GOSA (The Geyser Observation and Study Association)

Riverside/Morning Glory Group


Chain Lakes Complex


Riverside/Morning Glory Group: - Map

 [Riverside/Morning Glory Group introduction provided by Kyle Chumbley.]

The Riverside/Morning Glory Group contains one of the park’s most regular geysers (Riverside), one of its most famous hot pools (Morning Glory), and several major geysers. The major geysers of the complex are: Riverside, Link, Fan and Mortar. Other geysers include Culvert, North Chain Lake, Spiteful, and the two Sentinel Geysers.

Riverside Geyser is one of the most picturesque in the park, and its isolation makes it highly regular. Fan and Mortar are also isolated, but their spectacular eruptions are still fairly infrequent. Morning Glory Pool, probably the most famous in the park, has suffered such vandalism in the past that it is not what it used to be.

Fan & Mortar Geysers: Click for more information.

Link Geyser: Click for more information.

Marathon Pool: [Map]

Marathon Pool is connected to Grotto Geyser. During a long mode eruption of Grotto, a "marathon", the water level in Marathon Pool will drop a few inches. It then usually takes a few hours for the water level to recover.

After the Giant eruption of 1988, Marathon Pool started erupting at about the time Grotto finished its long mode eruption. These eruptions were 6 feet tall. This behavior only lasted a few weeks. Since then eruptions have been very rare.

Morning Glory Pool

Morning Glory Pool: [Map]

Morning Glory Pool has long been considered one of the must see attractions in the Upper Geyser Basin. While pretty, it is not the prettiest pool in the basin much less the park. Its fame came when it was right next to the road and the first attraction most visitors saw when they entered the Upper Geyser Basin. Unfortunately, this fame is also responsible for its present condition. Many visitors, unaware of how fragile the thermal features are, threw coins, rocks and garbage into Morning Glory Pool. Some of these objects found their way to Morning Glory's vent and partially clogged it. Thus, robbing the pool of some of its water flow and cooling it down. As the pool cooled, algae started growing into the pool. The pool is still pretty, but you can no longer see the beautiful blues that gave the pool its name.

You can no longer drive to Morning Glory Pool. It now requires a 1.5 mile walk from the Old Faithful Visitor Center. If Morning Glory was the only thing you'd see along this walk then I question the wisdom of taking the walk, but there is much more to see along this walk than just Morning Glory. All of the geysers and pools listed on this page and many more can be seen along the trails leading to Morning Glory. Take your time along these trail and watch some of the geysers. Don't just rush down the trail to get to the much publicized Morning Glory Pool. You will be disappointed if that is all that you do.

(Morning Glory has been known, on extremely rare occasions, to erupt as a geyser. Because of this, Morning Glory has been induced to erupt in the past in an attempt to clean derbies from its vent. The last few attempts to do this failed. It is possible that there is just too much junk in the vent to allow Morning Glory to erupt any more.)

"Norris Pool": [Pictures] [Map] [Video - external link]

"Norris Pool" is the very unofficial name given to the geyser across the trail from Fan and Mortar Geysers. The name is derived from a strong acid smell that the feature possesed in the 1980s and early 1990s. This smell is characteristic of primarily acid, Norris Geyser Basin.

While thermal features have been known in this location in the past, for almost two decades prior to 1995, this area looked like nothing more than a depression. In sonme parts of the depression, there were even patches of scraggly grass. Then, in late 1995 a muddy pool started to form. It quickly grew into the soupy mudpot that was seen there until September 1998. In the late summer and fall of 1998, the character of Norris Pool changed again. By late September Norris Pool had thickened some and was developing into a nice, highly active, mudpot. Then on October 3, 1998, Norris Pool started erupting as a fountain-type geyser. Early eruptions were very muddy and only reached about a foot over the rim. By the next day, eruptions were reaching several feet over the rim and were washing mud from around the geyser back into the crater. Meanwhile, the water in Spiteful Geyser, located across the road