Yellowstone - Old Faithful & Beyond
The main attraction of Yellowstone is definitely Old Faithful. It’s appropriately famous, because it is really big (over 100 foot high eruptions), and very faithful to a schedule (erupting every 45-90 minutes), but there truly is so much more to see, even just beyond Old Faithful.
One of the first tips we heard when we started planing our Yellowstone trip, was a very good tip. Don’t stop at that big geyser, keep walking! We would give that same advice to anyone else who asks us for a quick tip.
The entire area is referred to as the Upper Geyser Basin and is home to the largest concentration of geysers in the world, as well as colorful hot springs and steaming fumaroles to enjoy. It is about two square miles, and can easily be covered on foot. The massive parking area at Old Faithful is a good spot to put a car, and then stop in the visitor center to check the geyser “schedule” for the day. They predict several, so you can try to be in the right place at the right time, if you want. We headed straight for Old Faithful, as it was scheduled to erupt about ten minutes after we got there. Perfect timing.
We walked out to the viewing area and grabbed a seat on a bench, and almost immediately, the action started. The geyser got bigger and bigger, and shrouded in steam in the early morning air. It was a very cool thing to witness, but we knew there was more to see!
From the Old Faithful platform, we just followed the boardwalks around the Basin. Yellowstone has great little guidebooks available for $1 at almost every major area, so we grabbed one and headed onward. The guidebooks list out the major features, with some great information on what you are observing, as well as detailed maps of the area.
Along the trail, which takes a couple of hours at least, you’ll pass some fantastic features. We most enjoyed spasmodic spring, which is true to name and seems a bit spastic. We really loved Morning Glory Pool, which boasts brilliant blues and greens and goes deep into the earth. We were lucky enough to see a couple of geysers having smaller eruptions on our way, but we didn’t specifically time our walk. The steaming fumaroles are all around, and at times, we began to wonder how long the earth could hold so much activity and pressure, without just splitting open. Yellowstone is just a big volcano, so any time in the park will likely give your imagination something to ponder.
Here is a video of the Old Faithful, and more of the Upper Basin areas!
We really enjoyed this area, but Yellowstone is just packed full of sights to see. We’ll cover more in some other blogs, so be sure to take a look at our other Yellowstone posts!