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Yellowstone National Park Trails near Old Faithful

Geyser Hill Loop Trail

This short loop trail gives visitors a good chance of seeing a variety of geysers, from the ever-entertaining Anemone with its short intervals of 5-10 minutes to the impressive Beehive with its unpredictable eruptions reaching 100-150 feet!

Trailhead: Boardwalk in front of Old Faithful Visitor Center

Distance: 1.3 mile (1.2 km) loop

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Numerous other combination loops or one-way walks can be chosen in the Upper Geyser Basin. Features such as Castle, Grand, Riverside, and Daisy geysers along with Morning Glory Pool are easily accessed using the Old Faithful self-guiding trail map. Details on geyser prediction times may be obtained by stopping by the visitor center.

Observation Point Loop Trail

This trail gains about 200 ft. in elevation to a prominent overlook providing a great view of the Upper Geyser Basin.

Trailhead: Firehole River footbridge behind Old Faithful Geyser

Distance: 1.1 mile (1 km) loop

Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Mallard Lake Trail

This trail climbs through lodgepole pine forest (some burned areas from the 1988 fires) and along meadows and rocky slopes before terminating at Mallard Lake.

Trailhead: Old Faithful Lodge cabin area

Distance: 6.8 miles (5.3 km) roundtrip

Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Lone Star Geyser Trail

This mostly level trail follows an old service road along the Firehole River through unburned forests of lodgepole pine. The geyser, which erupts approximately every 3 hours, puts on a delightful show. This trail can be accessed by bicycle with the final approach to the geyser on foot.

Trailhead: 3.5 miles southeast of the Old Faithful area, just beyond Kepler Cascades parking area.

Distance: 5 miles (8 km) roundtrip

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Black Sand and Biscuit Basin Trails

Easily accessed by boardwalks less than a mile in length, Emerald Pool, Sunset Lake, Jewel Geyser, and Sapphire Pool are among the features found in these less visited basins. Both areas are included in the Old Faithful area trail guide.

Trailhead: 0.5 and 2 miles north of Old Faithful area, respectively

Distance: Less than 0.5 (0.5 km) miles each

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Midway Geyser Basin Trail

The boardwalk leads visitors by impressive features including Excelsior Geyser and Grand Prismatic Spring.

Trailhead: Parking area 6 miles north of Old Faithful

Distance: 0.5 mile (0.5 km) loop

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Fountain Paint Pot Trail

Yellowstone's four types of thermal features can be seen in one short walk along this loop trail: geysers, hot springs, mudpots, and fumaroles. A trail guide is available for this area, which also includes the Firehole Lake Drive area.

Trailhead: Parking area 8 miles north of Old Faithful

Distance: 0.5 mile (0.5 km) loop

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Mystic Falls Trail

This trail follows a lovely creek through a lodgepole pine forest before reaching the 70- foot falls. By following a series of switchbacks, an overlook of the Upper Geyser Basin can be reached before looping back to join the main trail.

Trailhead: Back of the Biscuit Basin boardwalk

Distance: 2.4 miles (4 km) roundtrip

Level of Difficultly: Moderate

Fairy Falls Trail

At 200 feet high, Fairy Falls is an impressive backcountry sight. It can be reached from two different trailheads. The first trailhead, 1 mile south of the Midway Geyser Basin, begins at a steel bridge across the Firehole River and follows the Fountain Freight Road hiking/biking trail for approximately 1 mile before the hiking-only trail to Fairy Falls branches off on the left. The second trailhead, 1/2 mile south of the Nez Perce picnic area on the Fountain Freight Road, follows the hiking/biking path from the northern end, 1-3/4 miles to the junction with the Fairy Falls trail.


  • Steel Bridge parking area 1 mile south of the Midway Geyser Basin

  • Fountain Freight Road parking area 1 mile south of Nez Perce picnic area on the Fountain Freight Road

Distance: 5 miles (8 km) from trailhead #1; 7 miles (5.5 km) from trailhead #2

Level of Difficulty: Easy

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