Fairy Creek Trail to Imperial Geyser is a 6.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October.

Length6.5 miElevation gain387 ftRoute typeOut & back
kid friendlyHikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingRunningForestHot springsRiverViewsWaterfallwild-flowersWildlifeRockyFeeNo dogs
Description
Waypoints (6)
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Getting There

Yellowstone closes trails annually to reduce encounters between bears and humans during certain times of the year. See here for bear closure info: https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/management/bearclosures.htm Additionally, roads in Yellowstone are closed annually during winter. Before you head out, see Park road closures here: https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/parkroads.htm Yellowstone National Park charges a fee to enter. Fees are $35 per vehicle or $30 per motorcycle. If you are entering on foot, horse, or bike the fee is $20 per person. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $70. Short route: Park 1 mile south of Midway Geyser Basin, cross the steel bridge and walk 1 mile to the trailhead. Long route: Park at the end of Fountain Flat Dr. and walk 1.75 miles to trailhead. The trail travels through young forest to the 197-foot-tall Fairy Falls passing Grand Prismatic Spring, wildflowers, lodgepole pines, and more. The hike to Fairy Falls is very easy despite its length. The trail passes Grand Prismatic Spring, and a short detour scramble up a hill offers a spectacular view of the spring. Along the hike are tons of wildflowers, obsidian, lodgepole pines, and other wildlife.

Two different parking areas are available.

Wyoming Business Council Tourism Office, Frank Norris Jr. Travel Center, I-25 & College Drive , Cheyenne, WY, 82002-0660, Phone: 307-777-7777, Fax: 307-777-6472

Plan on hiking for about 2-3 hours round trip if you turn around at the falls. Alternatively, you can continue on past Fairy Falls to Spray Geyser and Imperial Geyser. This will add another hour to your trip. Bring plenty of water and good shoes. This trail is fairly popular, but the dense trees make it so you don't notice the other hikers.

This trail located north of the Old Faithful area.

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Reviews (208)
Photos (618)
Recordings (151)
Completed (1,362)
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Adam Nelson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 21, 2021
Backpacking

Almost died due to Alltrails inaccurate campsite location. Did this in July 2019. Had a permit for 0D4, it wasn't where it was marked. A thunderstorm quickly rolled in, leaving us out in the open searching for the site. Lighting struck no more than 100 yards away, multiple times. Definitely the closest I've ever come to dying. Anyway, beautiful trail, once you pass Fairy Falls you see very few people. But unfortunately the Grand Prismatic Overlook is at the beginning of this trail so get used to being around people. Imperial Geyser was erupting when we got to it. Trekked up the the hill overlooking it to have breakfast, we were greeted by a herd of elk. All in all, unforgettable experience.

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Amani Byler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 1, 2020
Hiking

So beautiful, but it was busy & crowded!

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Jeff Scott
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 27, 2020
Hiking
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Beth Hronek
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 26, 2020
Backpacking
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Phalcon Parker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 25, 2020
HikingGreat!Muddy

Well worth the added distance from Fairy Falls. There were a couple Buffalo hanging near the trail, and not many people at the geyser compared to the falls.

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Tarryn Humphreys
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 24, 2020
Hiking

great, went early had our own personal geyser with a bison, the waterfall was pretty too, worth it!

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K Rozo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 23, 2020
WalkingGreat!
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Patrick&Brandi James
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 14, 2020
Hiking
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Marc Shumaker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 11, 2020
Hiking

Parking fills up very quickly! Essential Yellowstone hike, you get to see two geysers, one you see pretty close up! You also get an excellent opportunity to view a spectacular waterfall!

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Keenan Louis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 5, 2020
Hiking
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Nora Tucker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 3, 2020
Hiking

Definitely continue to the geysers and hike the hill for an aerial view. Grand prismatic can be hard to see in the early morning due to steam. Do the overlook on the way back.

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Bram Bout
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 2, 2020
Hiking

awesome trail, really worth it. A bison blocked out path for the last half mile, but even that was great!

