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Geothermal Heat Melting Road Surface Of Firehole Lake Drive In Yellowstone National Park

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Firehole Lake Drive has been temporarily closed due to road surface damage caused by underground heat/NPS

Yellowstone National Park's underground "furnace" is causing problems for Firehole Lake Drive, where the heat from below is melting the asphalt.

The 3.3-mile-long loop drive, which leads past Great Fountain Geyser, White Dome Geyser, and Firehole Lake has been temporarily closed as a result of the damage while park crews assess what repairs are needed.

"Extreme heat from surrounding thermal areas has caused thick oil to bubble to the surface, damaging the blacktop and creating unsafe driving conditions on the popular, scenic road, located off the Grand Loop Road halfway between Old Faithful and Madison Junction in the park'™s Lower Geyser Basin," a park release issued Thursday read. "The road will remain closed for the next several days while maintenance crews make repairs. The date for reopening the road is uncertain at this time, and will be determined after crews assess the effectiveness of their efforts.

Updated Yellowstone road information is available 24 hours a day by calling 307-344-2117 or by visiting this website.

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Geothermal heat has caused melting of the asphalt surface of Firehole Lake Drive/NPS



Yeah, you tell'em Gary, only those that can walk and hike should be able to enjoy nature. LOL!


Good.  I do think Yellowstone has been overdeveloped with roads.  But, the geothermal activity was bound to start reclaiming some roads and trails in the region .  So, I hope they don't continue to repave them.  They should tear up the roads, and let this area be a big walkable trail, and since it's flat enough, make it wheelchair friendly too.

I think walking has its health benefits.

It does appear that Yellowstone's underground furance system is trying to tell us something. I know millions of visitors have enjoyed this drive, good luck on this one. 

Actually, it's not at all uncommon for thermal activity to break through roads or parking lots or affect them in various ways.  The usual solution is to wait awhile and then repave often after having added some fill dirt as insulation.

It's things like this that help make management of Yellowstone especially interesting and challenging.

It does appear that Yellowstone's underground furance system is trying to tell us something.

Yes, it is telling us that man is insignficant in the scheme of nature and the universe.  Some day Gary will get his wish and a catastrophic event (short or long term) will wipe man off the face of planet - and there is nothing we can do about it.  In the meantime, I intend to enjoy my ride of this rock.

EC, pretty profound comment. Probably true, I agree except part of our responsibility, in my own humble opinion, is to not only enjoy, but do so with some restraint, concern for what we can do and a lot of generous good will toward all living things. This may sound a little out in left field, what the heck, but it is important to to try to make a positive difference. 

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