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green Palette Springs Spur

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Trail

0.1 mile 0.1 kilometer point to point
Paved Path
Easy

Elevation

Ascent: 8' 3 m
Descent: 0' 0 m
High: 6,311' 1,924 m
Low: 6,302' 1,921 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 4% (2°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Trail shared by Tom Carter

A short but interesting trail to view Liberty Cap, Palette Springs, and the Devil's Thumb.

Tom Carter

Features Hot Spring · Views

Family Friendly A short trail with great hot spring features along the way.

Description

This is a very short but interesting trail. It begins near Liberty Cap, a 37-foot tall hot spring cone named in 1871 by the first Hayden Survey because of its resemblance to the peaked caps worn during the French Revolution. Its unusual shape was created by a hot spring whose plumbing remained active in one location for a long time. Internal pressure was sufficient to raise the water to a great height, allowing mineral deposits to build continuously for perhaps hundreds of years. Eventually, the spring sealed itself off and the water found another route to the surface. An early Yellowstone superintendent fearing the formation would fall over braced it with timbers. Almost 150 years later, we see that his fear was unfounded!

On the left, past Liberty Cap is beautiful Palette Springs. Water flows from springs above down a steep ridge, creating a colorful hillside palette of brown, green, and orange (the colors are due to the presence of different heat-tolerant bacteria). This effect is much the same as an artist would achieve by allowing wet paint to run down a vertical surface.

Continue beyond Palette Springs to the end of the boardwalk. From here you get a nice view of the Devil’s Thumb, a smaller version of Liberty Cap that formed in a similar fashion.

Thanks to guidebook author, Tom Carter, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about visiting Yellowstone, check out his book, Day Hiking Yellowstone.

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Check-Ins

May 11, 2019
Kristen Lloyd
Jul 31, 2018
Martin P
Jul 26, 2018
Wie Yusuf
Jul 23, 2018
Teresa Garner
Jul 17, 2018
Teresa Garner
Sep 8, 2017
Adam Tilman

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Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 3 votes

#4888

Overall
  4.7 from 3 votes
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Rankings

#112

in Wyoming

#4,888

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270 Since Apr 15, 2016
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