Thing to Do

Watch Old Faithful Geyser Erupt

Old Faithful Geyser erupting, sending steam and water up into the air

Watching Old Faithful erupt is a Yellowstone National Park tradition. People from all over the world have journeyed here to watch this famous geyser. The park’s wildlife and scenery might be as well-known today, but it was the unique thermal features that inspired the establishment of Yellowstone as the world’s first national park in 1872.

Old Faithful is one of nearly 500 geysers in Yellowstone and one of six that park rangers can currently predict. It is uncommon to be able to predict geyser eruptions with regularity and Old Faithful has lived up to its name, only lengthening the time between eruptions by about 30 minutes in the last 30 years. The reliability of Old Faithful inspired early developers to build special viewing areas, lodging, and concessions for visitors to watch eruptions.

Thermal features change constantly and it is possible Old Faithful may stop erupting someday. Geysers and other thermal features are evidence of ongoing volcanic activity beneath the surface and change is part of this natural system. Yellowstone preserves the natural geologic processes so that visitors may continue to enjoy this natural system.


Old Faithful Geyser currently erupts every 90 minutes, +/- 10 minutes. As such, it is recommended to arrive at the viewing area at least 10 minutes before the predicted eruption.

Old Faithful Geyser is easily watched from a semi-circular viewing area less than a 1/4-mile from the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center.

Wonderful for all ages.

Entrance fees may apply, see Fees & Passes information.

The Upper Geyser Basin is home to the largest numbers of this fragile feature found in the park. Within one square mile there are at least 150 of these hydrothermal wonders. Of this remarkable number, only five major geysers are predicted regularly—Castle, Grand, Daisy, Riverside, and Old Faithful. There are many frequent, smaller geysers in this basin, as well as numerous hot springs and one mudpot.

Accessibility Information

Wide, wheelchair-accessible walkways lead from the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center and all parking areas to Old Faithful Geyser.

Yellowstone National Park

Old Faithful Geyser erupting with snow still on the ground

Live-streaming view of Old Faithful

Look at a live view of Old Faithful and the surrounding geyser field.

Last updated: February 2, 2017