Yellowstone National Park is home to 10,000 hot springs and geysers. It is the largest active geyser field in the world. The most popular Yellowstone geysers include Old Faithful, Riverside Geyser, Grand Geyser, Beehive Geyser, and the world’s tallest active geyser, Steamboat geyser. There are several major geyser basins that visitors can explore through boardwalk or paved trails.
Table of Contents
- Yellowstone Geysers Of Upper Geyser Basin:
- 01. The wondrous Old Faithful:
- 02. Explore over 150 hydrothermal wonders at Upper Geyser Basin:
- 03. Beehive Geyser:
- 04. Castle geyser:
- 05. Grand Geyser:
- 06. Riverside Geyser:
- 07. Lion Geyser:
- 08. Hike to see the lovely Lone Star Geyser:
- 09. Explore Norris Geyser Basin to see the tallest geyser in the world:
- 10. Steamboat geyser:
Yellowstone Geysers Of Upper Geyser Basin:
01. The wondrous Old Faithful:
Old Faithful is a cone geyser, and it is one of the most popular attractions of Yellowstone National Park. The Washburn Expedition discovered it in 1870 and was named “Old Faithful” for its frequent and somewhat predictable eruptions.
After the 1983 Borah Peak earthquake, eruptions intervals became increasingly less predictable. But when naturalists discover that the eruption time can determine by the duration of the preceding eruption, the predictions of eruptions became highly accurate. Now, the eruption generally occurs after every 90 minutes of interval, shooting 3,700 to 8,400 gallons of boiling water into the air that reaches an average height of about 145 feet.
The best way to enjoy the Old faithful:
Old faithful is one of the most iconic places in Yellowstone. There are three different ways you can enjoy this nature’s wonder. Firstly, the standard viewing from the boardwalk 300 feet away from the geyser spout, where you will get the closest view of the eruption. If you are planning to watch the eruption from the boardwalk, try to go early, as it gets packed with lots of people, especially during noon and afternoon.
Get a bird’s-eye view of the geyser:
You can avoid the crowd if you go to the Observation Point. You can hike up to Observation Point, and it’s a 1.1-mile round trip with an uphill hike. And from the Observation Point, you will get a lovely bird’s-eye view of the geyser from 250 feet above. It would be a good place to enjoy your lunch.
Enjoy a view from Old Faithful Inn:
You can also enjoy a view of the Old Faithful Geyser eruption from the masterpiece of rustic architecture, the Old Faithful Inn. This National Historic Landmark was built between 190 and 904, and it is one of the few remaining log hotels in the United States. You will also love the beautiful and rich architecture of the hotel.
Explore the nearby geysers and springs of Old Faithful:
If you are visiting old faithful, try to explore the whole area to see other beautiful geysers, lovely springs, landscape, and wildlife. Exploring other geysers and springs will be well worth it, as they are beautiful and less crowded.
Download the NPS Geysers App to get eruption prediction times:
Visit Google Play or the Apple App Store and download the NPS Geysers App to get eruption prediction times for Old Faithful Geyser and other Yellowstone geysers.
It would be wonderful to visit one of the most popular Yellowstone geysers. Try to go early to secure a good spot to watch the eruptions. Also, if you go early, it will be much easier to park.
Recommended guided tour: 5-Mile Geyser Hiking Tour in Yellowstone with Lunch.
02. Explore over 150 hydrothermal wonders at Upper Geyser Basin:
The Upper Geyser Basin is Yellowstone’s largest geyser basin and the world’s largest single concentration of hot springs. It is home to the most popular Yellowstone geysers. Upper Geyser Basin is about one square mile and contains over 150 hydrothermal wonders. The Upper Geyser Basin comprises 5 different sections, the Old Faithful area, Geyser Hill, Castle Geyser and Morning Glory Pool, Black Sand Basin, and Biscuit Basin.
The major highlights of the Upper Geyser Basin:
The major geysers of the Upper Geyser Basin include Old Faithful, Grand, Castle, Daisy, and Riverside. If you are planning to visit the Upper Geyser Basin, try to spend at least a day, to explore all the major wondrous features of the Basin.
To explore the Upper Basin, you will find a 1.5 miles wheelchair-accessible trail where you will get to see various pools and geysers. On this trail, you will get to see the stunning morning glory pool and the heart pool.
