Fairy Falls and Imperial Geyser Loop

MODERATE 7 reviews
#1 of 208 trails in

Fairy Falls and Imperial Geyser Loop is a 8.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best used from June until September.

8.8 miles
351 feet


nature trips



hot springs




wild flowers




no shade

no dogs

This loop hike starts at the Fairy Falls trailhead and loops around to the falls and then north to Imperial Geyser. From there, backtrack to the east and northeast through the marsh and discover some nice, rarely visited geysers and hot springs. Take the Fountain Flat Drive (gravel) back to the parking area.

1 month ago

I highly recommend this trial. It takes about 4 hours to do, but its pretty flat. We started hiking at 7am and got back to the car by 11, we took quite a few breaks and took our time at Fairy falls and Imperial Geyser. I was a little worried that walking the full loop was going to be a waste of time, but walking in the open field was well worth it. We came across some bison sitting in the trees next to the trail and elk near Goose Lake. We also took the little path up to the lakes by imperial geyser and saw another bison chilling next to the waters edge. Very peaceful and nice hike, especially in the morning with the fog.

1 month ago

Hiked starting from the Fairy Falls Trail Head to Fairy Falls. That was about 2 miles with little elevation gain, nothing too bad. Also, the tallest waterfall I've ever seen in real life. At the base of the waterfall I had a very, very friendly Pika get in one of my pictures. This Pika then came up to me after I sat down at the base of the fall, he put his little paw on my thigh and then jumped up into my lap. Sat there for a second before running to my left knee and hoping off and running away. Please don't feed wildlife, you can save an animals life. After that I walked through a forested area, one of the only places on the trail that provides adequate shade, I came up on a hot spring and 2 gushing geysers. The second geyser, Imperial Geyser, was shooting as high as 25 feet and stopped gushing water for about 10 seconds out of 30 minutes (I ate lunch here). There is a "goat" trail that goes up the side of a hill over by the Imperial Geyser. Steep incline in a short amount of time but it's worth it for the view. From the top you can see over to Fairy Falls to the small forests you just walk through, over to the geysers and, if you look to your left, you'll see the "second part" of your hike where you walk through the grassland. While up there watch for moose, there are 2 very large marshy ponds on the top. But watch out for the poop, it is everywhere and it was so fresh I could smell it in the air, but I sat there about 20 minutes and never saw a moose. The trail continues back toward the Fairy Falls and takes a left through a very dense forest, another one of the very few shaded areas on the trail. The trail markers become orange on the new trail. After about a half mile hiking in that the trail then opens up for big rolling, grassy plains. The basin was beautiful. In the basin there are signs of wildlife everywhere, the hoof prints of bison, paw prints from wolves or coyotes and even vultures or hawks can be seen in the basin. You'll pass a few more geysers and vents. Nothing as powerful as Imperial Geyser but still very intriguing. Once you hike all the way through the basin grass area, around 4 miles, the trail takes a right and starts on a road wide enough for a ranger's vehicle but clearly only used for bikes. On this road the grassy basin is still there on the right side but the beauty on this part of the trail is to the left. After about a mile on this road you'll see a big lake to the left and you'll follow it around for quite some time. Next you'll come up on the river, also on the left and about a mile from the lake. With big grassy isles in the middle, grass on the banks of the river and on the other side a thick forest. It seems like the perfect place to see wildlife but again, I sat there for about 20 minutes and never saw any. After that you're back at the Fairy Falls Trail Head.
This trail offers quite a lot in distance that I did not think was too unreasonable. Without going up that "goat" trail to the over look by the geysers, the trail doesn't have any kind of steep inclines or declines. I hiked for a total of 12.8 miles and would recommend for the majority of people.

3 months ago

4 months ago

Saturday, September 02, 2017