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Upper Geyser Basin – Old Faithful – Yellowstone National Park
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Overview
Location

Yellowstone National Park

Sights

Countless thermal features

Distance

4.5 Miles for all trails

Elevation Gain/Loss

Minimal

Time Required

1-3 Hours

Pets

No

Fees

$25 park entrance fee

Water Info

Bring your own water

Best Season

Any

Trail Condition

The trail is all either paved or boardwalk

Restrooms

Yes

Visitor Center

Yes

Camping

Yes

Food

Yes

Trail Map



Driving Directions



The Trail:

Upper Geyser Basin contains a crazy amount of thermal features including the most famous of all geysers on earth in Old Faithful. It has the highest concentration of geysers in the world. It also has almost a quarter of all the geysers on earth. While Old Faithful is the highlight for most visitors if you have the patience to see some of the other geysers I think they can be much more rewarding. There are many pretty pools, springs, and geysers. The trail is mostly a web of boardwalks allowing you to make your hike as short, or long as you want. In total there are almost 5 miles of trails to explore. I will include highlights of the things we saw. Be sure to start at the Old Faithful visitor center for info on geyser predictions you can plan your hike around. Here is a short video of some of the features we saw.

The trail starts out from the visitor center by crossing the Firehole River.

The loop behind Old Faithful has a lot of pretty springs. My favorite of them was Blue Star Spring.

There can be a lot of people here so please stay on the boardwalks.

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Here are some of the other interesting features near Old Faithful.

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This interesting feature is called Beehive Geyser. It is very unpredictable but I found an old photo from when I was able to see it while on my honeymoon.

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We were also able to see Old Faithful from behind where there were far less people.

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Next is the area to the west of Old Faithful. We were able to see Grand Geyser go off and it was awesome. It was far more impressive than Old Faithful but it was hard to see because it was a cold day making a lot of steam. Grand Geyser is one of the tallest in the world and can blow water over 200 feet in the air but just the sheer quantity of the water is what I found to be very impressive.

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Riverside Geyser is another popular one since it sits right on the shore of the Firehole River. I have never witnessed an eruption of Riverside Geyser.

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The crown jewel of the area to many is the Morning Glory Pool. It is one of the prettiest hot springs found anywhere. It used to have much more blue mixed in with the greens, and yellows. The pool is not as hot as it used to be because stupid people have thrown so much trash in that it has partially plugged Morning Glory’s plumbing. The park service drains and cleans the pool usually every year because people still can’t control themselves throwing in trash.

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Here are some of the other interesting and pretty features in the western area of the hike.

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Personal Thoughts:

This is my favorite of all the thermal areas in Yellowstone. There is a whole lot of crazy stuff packed into a small easily accessible area. My only gripe is the large crowds that Old Faithful attracts.

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Ratings (out of 10)
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Difficulty
5.0
Technicality
2.0
Enjoyment
7.5
The Bottom Line

Difficulty is basically the length, duration and stress of the Trek. If the Trek is really long then it will receive a higher rating. If the Trek is short then it won't receive that high of a rating. However, difficulty rating also includes how tired we were at the end of the Trek.

Technicality is how strenuous the Trek is. If there is lots of bouldering or if there is bushwhacking involved then the rating will be higher. Technicality also includes if there are steep inclines or the need for ropes and other equipment.

Enjoyment is strictly how much fun we had doing the Trek. Regardless of how tired and exhausted we were, if we had a ton of fun doing the Trek then it will receive a higher rating.

7.5
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About The Author
Josh1990
I love adventure! I live in Cache Valley, Utah. Do you have questions on any of my Treks? Email me @ joshua.oyler@gmail.com

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