You can get a map from the visitor center and plan your route. The Upper Geyser Basin isn’t small, and there are lots of things to see. It would be a good idea to make a plan for your walk on the trail and the things you want to see, especially if you have limited time and traveling with young children.
You will enjoy seeing various beautiful Yellowstone geysers and pools, including the Old Faithful, one of the most popular attractions of Yellowstone.
03. Beehive Geyser:
Beehive Geyser is located in the Upper Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park and is one of the most popular Yellowstone geysers. Beehive Geyser’s 4-foot tall cone resembles a beehive. Eruptions of the geyser usually occur twice each day, with displays lasting 4 – 5 minutes. During the eruption, the narrow cone of the Beehive Geyser shoots a tall, slender jet of water that reaches up to 200 feet.
There are multiple small vents around Beehive’s Cone, and the most notable one is its main indicator geyser, located about 10 feet from Beehive. Beehive’s Indicator Geyser erupts 6-10 feet high, and these eruptions start when the water is rising in the Beehive Geyser. Usually, A follow-up eruption from the Beehive Geyser occurs about 10-15 minutes after the Indicator Geyser erupts. This indicator is helpful if you’re in the upper geyser basin, as you will have time to get to a location where you can watch the eruption.
Generally, its intervals are consistent enough to give you a couple of hour’s time frame when it will likely erupt. You can explore the other geysers of the Upper Geyser Basin, and when the Beehive’s Indicator erupts, you can head out to see the eruptions. It’s well worth the effort and waits, and if you don’t want to get wet by the splashing water, you can bring an umbrella.
When you visit the Yellowstone geysers, don’t miss seeing the eruptions of the lovely Beehive Geyser.
04. Castle geyser:
Castle Geyser is a cone geyser in the Upper Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park. The geyser has a unique, large, tall geyserite cone structure that resembles a castle. Castle Geyser is a favorite among the Yellowstone geysers and has the largest cone and maybe the oldest of all geysers in the basin. The cone of Castle Geyser is thousands of years old and rests upon even older platforms. Together, they form one of the largest sinter formations in the world.
The Castle Geyser is currently erupting about every 10 – 12 hours. The water eruption frequently reaches about 100 feet and lasts about 20 minutes, followed by a noisy steam phase of 30-40 minutes. Also, the Castle has minor eruptions with a few minutes of water but no steam.
Castle Geyser is just west of Old Faithful, within a short little hike down the hill. It is an impressive Yellowstone geyser you shouldn’t miss out on, along with other Yellowstone geysers of the Upper Geyser Basin.
05. Grand Geyser:
Grand Geyser is a fountain geyser in the Upper Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park. This natural attraction is a favorite among the Yellowstone geysers, and it is the tallest predictable geyser in the world. Grand Geyser eruption occurs every 7 – 15 hours, and an average eruption of the geyser lasts about 9 – 12 minutes and comprises 1 – 4 bursts, and the powerful bursts shoot 150 to 200 feet in the air. The Grand Geyser erupts from a large pool with powerful bursts.
The Grand Geyser has adjacent Vent Geyser and Turban Geyser. Most of the time, Grand’s eruption begins within a few minutes of the start of one of Turban’s eruptions, especially if the Grand Geyser’s pool is full at the same time. It can also erupt just before Turban’s eruption begins, with Vent Geyser erupting shortly after Grand erupts.
After the first ‘burst’ from Grand Geyser, try to wait a bit as if the crater still has water in it, a second burst likely to come. And if the pool remains full after the second burst, you will get to see the third burst from Grand Geyser.
It would be a lovely experience for you to see one of the most popular Yellowstone geysers, and you may also get to see multiple eruptions.
06. Riverside Geyser:
Riverside Geyser is located in the Upper Geyser Basin, alongside the Firehole River. The geyser was named by the Hayden Geological Survey of 1871. This natural attraction is a favorite among the Yellowstone geysers, as it shoots super-heated water in an arch that can reach heights of 75 feet. Sometimes you may also get to see a lovely rainbow as the Riverside Geyser stretches from one side of the river to the other, forming a colorful rainbow.
Riverside Geyser’s eruptions occur every 5-1/2 to 7 hours. And it is one of the most predictable geysers in the park, as it is not located near any other geysers that may disrupt the flow of underground water in the geyser’s plumbing. Also, there is water runoff over the edge of Riverside’s cone for an hour or two before each eruption.
To see this lovely geyser, you’ll find an observation area that’s across the river. When you visit the Yellowstone geysers, don’t miss seeing the eruptions of the lovely Beehive Geyser.
