Old Faithful Geyser Loop

Difficulty
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Very Easy
Duration
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.
0.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
1.1 km
Elevation
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.
6 m
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Directions to Trailhead

The Old Faithful Geyser Loop is a classic hike in Yellowstone National Park. This trail is both wheelchair-accessible and stroller-friendly. A stop at Old Faithful is an absolute must-do on your visit to Yellowstone, and the Old Faithful Geyser Loop is the perfect, family-friendly route to get you there.

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Route Description for Old Faithful Geyser Loop

The Old Faithful Geyser Loop is a great sight-seeing circuit in Yellowstone National Park. This trail is extremely popular and gets very busy during tourist season. If you are looking to avoid the crowds, we suggest heading out on this trail early in the morning or anytime after 6 pm when the tourist buses have left for the day. Although this trail is short, be sure to wear a sunhat and bring along water for everyone in your hiking party so that your hike can be the best it can be.

The hike along the Old Faithful Geyser Loop is a must-do on your visit to Yellowstone National Park. This geyser, first named in 1870, is one of the most iconic fixtures of this park. The geyser itself erupts approximately 20 times a day at somewhat regular, predictable intervals. To ensure that you catch the geyser in action, check out the posted eruption schedules online or around the visitor's center. To see Old Faithful erupt is truly a sight to behold. Over just a few minutes, this geyser shoots anywhere from 3700 to 8400 gallons of scalding hot water over 100 feet in the air; trust us, there truly is nothing like it.

To hike the Old Faithful Geyser Loop, begin at the Old Faithful Lodge, hike the boardwalk clockwise around the geyser, and stick around for the show.

If you are looking for more of a hike in the area, check out the Upper Geyser Basin Trail that tours Old Faithful and numerous other geysers in the area.

Trail Highlights

Old Faithful

Old Faithful is by far the most iconic geyser in Yellowstone National Park. This cone geyser was originally named in 1870 by the Washburn -Lanford-Doane Expedition, who actually used the hot water and predictable nature of this geyser to wash their laundry! Named Old Faithful due to its relative predictability, the Old Faithful Geyser erupts at somewhat regular intervals of every 44 minutes to 2 hours. The height of these eruptions reach anywhere from 30 m - 55 m and usually lasts between 1.5 to 5 minutes. Before visiting Old Faithful, visitors can check the day’s predicted eruption schedule posted at the Old Faithful visitor center or online at the Old Faithful Webcam website. The water that shoots out of Old Faithful is incredibly hot, with temperatures around 204 degrees Fahrenheit (95.6 C). When observing the awesome power of this geyser, remain at a safe distance. Never approach any geysers within the park and always respect the NPS safety signage.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often does the Old Faithful Geyser erupt?

The Old Faithful Geyser erupts approximately 20 times a day at intervals of 44 minutes to 2 hours.

What is the best time to see Old Faithful?

Old Faithful is busiest between 12 and 6 pm every day, even more so in the summer. For an uninterrupted view, head out early in the day or around dusk.

Insider Hints for Old Faithful Geyser Loop

  • Keep an eye out for bison who roam the area around Old Faithful. If you do see wildlife, do not feed them and be sure to admire from a safe distance.
  • Check out the Yellowstone Art and Photography Center near the trailhead.

Getting to the Old Faithful Geyser Loop Trailhead

This hike begins at the Old Faithful Lodge in the northeast corner of the parking lot at the end of Old Faithful Road.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    No

  • When to do

    May to October

  • Pets allowed

    No

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Good

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Circuit

Old Faithful Geyser Loop Elevation Graph

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