Yellowstone National Park
Grand Prismatic Spring, Fairy Falls, Wildlife
228 Total Gain
$25 Park entrance fee
Water not available until the falls
Wide well traveled path
Old Faithful Visitor Center
Parking Lot:44.51546N, 110.83230W
Fairy Falls is a great family hike and a great way to kill a few hours in Yellowstone. The elevation gain is very minimal and I even saw wheelchairs and strollers on the trail. Even younger kids can manage this trail. It has its own dedicated parking lot. It fills often. This is a very popular hike. We went early in the morning and saw no one on the way to the falls but passed a lot on the way back to the car. The lot was completely full and backed up into the street. This was memorial day so yes its a busy weekend but I would imagine it stays busy all summer. The trail immediately leaves the lot and crosses the river. The first part of the trail is open to bikes so that would be a fun way to do it.
The first part of the trail follows parts of the Midway Geyser Basin which make for some cool views.
This is the only way to get an aerial view of Grand Prismatic Spring. The largest and prettiest in Yellowstone. You have to pay attention because from the trail it doesn’t look like photos you may have seen.
Once you spot it you climb the hill behind you for the great view. It was overcast and dreary at this point in my hike so the photos didn’t turn out great but you get the idea. Its an awesome sight to see.
Once you are done get back to the gravel path. The path stays in pretty thick pine trees so it is relaxing but not overly scenic.
You will turn off the bike path at the small marked sign after about a mile.
The trees at this point get so thick I don’t see how animals even live in them. There is no way I could have walked through them without some serious scratches.
Just before the falls there is a dugway area. Take some time to look for Yellow Bellied Marmots. They are one of my wife’s favorite animals to see and I think they are a lot of fun to watch.
You will then come to Fairy Falls. It is a beautiful 197 foot waterfall. There is a large pool at the bottom that would be great for a warm summer swim and for the kids to play around. These falls are really cool. They change by the second since they are easily blown around by the wind. You will see the changes in the photos and videos. This is a great place to relax and have a snack before heading back. Too bad rappelling isn’t allowed because this one would be a whole lot of fun.
Return back the way you came.
This is a great trail that can be enjoyed by most anyone. Anyone who spends time in the park should do this one at least once. Its one of the more unique falls I have seen.