Almost everyone coming to Yellowstone National Park visits the Upper Geyser Basin to see Old Faithful. But there’s more here than just Old Faithful Geyser. In addition to the historic Old Faithful Inn which was built in 1904, there are two other lodges, restaurants, stores and a visitor center.
More importantly, the highest concentration of geysers in the world is found in the Upper Geyser Basin. Stroll along the boardwalk and paved trails to view the myriad springs and geysers. Every geyser is different. Some erupt straight into the air, others at an angle, or in bursts from pools. Some erupt only a few feet while others soar 200 feet. Some erupt every few minutes and others…well, you could wait years for the next eruption. Most are completely unpredictable but a rare few have discernable patterns of eruption.
Old Faithful erupts nearly every hour and a half. Check at the visitor center for the next predicted eruption times of other geysers. Catch a ranger talk or a ranger-led walk through the basin to learn more about Yellowstone’s unique thermal features. Pick up an area trail guide and tour around Geyser Hill or walk the entire basin in a three-mile loop. Note the huge 12-foot cone of Castle Geyser. Marvel at the marathon eruptions of Grotto Geyser. Listen to the jet engine sound of Beehive Geyser.
The sheer number and variety of hydrothermal features in the Upper Geyser Basin is extraordinary. It’s no wonder that this is the busiest area in the park. It boasts 150 geysers in a square mile so there is a lot to see here. Give yourself time to take it all in. And please for your own safety, stay on the trails at all times and keep children close.
Try to picture the area as it was a long time ago without boardwalks and buildings and imagine what those who first laid eyes on all the spouting water and steam must have thought. I bet they were amazed at the spectacle before them, just as so many of us are today.