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Geyser Basins & Thermal Features

Upper Geyser Basin Self-Guiding Trail

Allow approx. 1.5-2 hours for this activity...read about it below
Discover more must-see attractions on the 'Natural Wonders' page

Castle Geyser
Castle Geyser Hot Spring Hot Spring and Old Faithful Inn Orientation Map

The Upper Geyser Basin is the heart of Old Faithful Village. Home to the famous Old Faithful Geyser and the largest concentration of geysers in the world, the Upper Geyser Basin is a true spectacle of mother nature and part of what makes Yellowstone National Park such an amazing place to visit. Crowds by the hundreds gather in the summer months to witness an eruption of Old Faithful Geyser. With regular eruptions averaging approximately every 90 minutes, Old Faithful spews boiling water and steam over 100 feet into the air as visitors ooh and ahhh while simultaineously capturing photographs and memories. Old Faithful is just the beginning of all the geysers and hotsprings that you will see on this extensive boardwalk through the Upper Geyser Basin. There are five geyser that have predicted eruption times in the Upper Geyser Basin that Rangers predict at the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center: Old Faithful, Riverside, Castle, Grand, and Daisy geysers. It is common to see other geysers erupting in the area, they just aren't consistent enough to predict or are so frequent that predictions are not neccessary. Some of these geysers include: Sawmill, Beehive, Lion Group, Anemone, Grotto and Giantess. The boardwalk follows closely to the banks of the Firehole River, crossing it three times on your journey. The Firehole River got its name because much of the heated water from the thermal features in the Upper and surrounding geyser basins flows into the cold water of the Firehole River. Bison are frequently spotted close to the boardwalk so keep a watchful eye for these giant Yellowstone natives as you are walking along. Four short hiking trails branch off of the Upper Geyser Basin boardwalk, taking you to hidden thermal features and an awesome vantage point to see Old Faithful. Observation Point: This is a somewhat strenuous 1 mile round-trip hike up to a rocky outcrop where visitors enjoy a birds-eye view of the geyser basin. If you time it right, you can witness an eruption of Old Faithful from a spot that only a small percentage of visitors take the time to see. Solitary Geyser: There is a dirt trail that takes you up the hill behind the Upper Geyser Basin to the hidden but wonderful Solitary Geyser that is tucked away all by itself between the trees. Trail to Biscuit Basin: At the end of the paved path near Morning Glory Pool there is a short hiking trail that winds through the woods and past a few thermal features. This trail comes out at the Grand Loop Road across the street from Biscuit Basin. Trail to Black Sand Basin: A short trail spurs off from the Daisy Geyser boardwalk section of the Upper Geyser Basin and turns southwest through the woods, eventually meeting up with the Grand Loop Road across from Black Sand Basin. Pick up an Old Faithful Area Trail Guide at any visitor center so you can read about all the different features and stops around the Upper Geyser Basin.

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