Beehive Geyser

Sunlight illuminates a stream of water erupting from a geyser cone.

NPS / Jacob W. Frank

Quick Facts
Old Faithful

Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits

Beehive Geyser is a favorite performer in this geyser basin, but is irregular. When active, it typically erupts once or twice daily and lasts 4-5 minutes. The narrow cone acts like a nozzle, projecting a powerful water column to a height of 150-200 feet (46-61 m). Beehive Geyser has an average temperate of 198.5°F (92.5°C) and an average pH of 8.3.


Geysers have constrictions in their plumbing systems that prevent water from moving freely to the surface where heat would escape. Water beneath the constrictions creates a buildup of steam. Eventually the steam pushes water past the constrictions and the geyser erupts.

Upper Geyser Basin

The majority of world’s active geysers are in the Upper Geyser Basin, including Old Faithful. Only four other places in the world have large concentrations of hydrothermal features: Russia (Kamchatka), Chile, New Zealand, and Iceland.

The heat for the hydrothermal features comes from Yellowstone’s volcano. Molten rock or magma may be as close as 3-8 miles (5-13 km) underground. Rain and snow supply water that seeps down several thousand feet (more than a kilometer) below the surface where it is heated.

Underground cracks form a natural plumbing system. Hot water rises through the plumbing to produce hot springs and geysers.

Use Caution in Hydrothermal Areas

  • Stay on boardwalks and designated trails.
  • Hydrothermal water can severely burn you.
  • Never run, push, or shove.
  • Supervise children at all times.
  • Do not scratch hydrothermal mats.

You are responsible for your safety.

Think safety, act safely. Yellowstone is a dangerous place.

Yellowstone National Park

Last updated: February 29, 2024