Yellowstone National Park Road Melting
Yellowstone National Park’s ever-changing geology has caused an asphalt road to melt cutting off access to several of the parks most popular geysers and attractions.
On Thursday July 10, in the height of the tourist season, officials shut down Firehole Lake Drive. Extreme heat from thermal areas caused hot oil to bubble to the surface literally melting the roadway
Firehole Lake Drive is a 3.3 mile scenic loop that takes tourists to the Great Fountain Geyser, White Dome Geyser and Firehole Lake, Yellowstone National Park rests on top of a caldera of a super volcano. The temperatures there fluctuate so it is not uncommon for asphalt in the area to turn soft and sticky. At times it gets sticky enough to make car tires stick.
Officials are presently evaluating how to address this new problem. Visitors to the area are being advised not to hike in that area. Park officials are worried that hikers could step through a solid looking crust of soil into boiling hot water.
It is not uncommon for natural changing thermal features to damage Yellowstone's roads and its boardwalks. However, fixing the problem is far more complicated than a typical repair. Yellowstone Park spokesman Dan Hottle states that. "It basically turned the asphalt into soup. It turned the gravel road into oatmeal."
The thermal heat that is melting the famous roadway is the same heat that gives Yellowstone its infamous fumaroles, geysers, hot springs and mudpots. For the time being these attractions will be off limits to tourists. Both hikers and motorist are being warned to avoid the area.
Al Nash, another Yellowstone spokesman says, "There are plenty of other great places to see thermal features in the park. I wouldn't risk personal injury to see these during this temporary closure."
Firehole Lake Drive is expected to remain closed for several days. It is advised that anyone planning to visit Yellowstone National Park call ahead for current road conditions.
About Tammy Marie Rose
Tammy Marie Rose is an author, blogger, freelance writer and Earth Warrior! She has over ten years professional writing experience in environmental fields.