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    Fairy Falls and Imperial Geyser Loop

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    14.2 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    129 m
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    Directions to Trailhead

    The Fairy Falls and Imperial Geyser Hiking Circuit is a fantastic route in Yellowstone. This trail passes by the stunning 61 m tall Fairy Falls as well as several geysers and hot springs. This route is moderately challenging and appropriate for families with older children.

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    Route Description for Fairy Falls and Imperial Geyser Loop

    The Fairy Falls and Imperial Geyser Hiking Circuit is a fantastic route in Yellowstone. The first half of this trail can get very popular during tourist season. If you are hiking in the summertime, be sure to head out early in the morning to beat the crowds. This trail can also be buggy in the early season; if you are hiking in late June or early July, bring along some bug repellent or wear long layers to combat the mosquitoes. Mosquitoes won’t be the only critters you’ll see on this trail; this route is a common spot to see large mammals, including bison, elk, and deer. You will also want to keep your eyes peeled for signs of bear activity. Before hitting the trail, be sure that everyone in your hiking party is familiar with bear safety protocols. At least one member of your group should carry bear spray and know how to use it properly.

    The impressive 61 m tall Fairy Falls aren’t the only spectacle on this trail. This route features incredible geothermal features, including the Imperial Geyser, the Spray Geyser and the Grand Prismatic Spring. With so much to see, and breathtaking views at every turn, this trail is the perfect place to spend a full day exploring Yellowstone National Park.

    Beginning at the trailhead, cross over the Firehole River and follow Fountain Flat Drive northwest to the Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook, then continue north for a few hundred yards to a divide. At the divide, take the trail on your left and hike past the Fairy Meadows Campground to Fairy Falls. Past Fairy Falls, stick to the trail on your left to make your way to Spray Geyser and Imperial Geyser. After checking out, both of the geysers follow the Fairy Falls Trail north and stick to the path on your right to loop past Goose Lake and back down to the trailhead where you began.

    Check out the Sentinel Meadows and Fairy Falls Circuit for a longer loop in the area.

    Getting to the Fairy Falls and Imperial Geyser Loop Trailhead

    This hike begins at the trailhead on the west side of Grand Loop Road, approximately 7.1 km northwest of the Old Faithful Visitors Center.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground

      Fairy Meadows, Imperial Meadows, Goose Lake

    • When to do

      June to September

    • Pets allowed


    • Family friendly

      Older Children only

    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels

      Moderate to High

    • Route Type


    Fairy Falls and Imperial Geyser Loop Elevation Graph

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    Fairy Falls and Imperial Geyser Loop Reviews

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