Upper Geyser Basin and Old Faithful Observation Point Loop

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Yellowstone National Park

Upper Geyser Basin and Old Faithful Observation Point Loop is a 4.9 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming that features hot springs and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for walking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from May until October.

Length4.9 miElevation gain357 ftRoute typeLoop
Wheelchair friendlyKid friendlyStroller friendlyNature tripsWalkingBird watchingRunningHot springsPartially pavedRiverViewsWildflowersWildlifeFeeNo dogs
Description
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Contact

WILDLIFE CLOSURE: This area is subject to closures due to wildlife activity (bears). For more information, please visit https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/management/bearclosures.htm SEASONAL ROAD CLOSURE: Roads leading to this trailhead are subject to seasonal closure during winter. For more information, please visit 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. The Upper Geyser Basin and Old Faithful Observation Point Loop is a must-do on all outdoor enthusiasts lists, with the Yellowstone National Park Geysers being a crown jewel of bucket list items. The trail is very well maintained, but users should note that as the season moves forward and it gets busier, that the area does get damaged sometimes and the park service will sometimes close trails and reroute to save the environment. Though kid-friendly, please remember that geysers can be dangerous, and families should always stay together to not get lost or get close to danger. The geysers and pools are spectacular to see, with the trail itself being easiest in summer when snow and ice are not an issue. It is only steep going up and coming down from the Overlook, which users can choose not to walk up. On cold days, the boardwalk around the geysers can be slippery, even if it hasn’t rained or snowed, since the geyser itself can refreeze and ‘snow’ down on the trail, making it slick. Throughout this loop, users will love the many beautiful geysers on the entire stretch. Definitely stop and enjoy each one to make the most of this route. A nice option to see the area at different times of beauty is to come in the morning and at sunset, when the geysers seem even more magical. The sun peaking through steam is surreal, and an experience everyone should have. Accessibility: There are at least 18 designated accessible spaces in the paved parking lot off of Geyser Avenue at the southeast end of the trail. All of them are van-accessible with striped access aisles. The trail surface is a wooden boardwalk with edge barriers or railings, paved asphalt, or a natural dirt trail and typically at least 4 feet wide. The most accessible portion of the trail is from 0.0 miles to 0.4 miles and 1.8 miles to 4.9 miles. The estimated grade for the accessible portion is mostly gentle (5% or less). The Observation Point Loop is from 0.4 miles to 1.8 miles and the trail turns to natural dirt, has steps or rocks, and very steep (over 12%) sections. Trail goers using wheelchair/mobility equipment or strollers may need assistance in the very steep sections or to avoid them for safety. There are benches along the route for resting. The most accessible portion of the trail is the Upper Geyser Basin trail: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/wyoming/upper-geyser-basin

Yellowstone National Park PO Box 168 Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168 307-344-7381 (recorded information and an option to speak with someone) Additional info: http://www.nps.gov/yell/contacts.htm

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Reviews (592)
Photos (1,324)
Activities (461)
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Jupi ◇
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HikingGreat!Snow
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Brandon Holzer
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HikingGreat!

You can't get any more unique than this. This trail takes you through the entire upper geyser basin to see almost 70 percent of the entire world's hydrothermal features. This trail is truly one of a kind. My recommended route is Old Faithful up the paved trail all the way to Morning Glory Pool, before turning left at Grotto Geyser to follow the Boardwalk past Giant and Grand Geyser to Geyser Hill, before looking back to Old Faithful. A must see if you are coming to Yellowstone.

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Angela Gonzales Lanciaux
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Walking

Easy walk. Many interesting geysers and features to see, and of course, Old Faithful. Very crowded.

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Joshua Hazan
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HikingGreat!

Dozens of awesome geysers along the boardwalk. Like landing on Mars

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James Hayne
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Hiking

One of the most famous areas in the park so it's quite crowded at least for the first part of the loop. We did the loop after watching Old Faithful from the overlook. Not strenuous but a nice afternoon hike after a busy morning elsewhere in the park. The official app and the visitor center list estimated eruption times for several of the geysers so we managed to time seeing several going off.

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Cory McKissick
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HikingGreat!
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Francesca Pardini
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HikingNo shade

8/2020 Good walk with tons of interesting springs and geysers.

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Nicole Dunn
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Hiking

It was definitely less crowded in October than it was in September. Old Faithful is going to go off every 70 minutes or so, so I would recommend prioritizing whatever other geysers will erupt during your visit. Castle and Grand geysers were both MUCH more impressive! The colors in the pools and hot springs are amazing. The little Grotto geyser was fascinating to watch, as well as the Punchbowl.

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Chelsea Grindle
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we broke off and went down to black sand basin since we had a person driving around coming to pick us up, about the same distance to the road though, great trail and can see a bit more if you go down towards black sand.

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James Murphy
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Hiking

Great walk with lots to see.

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Matthew W
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Hiking

Lots of cool sights to see. Try to time your hike so that you can see both Old Faithful and another geyser erupt. Also, consider parking at Biscuit Basin Trailhead if you're coming from West Yellowstone, and starting the hike from there - saves time having to navigate the construction around the Old Faithful area.

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Austin Pryor
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HikingGreat!

In addition to what others have said, I really recommend making time to watch grand go off!

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Johnnie Walker
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HikingGreat!

Crowded trail, but amazing! You can’t find this kind of terrain in too many places in the US.

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Brianna Reynolds
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Hiking
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Kara Freeman
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It’s gorgeous but very crowded with people who don’t know trail etiquette. Obviously worth checking out and doing it, but expect a non-hiking experience.

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Jesse McKnight
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Hiking
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Michael Pinter
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Hiking

Old Faithful rocks!

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Kenneth Lund
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Hiking

Awesome trail today!

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Sean Dunlop
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Hiking

You sort of must check it off the box if you're at Yellowstone. Better from the small hiking trail above, in that it's less crowded, but the view from below is probably better. The nearby restaurants are worth a try! Might see bison here in the winter, as the hot water beneath the crust melts the snow

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Daniel Stanley
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Hiking
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kits VA
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Hiking

What a dreamy basin this is. So many beautiful geysers on the entire stretch..Don't miss seeing each of them. I hiked twice. once mid-day to see the geysers more clearly and early morning at sunrise. Even though steam hides them at morning it's truly enchanting experience to walk on this trail. The sun peaking through steam is surreal.

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lena laughlin
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Hiking
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Jon D
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Hiking
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Jeff Scott
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Hiking
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Jason Covert
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Hiking
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Robert Massicotte
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Hiking
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Elizabeth Stewart
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Hiking

Old faithful to observation point to Solitary to Upper Geyser loop to Morning Glory to Biscuit Basin. Walked back on bike trail to see Daisy, Punch Bowl & Black Sand pool, then back on bike path to Castle

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Ariana Hoffman
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HikingGreat!

Great trail. I highly recommend observation point for the Old Faithful eruption. It is a climb, but definitely would rate it as an easier moderate. Air quality good today.

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David Berdeja
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Hiking
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