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Old Faithful & Geyser Basins, Yellowstone National Park
Fast Facts




Old Faithful District
Yellowstone Nat'l Park
Wyoming 82190
Natural Wonder
X-Country Skiing
Points of Interest Nearby
Family Travel Tips

Castle Geyser, Yellowstone


Photo by Alfredo De Simone

No trip to Yellowstone is complete without a journey to Old Faithful. Not only is it the most famous geyser in America, the name denotes a vast hydrothermal area. The Old Faithful area of Yellowstone National Park encompasses three geyser basins - Upper, Lower and Midway basins - stretched along the Firehole River. It boasts the highest concentration of geysers in the world. More than 200 of these spectacular features are found here! And it is home to six geysers with predicted eruptions. Grand, Castle, Daisy, Great Fountain, Riverside and Old Faithful spout almost as if on cue. The Old Faithful district of Yellowstone isn't called Geyser Country for nothing.
Getting There
The Old Faithful area of Yellowstone stretches from Madison Junction to Old Faithful Geyser roughly 16 miles (26 km) distant. The road from Old Faithful to Madison Junction is open to wheeled vehicles mid-April through October and oversnow vehicles mid-December to mid-March. The road from Old Faithful to West Thumb is open to wheeled vehicles mid-May through October and oversnow vehicles from mid-December to mid-March.
Getting Around
Old Faithful trails vary in length and grade. All are open to hikers; only a few are open to cyclists. Not all boardwalks are easy walks nor are they all wheelchair (and stroller) accessible. What's more, some offer more some offer less. Fountain Paint Pots, Firehole Lake Drive and Morning Glory Pool trails offer the biggest bang for the least effort. The hydrothermal features on Firehole Lake Drive are all visible from the roadway. Midway Geyser Basin boasts the park's largest hot spring pools but not one spouting geyser. Ranger-led hikes are offered at Mystic Falls (2 miles), Black Sand Basin (0.6 miles) and Pocket Basin (3 miles). Lone Geyser Basin (5 miles) is a rewarding backcountry trek. Take a close look at each before selecting one. Traveling to Old Faithful in winter? Don't despair. X-country trails are groomed for skiers of all levels. NB: Check the ranger station for trail closings before you set out. Be sure to pull your vehicle off the roadway when parking at roadside turnouts and overlooks.
Things to Keep in Mind
Old Faithful Village boasts 3 hotels, 2 service stations, several restaurants and 2 general stores but there are no campgrounds in the Old Faithful area. There is no food or water at geyser basins and trailheads. There is little reprieve from the sun on boardwalks and trails. Pack water and snacks. Wear sunscreen and hats. Junior ranger booklets are available for purchase ranger at stations throughout the park. A fishing permit is required for all Yellowstone anglers. Permits are required for backcountry camping.
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