• Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

Easy Parking
Forest
Hot Springs
Scenic
Wildlife

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
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

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

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Reviews

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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.

5 days ago
5 days ago

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.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

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.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Don't let the crowds and cars parked along the road scare you away. With a little patience you can see the beauty of the Grand Prismatic Spring too-and you'll likely never forget it. Since it's so easily accessible-be prepared for large groups of tourists. It would be best to go really early or late in the day. The place can get windy and there were windblown hats all over the springs, so hold on to your hats. Also, respect the boardwalks and signs...resist the urge to touch the hot springs so future visitors can enjoy the thermal features just like you.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

An iconic place that is a must see in Yellowstone. Can get a bit busy, by at either early in the morning or later at night the area is even more spectacular!! And with less people!

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

The summer crowds are relentless but that doesn't take away from how amazing Grand Prismatic Spring is.

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

The colors of the Grand Prismatic Spring are WILD. There are far too many tourists but that is expected when consider that it's the 3rd largest hot spring in the world. The colors and textures make weaving through people worth it. I'd absolutely recommend checking this out but just know that if you go on a midsummer's day you'll have a crowd.

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Daniel Brittain

Hello, My name is Daniel Brittain. I am an aspiring Professional outdoors, lifestyle, and portrait photographer based in Ventura California. I currently attend Brooks Institute studying for my Bachelors in Professional photography. I am all about getting out into the unknown and exploring what is out there. I always am looking for people to adventure with and meet those who inspired.

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