It’s called the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, carved by the Yellowstone River that runs through the canyon. In the winter, its reddish walls are obscured by snow and bear no resemblance to the colorful Grand Canyon of Arizona. It is still a striking image.
We’re in Yellowstone National Park in winter. Much of the park is closed to tourists because it is inaccessible to vehicle traffic. The only way to enter most of the open areas of Yellowstone is through the West Yellowstone entrance and only with guided vehicles. The snow is deep here and we’ve had more snow the past couple of days so the park is blanketed in white. It is cold enough in most of the park for the snow to cling in great blobs to the branches of pine trees and it is truly a winter wonderland here. But, because the area is a geothermal area, some areas of the park do not accumulate snow because of the heat they generate. We wandered through the Midway Geyser Basin on our second day. It was incredibly cold but my hands thawed as we walked on the snow covered boardwalks that traverse the geothermal areas. At the surface, the pools of acidic and super-hot water house living mats of green, orange and pink microorganisms. Your imagination can run wild with the shapes that appear in muck.