Midway Geyser Basin Trail [CLOSED]

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Yellowstone National Park

Midway Geyser Basin Trail is a 0.8 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from May until September.

Distance: 0.8 miles Elevation Gain: 55 feet Route Type: Loop

kid friendly


nature trips


bird watching

hot springs




wild flowers



no dogs

It has been reported this trail has a temporary closure due to COVID-19. Please see the park's website for up to date information. This basin is home to two of the largest geothermal features in Yellowstone: Grand Prismatic Spring & Exelsior Geyser. Midway Geyser Basin is much smaller than the other basins found alongside the Firehole River. Despite its small size, it contains two large features: the 200-by-300-foot-wide Excelsior Geyser which pours over 4,000 gallons per minute into the Firehole River and the 370-foot-wide and 121-foot-deep Grand Prismatic Spring, which is the largest hot spring in Yellowstone. Midway Geyser Basin is located about half-way between the Madison and Old Faithful regions of Yellowstone National Park. From the parking lot, take the trail south and cross the Firehole River. You will see several streams of steaming water pouring from the terrace above into the Firehole River.

not a hike but great views

7 months ago

What sets Yellowstone a part from other national parks is the 10,000 hydrothermal features, more than anywhere else in the world combined. Old Faithful is the most famous of these features, but Midway Geyser Basin’s Grand Prism Spring is the most photographed because of it’s bizarre, but beautiful colors: oranges, browns, and yellows adorn the area surrounding it, and the blues, greens, and aquas grace the heated water, throw in the full spectrum of the rainbow, as the sunlight reflects through the rising steam, and you have quite a picture. For more on this special place as well as other adventures around the park checkout National Parks Hiking: https://nationalparkshikingpursuingbalancethruadventure.wordpress.com/2019/09/28/midway-geyser-basin/

8 months ago

Super easy, not really a hike. However definitely a must see

8 months ago

This is a must do when making the rounds in Yellowstone. The color of the water in these two pools is incredible. It was pretty windy the day we walked this, and lots of people lost their hats as they were strewn all over the place. You get blasted with steam on a windy day as it blows all over the boardwalks. Very worthwhile walk!!

8 months ago

Not really a hike, more like a walk. It's all boardwalk. It is stunning and other worldly but let me give you a hint. It is not the best view of Grand Prismatic Pool. The best view is the overlook that is accessed by the Fairy Falls trailhead. You should do both trails.

9 months ago

Easy great up close view

9 months ago

One of the 2 highlights of the park (along with Old Faithful / Upper Geyser Trail) but it gets CROWDED. Would recommend getting here early to have a little more breathing room to enjoy the natural wonder

10 months ago


no shade
11 months ago

The Grand Prismatic Spring is a wonder of nature, but to really see it in all its glory, take the Fairy Falls overlook trail instead. the boardwalk offers a limiting, low-angle view. Instagram pics @marcomoore

Mon May 27 2019

Crazy rain and wind today (we were counting hats that blew into the protected are) but still beautiful.

Fri Oct 19 2018

This is an easy boardwalk that offers lovely views. However, to really enjoy the Grand Prismatic Spring I’d suggest taking the overlook trail.

Fri Aug 10 2018

The grand Grand Prismatic Spring is certainly one of the most deserve to see in the Yellowstone. However, It's too large to see the whole prism besides it. I suggest to hike both this trail and the other trail going to the mountain besides the prism and see it from above.

Sun Jun 24 2018

Nice easy trail with several views but noticed some people not paying attention and nearly pushed some people off the boardwalk. Crowded so go early.

Mon Jun 04 2018

Colors from the spring are amazing!

Sat Oct 14 2017

Fascinating sights!

Mon Oct 09 2017

2 different thermal features which are very unique on their own.

Thu Aug 31 2017

Went in July 2016.

Fri Aug 25 2017

As everything is in Yellowstone, very congested, but this was a very cool site. There is also an observation point nearby that's over 2 miles round-trip

Wed Aug 16 2017

Unbelievable!! The grand prismatic geyser is by far my favorite and a must see! The color variation is spectacular.

Mon Jul 17 2017

Flat walk.. very beautiful and multicolored pools that make this spot at the top on my must see places when I'm in Yellowstone

Sat Jun 17 2017

Great set of pools. You need to stop here on your trip. The grand prismatic gets a little steamy and hard to see, but wait for a gust and the colors get uncovered.

Wed Jun 14 2017

Nice and easy trail

Sun May 14 2017

Sat Apr 08 2017

The Midway Geyser Basin star is the Grand Prismatic Spring, a huge chromatic-colored spring which looks like an eye from above and featured in a lot of post-cards. Early that morning, the area was halfway shrouded in mists, so we couldn’t see the blue and green colors very well. The mist was eerie as we crossed the bridge over the Firehole River and up the boardwalk past Excelsior Geyser, which showed a past explosion that moved much rock and blasted a hole in the earth, one of the huge eruptions in the Caldera. Experts think that this spot will erupt again, causing a catastrophic event in the future. Trace evidence shows three eruptions have occurred in the past 2 million years, every 600,000 years. In fact, there is a huge pocket of molten magma under the Caldera, and the area has risen due to the pressure build-up, but no one knows when the next eruption will occur. Yellowstone Lake itself is migrating southward because the north end of the lake is pushing upward. You can feel the earth move as you walk around the boardwalk. Later in our trip we again stopped at Midway Geyser Basin. On the bridge crossing the Firehole River, we spied a huge buck at the top of a cliff across the road. It was the Hartford Insurance logo picture against the sky. One trick we learned was to cross the street and scale the hill to the top for a real treat. The Grand Prismatic Spring is breathtaking in its blue-green splendor from this vantage point; this is the spot for the best view. Down below, we once again took the stroll around the boardwalk and the bacterial mats really stood out. DON’T miss it!

Wed Aug 17 2016

Ok walk on a boardwalk, usually very busy & actually is not the best way to see Grand Prismatic spring, but worth the walk if you have the time!

Sun Aug 07 2016

Grand Prismatic Spring is my favorite geothermal area in the park.

Sun Jul 17 2016

Went here with family years ago and loved it! Could spend so much time admiring the hot springs! So beautiful and so unique! This basin has one of the biggest and most beautiful hot springs (Grand Prismatic)! Gets very crowded...so patience is needed!

Tue Feb 16 2016

Here are two things that the above description seem to lack: 1. This is a heavily used area. If you're planning to visit June - August finding a parking spot will most likely be challenging. Be prepared to encounter a lot of people. 2. It's worth it for this reason: GRAND PRISMATIC SPRING. One of the most colorful displays of nature in the entire world. You must see this if you're in Yellowstone.

Sun Dec 13 2015

Easy walk around one of the world's biggest hot tubs. Very colorful. Be patient though because it gets crowded with tourists.

nature trips
Sun Aug 23 2015

Very pretty!

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