Upper Geyser Basin

Yellowstone
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Upper Geyser Basin

Distance: 5.1mi
Elevation: 623ft
Time: 2-3h

Difficulty Rating:

One of the classic hikes in Yellowstone National Park, you cannot miss the Upper Geyser Basin trail. Starting at Old Faithful, this trail will grant you wonderful views of a new geyser every few minutes!

Getting there

This hike begins right outside the visitor center in Old Faithful. There is ample parking here, however, because this is such an iconic sight it fills up very fast. Get here bright and early or after 4pm to guarantee a spot. From the parking lot, head towards the large building with flags flying high on its roof – this is the Old Faithful Inn with the visitor center to the right.

About

When to do

May through October

Backcountry Campsites

No

Toilets

At Parking Lot

Family friendly

Yes

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

Extreme

Route Type

Circuit


Elevation


Detailed Description

From the visitor center head towards the famous geyser and go around it to the right. At the first junction turn right and head down to the murmuring Firehole River. Cross the bridge and continue along the trail.

You have the option to turn up to Observation Point and Solitary Geyser if you wish, if not continue straight along the trail. After traveling along a flat boardwalk and seeing several geysers you will be joined by the trail from Solitary Geyser.

From here on out the trail is entirely flat and passes beside dozens of beautiful geyser and inkpots. The historically renowned geological beauty of Yellowstone is clearly visible on this hike. Explore as far up the boardwalk as you want to go. If you go so far as to join a paved trail, you have the option of taking this back to the visitor center if you wish.

Insider Hints

  • If you are physically fit and looking for more seclusion head towards Observation Point and Solitary Geyser. Turn right just after Firehole River to get up there. It is magnificent.

  • Stop by the incredible Old Faithful Inn afterwards and see the spectacular interior. There is a fine deli here that's good for a quick sandwich or a lovely ice cream on a hot day.

  • There is also a wonderful viewing deck for Old Faithful on the 2nd level of the Old Faithful Inn. Grab a coffee and relax.

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