A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Black Sand Basin

January 30, 2016
Emilie Phillips

[This post was written four years later. Read about the other four days of skiing Yellowstone.]

Tyson was feeling enough better to come out for an easy ski. Black Sand Basin was two miles away along level trails. Along the route, we would pass by several eratic geysers. Maybe one of them would erupt?

Tyson had no troubles with the Upper Geyser Basin trail because it was flat and groomed. As we passed Castle Geyser, a hint of steam wafted up, but that was it. The next trail, Black Sand Basin Trail, wasn’t groomed. Yesterday’s storm had filled in any tracks. My parents and I recognized the turnoff at Daisy Geyser. We had watched it errupt two days ago. Today it wasn’t even bubbling.

John pulling Isaac in the pulk

We lost the Black Sand Basin trail two places, but we found it again each time. We found Punch Bowl Spring at the top of a small open hill. I had been expecting it to be at the bottom of a valley like most springs. We kept Tyson at the back so he didn’t have to break trail through the fluffy powder, but even so, he was tired by the time we got to Black Sand Basin.

Coyotes at Black Sand Basin

The basin was a wide rock formation bubbling with water. It hissed and spat. Water jetted here and there. Steam billowed up hiding parts of it. And water continually poured off the side into Iron Spring Creek. My favorite part was the two coyotes nosing around beside the creek.

Tyson declared himself too tired to take the trail back. He chose to ski back Highway 89. It was direct, flat, and well groomed for the snow coaches.

My parents and I towed Isaac along the more scenic route past Daisy Geyser. Isaac surprised us by wanting to ski almost all the way back from Daisy Geyser to the lodge.

Park service description of the Black Sand Basin trail.

All Photos