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Things to Do in Wyoming - page 2

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Firehole River
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3 Tours and Activities

Like many other places in Yellowstone, the Firehole River is a scenic spot that lives up to its dramatic name. As it meanders north for 21 miles to join with the Madison River, the Firehole acts as a drainage basin for many of the park’s geothermal features. In collecting all of the mineral rich water, which has been naturally heated by the earth, the Firehole River can run 15 degrees warmer than surrounding rivers and lakes—with the steam that’s often emitted from the surface being one of the reasons for its name. Despite its boiling appearance, however, water temperatures are still fairly moderate at around 75°F (23.8°C), which makes it a comfortable temperature for splashing at the Firehole River swimming hole.

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Jackson Town Square (George Washington Memorial Park)

The heart of the town of Jackson, WY, Jackson Town Square (which is technically named George Washington Memorial Park) epitomizes the town of Jackson itself. A blend of 19th century log cabins next to modern western architecture, high-end boutiques next to western supply stores, it displays the unique blend of the people that call it home. The bulk of Jackson’s shops, restaurants and bars are located around Town Square, making it a shopper’s delight. Part of Hollywood history (it was the setting for the climactic fight scene between Clint Eastwood and Tank Murdock in the film "Any Which Way But Loose"), Jackson Town Square is also home to the often photographed antler arches. Curved over the four corners of the Town Square, these arches are created from antlers that elk shed annual and contain about 10,000 pounds (about 4536 kilograms) of antlers.

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Black Sand Basin

Black Sand Basin is one of the shortest walks in Yellowstone National Park—but that doesn’t mean it’s short on sights or spectacular things to see. Rather, this volcanically heated, bubbling basin is a packed with geysers and pools, from the periwinkle colored Opalescent Pool, to the Spouter Geyser which consistently erupts for up to 10 hours at a time. At Emerald Pool, where the water temperature is slightly lower than neighboring Rainbow Pool, the water casts a deep green hue of molten emeralds, whereas Rainbow Pool is slightly warmer and tinged with yellow and orange. Occasionally, depending upon eruptions, the Cliff Geyser will come to life and send water 40 feet high, although unlike Old Faithful just one mile south, the interval is irregular enough to the point you should consider yourself lucky if you see it erupt. As for how it acquired its name, Black Sand Basin is named for obsidian that’s been crushed down into the earth.

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