Things To Do In The Old Faithful Geyser

Old Faithful is the most popular and unique geyser in Yellowstone National Park. It is one of the 500 geysers in Yellowstone and is one of the six geysers where park rangers predict. It is a highly predictable geothermal feature that has erupted 44 minutes to two hours from the year 2000. In the last 30 years, the lengthening time of the eruption was about 30 minutes. People do come from all over the world to visit this popular geyser. The viewing area of the geyser is most accessible and it is visitor friendly where they have bench seating, a big parking lot, and a ranger station that tracks the height, length, and time of an eruption to predict the next one. You can see the eruptions from the Old Faithful viewing area or along the boardwalks which formed around the geyser and through the upper geyser basin.

Thermal features were changing constantly and someday the eruption might stop. The thermal features and the geysers are the reason for ongoing volcanic activity under the surface and the change which is part of the natural system. 

Things to do in the Old Faithful area:

  • Visit these historic areas- Old Faithful Historic District
  • Hydrothermal Features- Aurum Geyser, Biscuit Basin, Black Sand Basin, Castle Geyser, Crested Pool, Daisy Geyser, Ear Spring, Geyser Hill, Giant Geyser, Grand Geyser, Grotto Geyser, Morning Glory Pool, Old Faithful Geyser, Riverside Geyser, Sapphire Pool, and Solitary Geyser
  • Natural Features- Continental Divide
  • Visitor Services- Old Faithful General Stores, Old Faithful Inn, Old Faithful Lodge, Old Faithful Snow Lodge, and Old Faithful Visitor Education Center
  • Waterfalls- Kepler Cascades and Mystic Falls

Most attractive things to do in Old Faithful Geyser Basin

Old Faithful Inn

Old Faithful Inn is one of the log hotels in the United States. The building is made of a rustic log and wood-frame structure that is made with gigantic proportions which are about 700 feet in length and seven feet in height. The lobby of the hotel has about a 65-foot ceiling, a big rhyolite fireplace, and there are railings that are made up of contorted lodgepole pine. You can look up at the structure standing in the lobby or you can walk up through the gnarled log staircase to go to one of the balconies. 

Old Faithful Visitor Education Center

Tour displays the geological forces behind the Old Faithful and Yellowstone in the Old Faithful Visitor Center. Kids of all ages can buy the Young Scientist booklets and the Junior Ranger from the rangers. The evidence of the geological forces is found in many places in this district. The hills surrounding Upper Geyser Basin and the Old Faithful are the reminders of Quaternary rhyolitic lava flows that occurred long after the catastrophic eruption of about 600,000 years ago and flowed across the landscape like stiff mounds of bread dough due to their high silica content.

The information of the glacial activity is common and it is one of the main keys that allow the geysers to exist. Glacier used to deposit under the geyser basin which provides storage areas for the water that is used in eruptions. You can also see the signs of the forces of erosion everywhere from the runoff channels in the geyser basins to the drainage that was created by the Firehole River. You can see the mountain building as you drive through the south of Old Faithful towards the Craig Pass. The Rocky Mountains are about 8,262 feet that divide the country into two different watersheds. 

Take a tour to the Upper Geyser Basin

Yellowstone features 60 percent of the world’s geysers. And the Upper Geyser Basin is the destination to many fragile features found in the park. There are almost 150 hypothermal wonders within one square mile and out of these only five main geysers are predicted constantly by the staff. Those geysers are Castle, Daisy, Riverside, Grand, and Old faithful. There are many amazing things to be seen here like the smaller geysers, hot springs, and a recently developed mud pot. 

Walkthrough the Biscuit Basin or Black Sand Basin

Towards the north of Old Faithful Geyser, there are two smaller basins that are worth visiting. Both the basins have parking lots or they can be accessible by foot through the trails via the Upper Geyser Basin. Black Sand Basin is located in the northwest of Old Faithful and it has many beautiful hypothermal features like the Cliff Geyser, Chromatic Rainbow Pool, Sunset Lake, etc.

Biscuit Basin is located in the north of Old Faithful which was named after the biscuit-shaped geyserite formations which can be seen around the parts of the magnificent Sapphire Pool. There are also many other stunning places along the boardwalk like Jewel Geyser and Mystic Falls Trail which is at the end of the boardwalk loop.

Midway Geyser Basin

Midway Geyser Basin is smaller in size when compared with other geyser basins along the Firehole River but then it holds large hypothermal wonders. 

The first one is the Excelsior Geyser Crater where hot spring steam within 200 x 300 feet and regularly discharges more than 4000 gallons of water to the Firehole River. The next one is the chromatic wonder of Grand Prismatic Spring which is Yellowstone’s largest hot spring. Its size is about 370 feet in diameter and more than 121 feet in depth.

Hike to Lone Star Geyser

The eruption in the Lone Star Geyser takes place every three hours for about 30 to 45 feet high and there is a logbook which is located in a cache near the geyser that observes the time taken by the geyser and the types of eruption. This place is about 7.7 km, where you can go for a hike or biking that follows the Firehole River to the geyser. The trailhead is located in the east of Kepler Cascades pullout which is about 5.6 km southeast of Old Faithful overpass on Grand Loop Road. 

Visit the Waterfalls

There are two waterfalls which are easy to go to in this area. They are Kepler Cascades and Mystic Falls. 

You can go to the Mystic Falls on a day hike starting at the end of the Biscuit Basin boardwalk loop. It is easy to hike to the base of the waterfall or you will have to make a loop of a hike from the nearby hillside for an amazing view back across the Upper Geyser Basin. 

You can view the Kepler Cascades from a platform at a pullout south of Old Faithful along the Grand Loop Road. 

Go for a Backcountry Trip

There are numerous backcountry campsites in this region. The most famous backcountry destination is the Shoshone Geyser Basin which is about a 17-mile road trip hike that crosses the Continental Divide at Grant’s Pass. This geyser basin has no boardwalks, so you will have to take safety precautions before traveling through it. You will have to use the trails of this basin and the remote thermal areas must be approached with knowledge, respect, and care. Do not forget to take all the personal safety protection and resource protection when entering a backcountry basin. 

Lodges in the Old Faithful Area

No campgrounds are available in the Old Faithful region. There are three lodges found which are in the walkable distance in the Old Faithful Geyser. They are:

  • Old Faithful Inn- oldest of the three and which gives a historic feel
  • Old Faithful Snow Lodge- Newest in this area which provides modern rooms and cabins
  • Old Faithful Lodge- Small cabin style accommodations

Old Faithful Hikes

  • Fairy Falls Trail
  • Sentinel Meadows and Queen’s Laundry Trail
  • Lone Star Geyser Trail
  • Mallard Lake Trail
  • Howard Eaten Trail
  • Grand Prismatic Overlook Trail
  • Mystic Falls Trail
  • Observation Point Trail

Old Faithful Skiing and Snowshoeing

  • Fairy Falls Ski Trail
  • Mallard Creek Ski Trail
  • Mallard Lake Ski Trail
  • Observation Point Loop Snowshoe Trail
  • Lone Star Geyser Ski Trail
  • Spring Creek Ski Trail
  • Divide Ski Trail
  • Fern Cascades Loop Ski Trail
  • Black Sand Basin Ski Trail
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