Iconic Yellowstone geyser. One of the most colorful and steamy hot spring basins in the world.

If you have ever seen images of Yellowstone besides Old Faithful, this is it. The Midway Geyser Basin is one of the most colorful and steamy hot spring basins in the world. The best way to get the view is from above.

Getting here is really easy: head south toward Old Faithful on the southwestern side of the park. The Midway Geyser Basin is located about two miles north of Old Faithful. Once you are there, go explore the area via boardwalks that wind around Grand Prismatic and other smaller springs to get a feel for the area.

To get the real over view of Grand Prismatic, you need to exit and drive a 1/4 mile south to the Fairy Falls Trailhead and parking lot. Head down the trail and cross the bridge after you will pass a small spring to the right. After passing the spring, just a few yards down the trail there will be a hillside that says keep off and you can see faint areas where people frequently walk up. Take this hill side up about 150 feet until you can see the entire Basin and the vibrant colors of Grand Prismatic.

Keep in mind that in the summer time, these parking areas are normally completely full during the day. You will have better luck at sunrise and sunset.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Long lens
  • Hiking boots
  • Water
Show More
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Features
Easy Parking
Forest
Hot Springs
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Words of Advice, GO!

Stunning landscape. I have already started planning my trip back so I can explore this area even more in the summer/fall months. Winter was great, especially when you take to snowmobile tour through the park. At the time we got to Midway, my group was the only ones there, so we soaked up the peace and quiet.

An Absolute Must-See When Visiting the Park

The Midway Geyser Basin contains two of the largest hot springs in the world, the Grand Prismatic Spring and the Excelsior Geyser. Each is spectacular in it's own right. The colors of the Grand Prismatic are incredible, and can change depending on temperature and time of year. Watching the super-heated water from Excelsior Geyser pour into the Firehole River is another can't miss sight, and this whole area has ample opportunities for incredible compositions for photographers. This is one of the busiest spots in the park and if you go in the Summer months, you will be sharing it with a lot of people. Best time to visit is in the Spring or Fall seasons.

Phenomenal

5 stars for the scenery, 1 star for the smells. With that said, I'd recommend going early. The crowds are nuts as they are everywhere in Yellowstone. The colors of Grand Prismatic Spring and the other geysers are nothing like you'd expect if you haven't been before. The fact you're practically walking on top of the geothermal ground makes it a cool experience. Just please preserve the area and don't be like the disrespectful jerks who stepped off the boardwalk for a cheap thrill.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Hike above Grand Prismatic Spring

641 Saves

Night Photography at Yellowstone Geysers

257 Saves

Drive The Firehole Lake Loop

247 Saves

Related Stories

More

The 10 Best Winter Jackets

The Outbound Collective

7 Eco-Friendly Gear Gift Ideas

The Outbound Collective

5 Gifts Mountain Bikers Will Love

The Outbound Collective

12 Awesome Car Camping Gift Ideas

The Outbound Collective