We have a collection of webcams that provide views in and around Mammoth Hot Springs, Mount Washburn, Old Faithful and the North Entrance. If you can't come see the park in person, you can view the current conditions online.
Old Faithful, named by members of the 1870 Washburn Expedition, was once called “Eternity’s Timepiece” because of the regularity of its eruptions. Despite the myth, this geyser has never erupted at exact hourly intervals, nor is it the largest or most regular geyser in Yellowstone. It does, however, erupt more frequently than any other of the large geysers.
This view of the Old Faithful Geyser is captured from a webcam inside the visitor education center. At this location, time is not measured by a clock, but by this geyser. Visitors make decisions on when to eat, take a tour, interact with exhibits or watch the visitor center film based on Old Faithful's next eruption.
If you entered Yellowstone through the historic Roosevelt Arch, this view from the north entrance station may look familiar to you. Morning views on this webcam are spectacular, and we anticipate the scene during the winter months to be amazing when the morning sun touches Electric Peak. Look for wildlife -- elk, bison, and pronghorn can be seen grazing in the foreground. Occasionally you may see the top of oversize vehicles like RVs, tour buses, and delivery trucks as they stop at the entrance station. With a quick refresh rate of 30 seconds, those shots should be few.
When the Army was based in Fort Yellowstone, this is where the officers and their families were housed. It was a good duty station. Because of its good facilities, relaxed discipline, and interesting surroundings, Fort Yellowstone was considered a prized assignment by many officers and enlisted men. But protection of the park did not suffer. Soldiers were ordered to "conduct themselves in a courteous and polite, but firm and decided manner" when carrying out their duties. Today, these buildings make up the Albright Visitor Center, offices for park operations and living quarters for employees.
The webcam faces south, so the view may appear washed out in the morning. The webcam points through two panes of historic glass of the old headquarters for the Corp of Engineers (circa 1903), and we've done our best to sharpen the view. As leaves drop during the fall and the trees remain bare all winter, the view of the buildings and their red roofs will be more noticeable.
Mammoth Hot Springs - Travertine Terraces and Parade Ground
Yellowstone is a place of change, and this view highlights a place where change is constant and evident, the travertine terraces. The terraces are formed when water rises through limestone carrying high amounts of dissolved calcium carbonate. At the surface, carbon dioxide is released and the calcium carbonate is deposited, forming travertine, the chalky white rock of the terraces.
In the foreground of this view, you can also see the parade grounds for historic Fort Yellowstone. It was the focal point of daily life at the fort. Each day began early with a bugler sounding Reveille. Gradually, the fort came to life and another bugle call brought horse-mounted soldiers trotting onto the field for the flag-raising. Assignments were announced, and the troops headed out to patrol the Mammoth Hot Spring Terraces or other nearby attractions. Those remaining behind assumed the never-ending task of caring for the post's horses. At dusk, the bugler called all troopers back to the field for the lowering of the flag, and the day was concluded with a cannon firing from the top of Capitol Hill. Taps was played as lights winked out and quiet settled over the fort.
At the top of Dunraven Pass at an elevation of 10,243 feet, is Mt. Washburn. The views are spectacular. It is a six-mile hike round trip to the top and back. A fire lookout is stationed at the top of Washburn and the park uses this camera in the summer to track fires during the summer season. When there is no fire activity, the camera points northeast toward the mountains in the distance. Hikers and bighorn sheep can often be seen on the trail in the foreground.
This webcam on Mount Washburn normally captures a birds-eye view of the park facing south. In this view, you can see the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Hayden Valley, and on clear days, the Tetons in Grand Teton National Park. During the summer season, however, the webcam is often repositioned by the fire lookout who watches to see if that storm in the distance will ignite a fire. In winter the steam from Washburn Hot Springs is readily visible in the foreground.