Photograph the Elusive Beehive Geyser



0.1 miles

Route Type


Added by John Sunich

Photograph an impressive eruption from Old Faithful's noisy and taller neighbor Beehive Geyser.

Located in the Upper Geyser Basin along the banks of the Firehole River is the world famous Old Faithful geyser which is typically seen as a "must do" on any trip to Yellowstone National Park.  While at the famous geyser a small portion of visitors each year are lucky enough to happen upon the eruption of it's noisy and slightly taller neighbor Beehive Geyser.

While Old Faithful averages 17 eruptions per day the much less frequent Beehive Geyser erupts only once every 8-24 hours during the summer and is even less frequent/erratic in the winter.   In the 1990's for a period of 3 years and in 2010 the geyser went dormant. During that time Beehive's indicator would erupt for long periods of time, some as long as 60 minutes, with no eruption from Beehive itself.  

Beehive's showy eruptions last for 5 minutes and stay at the full height of around 200 feet for the majority of that time before concluding with a steam phase that sounds like a jet engine and can be heard from a good distance away.  Additionally Beehive's eruptions are almost always preceded by an eruption of Beehive's Indicator geyser which becomes active 10-25 minutes prior to Beehive erupting.  

Since Beehive averages about one eruption per day it is highly recommended to speak with staff at Old Faithful visitor center when you first arrive to get an idea of its recent eruption times and current frequency of eruption which should an idea of the time which will give the best possible odds to witness an eruption. Remember that if the indicator is active get over to find a great spot to shoot since the crowds will likely be arriving soon with the impending eruption.

Beehive was named in 1870 by members of the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition.  It's name was derived from the 4 foot tall cone shaped nozzle that resembles that of an old straw beehive. 

Beehive can be viewed from the south on a boardwalk looking across the Firehole River or up close and personal from the north boardwalk.  Occasionally when the angle of the sun is just right you can see and photograph a beautiful rainbow from that is created from all the water vapor generated during an eruption of Beehive.

Overall the area is highly recommended due to the variety of other geysers, steam vents, hot springs, as well as the the Old Faithful Inn, Lodge, and visitor center.

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Handicap Accessible
Hot Springs
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Very Cool

The geysers in Yellowstone are very cool to see. This one isn't as predictable as old faithful so you might have to do a little planning to see it erupt.

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