trail in the Upper Terrace area might take you to parts of the area not generally open to visitors and teach you more about the geology and the wildflowers. You may see the River Styx, a partially underground hot stream, or solution caves, such as the Stygian Caves or deep Devil’s Kitchen, where tourists used to descend by ladder. They were allowed to enter the cave until someone realized that the carbon dioxide that had killed birds and small animals wasn’t good for humans either! Enterprising Mammoth residents even offered refreshments from a Devil’s Kitchenette just above the cave.

Orange Spring Mound Photo Gallery

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