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Sheeri Bornstein
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 1, 2020
Hiking

One thing that’s great about Yellowstone is that any destinations that are a little further out from the side of the road are pretty empty. As a result, I saw fewer people at imperial geyser than I did on an 18 mile hike in the Tetons the day before! Geyser was great, nice viewpoint of grand prismatic (more impressive than standing right next to it) and the falls were cute as well. Well marked trail and a nice, easy little walk that’s less crowded than most of the big Yellowstone sites.

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Bianca Engels
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 29, 2020
Hiking
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Eron Osman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 23, 2020
Hiking
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Breck Steele
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 21, 2020
HikingGreat!

This was the perfect hike for my family! We have a 1 year old her enjoyed being in the backpack carrier. It was flat the whole way, so pretty easy. The falls was beautiful! It is definitely worth it to go to the geysers a little further. Also don’t be fooled by the little one on the way to the big one. Just follow the river and you will find it. Look out for wild raspberries they were delicious!

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DK Kadyrov
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 21, 2020
Hiking
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edan kfir
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 19, 2020
HikingGreat!

First mile is very crowded with people going to the grand prismatic overview (don't miss it!), second mile is nice and flat, but is in pretty dense forest, so nothing really changes. The waterfall is nice, and the geyser at the end is nice and was pretty active when were were there. The climb up the hill is worth it for the views of the surrounding area, and the geyser itself also looks great from above.

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Nate Alder
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 14, 2020
Hiking

Very easy trail. Little bit of mud as you approach and leave the falls, but definitely worth the extra bit to the geyser.

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Colin Parks-Fried
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 11, 2020
HikingGreat!

Get out there early. Gets crowded quickly. Crowd thins as you move along. Then increases on way back. Gravel trail most of the way until you get to falls. Walk from parking to trail head +1mile and not included in mileage. Imperial geyser definitely worth the extra hike.

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Angela C
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 10, 2020
Hiking
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Matthew Quinn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 6, 2020
HikingGreat!

Busy but pleasant hike. Recommend continuing on to Imperial Geyser after Fairy Falls because everybody stops at the Falls. Our group of 7 had an hour to relax and have lunch next to the Imperial Geyser completely alone - it has a beautiful colour scheme and erupts (maybe 4-6 feet) every couple of minutes. We had our own private show completely undisturbed. Definitely worth the extra effort.

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Matt Wirth
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 6, 2020
Hiking
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Stewart Carnes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful touristy hike to the falls. Very few people continued on to Imperial Geyser.

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Jacob Orona
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 26, 2020
Hiking

Very cool hike. It gets less crowded the further in you go. Most people stop at the falls and turn around. Only to miss the best part at the end. The cage free geyser. We tried this hike last year and turned around immediately because we got eaten alive by bugs. This time however it wasn’t bad. I think it was because it hadn’t rained in a while so their wasn’t as many mosquitos. We also took some big spray that helped. So maybe pick a day when it hasn’t rained for a while. Just my guess. Awesome hike

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Claire Kredens
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 21, 2020
BugsGreat!

bring your bug spray:-)

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Randi Brunt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 21, 2020
Hiking

Much of the trail is through a wooded area with not much of a view, but it is peaceful. The falls are beautiful and you can get right up in there. The trail continuing on to Imperial geyser goes through a grassy meadow and the trail takes you right next to the geyser which has a rainbow of colors. Fun, easy hike. We went early to beat the crowds.

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KRIS D
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 18, 2020
Hiking

Do this counterclockwise. The best feature of this trail is imperial geyser. Not the “waterfall”. We were swarmed in the giant meadow by biting flies. They are not impeded by bug spray. These bites are way worse than mosquitos. I don’t think it’s necessary to to this loop unless you’re a huge fan of open meadows. Just walk out to imperial geyser and back. This type of geyser is always having mini eruptions so it’s not one you have to time correctly. Make you you add the little walk up to grandprismatic overlook. Its super weird it’s not included on this loop since it’s the best and most popular thing on this route. Just follow the masses.

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