07. Lion Geyser:
Lion Geyser is a cone-type geyser in the Upper Geyser Basin, located in the Geyser Hill complex. It is one of the popular Yellowstone geysers and was named for the roaring sound of steam releasing during an eruption. Lion Geyser is the largest of a group of four adjacent and interconnected geysers. And the other geysers are the Lioness, Big Cub, and Little Cub. Lion Geyser’s eruptions can reach a height of
50-90 feet and last from 1 to 7 minutes. The visitor center doesn’t provide the geyser prediction time, but you can ask at the desk, as they may have some info supplied by geyser gazers. Before the eruption, you will hear a rush of steam that sounds like a lion roaring, then it erupts. Lion Geyser erupts in a series, and there are many eruptions over the course of a few hours, and then a pause while the system recharges.
Lion Geyser is located along the lower boardwalk on Geyser Hill, a short way from Beehive Geyser. Also, in the foreground, you will see the picturesque Heart Spring.
08. Hike to see the lovely Lone Star Geyser:
Lone Star Geyser is one of the most popular Yellowstone geysers, located in the Lone Star Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park. It is around 3 miles southeast of Old Faithful Geyser and the Upper Geyser Basin. Lone Star Geyser erupts every 3 hours, and lasts about 30 minutes, and reaches a height of 35 to 40 feet.
You can see the geyser by hiking on the Lone Star Geyser Trail, an 8.5-kilometer round trip. You can also go biking as the trail is mostly paved. If you want to see the eruption, you should make plans, as the geyser prediction apps and websites do not cover its eruptions predictions. But it’s worth the time, as the Lone Star is a spectacular geyser with a large and dramatic base formation. Also, it’s not crowded, and the kids will love to splash around in the Firehole river located next to the geyser. Consider taking mosquito repellent and bug spray with you.
It would be a wonderful experience to see one of the most popular Yellowstone geysers. You will love to hike on the trail, and if you are lucky, you may get to watch the lovely eruptions of the Lone Star Geyser without waiting.
09. Explore Norris Geyser Basin to see the tallest geyser in the world:
Norris Geyser Basin was named after Philetus W. Norris, the second superintendent of Yellowstone. It is the hottest and most changeable geothermal area in Yellowstone. The waters at Norris are mostly acidic. At Norris Geyser Basin, you will get to see the tallest geyser in the world, the Steamboat Geyser, rare acid geysers, and Echinus Geyser.
Hike through the trails to enjoy Norris Geyser Basin:
You can enjoy this unique natural wonder through 3.6 km of boardwalk and dirt trails. There are two trails, the Porcelain Basin trail, where you will be walking through a 1.3 km dirt trail and boardwalk, and it’s a steaming landscape barren of trees. And the 1.5 mile Back Basin trail is more heavily wooded, and there are many geysers and hot springs scattered throughout the area. Also, from the Back Basin trail, you will get to see the popular Steamboat Geyser.
You can also stop by at the Norris Museum, where you will see exhibits relating to the origins of the geothermal features found at the basin.
You will love to see the different Yellowstone geysers and springs along the boardwalk. It gets crowded, so try to go early, and it would be hard to find parking if you go late.
10. Steamboat geyser:
Steamboat Geyser, in Yellowstone National Park, is the world’s tallest active geyser. Its major eruptions shoot water over 300 feet. Steamboat Geyser has two vents, a northern and a southern. The north vent of the geyser is responsible for the tallest water columns; the south vent’s water columns are shorter. Steamboat Geyser’s major eruption lasts 3 to over 40 minutes, and the intervals range from 4 days to 50 years.
Minor eruptions of the Steamboat Geyser are most common and reach 6–40 ft (2–12 m) and last 1–4 minutes. Eruptions Intervals may be as short as 2–5 minutes.
A major eruption of Steamboat Geyser differs from other Yellowstone geysers, and if you’re lucky enough to see a major eruption, it would be a memorable experience. The Water rises from both vents and shoots water over 300 feet, and carries vast amounts of mud, sand, and tosses rocks into the air. And as the water supply runs out, the geyser continues with a powerful steam phase which lasts several hours to several days. Also, the ground vibrates like an earthquake, and the roar is so great that conversation near the geyser is difficult.
You will find 2 viewing areas to see the Steamboat Geyser, about 20-30 meters from the Steamboat Geyser.
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