Tips for visiting Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park
A trip to the Old Faithful geyser while you are visiting Yellowstone National Park is a must! It is probably the most famous of the geysers.
I have listed several tips to help you make the most out of your trip to the Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park.
My first trip to Old Faithful that I remember was when I was about 9 years old, when my aunt took my siblings and myself. Four kids total. Let’s just say we missed the geyser the first time, so my aunt had to find a way to entertain us by walking the boardwalk for an hour until it went off again. Turns out, it is hard to entertain 4 kids in the middle of the hot summer in the middle of Yellowstone National Park!
I have returned several times since then, and have found many tips to help you on your trip:
- One major tip I have (and I am not trying to hurt Yellowstone’s business, or trying to offend anyone…) is that items in the gift shop are about 2-3 times the price as they are elsewhere in the park. I was going to buy a buffalo charm for a charm bracelet, and I think it cost $29.95 at Old Faithful, and it was $9.95 at a store at the Canyon Village. If you want something that specifically says “Old Faithful” on it, I would definitely buy it at Old Faithful. Other than that, you may want to look elsewhere for gifts.
- It is HOT in the middle of the summer. And as Old Faithful is one of the most popular visitor sites, and gets extremely crowded, I would highly recommend visiting Old Faithful early in the morning. The air is cooler, refreshing, so you don’t mind walking around the boardwalk until the geyser goes off. You also do not have arrive at Old Faithful early like you do in the middle of the day when the crowds are huge (that is, if you want a seat close to the front to get the best pictures.)
- There is a large parking lot, but like I said, it gets crowded. You can end up having to walk a ways if you are at the back of the parking lot. To me, this isn’t such a big deal. To others, it may be important to be close. So again, I would recommend going early, because you will be able to get parking right up front.
- Old Faithful is not as “faithful” as in the past. The average time between eruptions has been lengthening over the last several decades. But Yellowstone National Park does predict each time it is going to erupt within a ten minute variation, and they have signs out that say their predictions. Time intervals range between 60 and 110 minutes. More information found here: http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/oldfaithfaq.htm
- The eruption is quick. It lasts for one and a half to five minutes. So you don’t want to miss it, unless you have time to hang around to see it again. So I would recommend being there at their earliest prediction time, because you never really know when it may go off.
- Don’t get discouraged if you do miss it, and you have time to stay an hour or two longer. There are lots of visitors sites, gift shops, and many other geysers to see in and around the Old Faithful village, so the time will go by faster than you think. It is worth waiting for!
- Yellowstone National Park says the average height is 130 feet (found here: http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/oldfaithfaq.htm)
- If you want to see what it looks like, visit Yellowstone National Park’s webcam on Old Faithful Geyser here: http://www.nps.gov/yell/photosmultimedia/yellowstonelive.htm
- The Old Faithful Geyser is also supposed to be incredible to see during the winter, which I am hoping we have the chance to do soon!
Please keep in mind that my tips are only opinions! You may have a completely different experience than we have while visiting Old Faithful Geyser. We hope you have an amazing time, admiring the true beauty of the Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park!!
Warmest Wishes from Big Sky Country,
Alex M. Neill
Montana Vacation Blog