TRIP IDEA

Day Hikes in the Old Faithful Area

Yellowstone National Park

Steam rises from a blue-, yellow-, and orange-colored hot spring.
Duration Full Day
Topic(s) Trails
Activities Hiking
Type Kid Friendly, Active, Solitary/Remote, Inspirational, Outdoors, Group Friendly
Parks Yellowstone National Park

Vivid blues and oranges in a steamy hot spring along the trail.
Hydrothermal features seen along Fairy Falls Trail. Remember to stay on the designated trail.

NPS/Diane Renkin

The Upper Geyser Basin and Midway Geyser Basin are home to some of the world's most spectacular hydrothermal features: Old Faithful Geyser, Castle Geyser, Crested Pool, Sapphire Pool, Grand Prismatic Spring, Excelsior Geyser Crater, and so many more.

Hikes in this region of the park give you an opportunity to explore hydrothermal features and the surrounding forests and fields.
Day Hikes in the Old Faithful Area
  • Yellowstone National Park

    Fairy Falls Trail

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Hiking
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Midway Geyser Basin
    • Duration: 3–5 Hours
    • Season: Winter, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Any Time
    Steam rises from a blue-, yellow-, and orange-colored hot spring.

    Enjoy a hike to one of Yellowstone's most spectacular waterfalls.

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  • Yellowstone National Park

    Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook Trail

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Hiking
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Midway Geyser Basin
    • Duration: 1–2 Hours
    • Season: Winter, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Any Time
    Steam rises from the prismatic pool with snow surrounding it.

    Hike up to an overlook of Grand Prismatic Spring.

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    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Hiking
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Upper Geyser Basin
    • Duration: 3–5 Hours
    • Season: Winter, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Any Time
    Steam and water erupt from the tan cone of Lone Star Geyser.

    Hike up a burned hill, continue through spruce-fir forest, and then down to Lone Star Geyser.

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  • Yellowstone National Park

    Lone Star Geyser Trail

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Hiking
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Upper Geyser Basin
    • Duration: 2–3 Hours
    • Season: Winter, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Any Time
    The tan geyserite cone of Lone Star Geyser surrounded by snow.

    Hike this pleasant, partially paved trail beside the Firehole River to Lone Star Geyser.

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  • Yellowstone National Park

    Mallard Lake Trail

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Hiking
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Upper Geyser Basin
    • Duration: 3–6 Hours
    • Season: Winter, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Any Time
    Firehole River with forest standing on both banks and steam rising up from a distant geyser basin.

    Cross the Firehole River, pass Pipeline Hot Springs, and climb rolling hills of partially-burned lodgepole pine and open, rocky areas to Mallard Lake.

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  • Yellowstone National Park

    Mystic Falls Trail

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Hiking
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Upper Geyser Basin
    • Duration: 2–4 Hours
    • Season: Winter, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Any Time
    Water cascades down across gray boulders with yellow wildflowers in bloom.

    Follow a lovely creek through mixed conifer forest to Mystic Falls, over which the Little Firehole River drops from the Madison Plateau.

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  • Yellowstone National Park

    Observation Point Trail

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Hiking
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Upper Geyser Basin
    • Duration: 1–3 Hours
    • Season: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Any Time
    Water and steam erupt out of a geyser while people watch.

    Head up switchbacks to a commanding view of the Upper Geyser Basin.

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    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Hiking
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Midway Geyser Basin
    • Duration: 2–4 Hours
    • Season: Winter, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Any Time
    Hydrothermal features steam in the middle of a wide-open field.

    Follow the Firehole River and cross meadows until reaching a hydrothermal area. Look for the large sinter mounds of hot springs and the remains of the old, incomplete bathhouse.

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Last updated: July 5, 2018