Winter Hike Through Yellowstone's Upper Geyser Basin

Rate this Adventure Wyoming Old Faithful Visitor Center

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Home to Old Faithful, the Upper Geyser Basin contains the majority of the world's active geysers and provides gorgeous views along the Firehole River. Old Faithful and several other geysers erupt multiple times per day, and hikers often see wildlife up close.

Starting at the Old Faithful Visitor Center, you can follow a flat, meandering path along the Firehole River to view several different geysers and geothermal features.

The trail begins on an accessible, paved path but then changes to well-maintained gravel. Depending on the time and energy you have, destinations in the basin include: Castle Geyser 0.2 miles, one way, Daisy/Grotto geysers 0.9 miles, one way, and Morning Glory Pool 1.1 miles, one way. You can choose to loop by either taking the Northern or Southern trail, crossing over the Firehole River on the boardwalk. Each step along the way presents you with new photo and video opportunities. If you are lucky, you can see some spectacular eruptions, such as the Grotto Geyser (part of Geyser Hill) and, of course, Old Faithful. Plan to take your time to watch the numerous types of geothermal activity as well as catch your breath (elevation is above 7,300 feet).

Visiting in the winter requires a little more coordination (due to restricted road access inside the park), however, it is a special time to see the steamy geothermal activity and avoid the crowds. Depending on the amount of snow, you can either hike, snowshoe, or ski tour. Several additional hikes can be accessed from the Lower Geyser Basin trail, you can assess the level of difficulty and conditions at the Visitor Center.

Pack List

  • Map of trail/geothermal features
  • Water
  • Camera
  • Seasonal clothing (recommend multiple layers with gloves, insulated boots and hat for winter)
  • Optional snowshoes or skis depending on conditions (check with the Ranger at the Visitor Center)
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How to Get There

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Added by Crystal Guthrie

Ridgewalker | Massive Music Fan | Skier| Yogi | Impatient Optimist | Polymath. Adventuring n the Pacific Northwest and beyond!

Activities:

Chillin, Photography, Skiing, Snowshoeing, Hiking

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Spring, Autumn, Winter

Trail Type:

Loop

Distance:

2.2 Miles

Features:

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Groups
Hot Springs
River
Romantic
Scenic
Wildlife

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