On July 20, 2022 we drove the Jeep into Yellowstone's west entrance and then 45 miles to the northwest corner of the park where Mammoth Hot Springs is located. This area features limestone formations called travertine which are very different from the other mineral springs thermal areas in the Park. Limestone is a relatively soft type of rock, allowing travertine formations to grow and change quickly.
We hiked the 5 mile Clagett Butte and Snow Pass Loop Trail. We did not see a single human and fortunately no bears but we did see a large herd of elk in a wooded area.
BTW ~ "Yellowstone is home to the largest concentration of mammals in the lower 48. Yellowstone’s wildlife is abundant and diverse with an estimated 300 species of birds, 16 types of fish and 67 species of mammals — the largest number of mammal species in the contiguous United States. The list of mammals includes grizzly bears, wolves, lynx, fox, moose and elk."
Back near the Historic District is the formation called the Liberty Cap and the travertine terraces called Palette Springs.
Per nps.gov "Liberty Cap was named in 1871 by the Hayden Survey because it resembled the peaked knit caps symbolizing freedom and liberty during the French Revolution."
The Mammoth Hot Springs Historic District includes Fort Yellowstone, where 35 structures remain from the 1890s and early 1900s when the US Army administered the park. Significant conservation policies were developed here that led to the origin of the National Park Service.
Per the NPS ~.
"Yellowstone's first superintendents struggled with poaching, vandalism, squatting and other problems. In 1886, US Army soldiers marched into Mammoth Hot Springs at the request of the Secretary of the Interior and took charge of Yellowstone. Soldiers oversaw Fort Yellowstone's construction—sturdy red-roofed buildings still in use today as the Albright Visitor Center, offices, and employee housing.
In this wilderness outpost, the US Army applied discipline and hard work. Soldiers arrested poachers, educated visitors, provided medical care, managed wildlife, fought fires, and expelled squatters."
Whew! Another great day in Yellowstone. We are still amazed by this extraordinary park. On the ride back to the RV and the Grizzly Yellowstone RV Park we stopped to take a photo of a bear and the sun setting over the Madison River ~