Old Faithful is located in the Upper Geyser Basin in the south-western section of the park. The first thing you should know is you aren't the only one trying to see this area... so is half the world, so be prepared for crowds... There's a huge parking lot - often mostly filled - a huge gift shop (make that two gift shops) - that are filled when Old Faithful's not going off - and two lodges, various restaurants, etc. There's also a Visitor Center. Start there as they will tell you when 5 different geysers (the predicted ones) are expected to go off (give or take a few hours) - and can answer questions, etc. There's also a couple of free movies to watch about the park.
Old Faithful - the most predictable large geyser, but not tallest or most active of all geysers, goes off every 90 minutes or so for a duration of 2-5 minutes. It's tallest shortly after the start - tending to reach heights of 100 - 180 feet - pending the individual eruption and wind, etc. They have wooden benches to sit on while awaiting an eruption. See it, then, have water, comfortable shoes (of any sort - it's all boardwalked or paved) and set out to see nature at some of her finest.
The common misconception is that Old Faithful is by itself - it's not - there are several geysers that you might chance to see going off. You can hike a good 2+ miles (one way) seeing various thermal features if you so choose. We did... and were fortunate enough to see Old Faithful, Grand, and Lion all going off at roughly the same time - as well as many others along the way, some going off, some bubbling and gurgling. The farther out you go, the less people you tend to come across.
Many people think they'll spend an hour or two here - and end up spending the day - or wishing they had more time. Plan accordingly! If you plan to spend money on a lodge, these are a couple I'd consider for the prime access to these thermal features!
Results 1-7of 7 Reviews
East Berlin, Pennsylvania
October 10, 2006
From journal 2006 Trip Pt 2 - WY - Devil's Tower to Yellowstone
Red Bluff, California
August 30, 2006
From journal Yellowstone in August
August 22, 2006
From journal Yellowstone National Park
West Jordan, Utah
August 17, 2006
From journal Yellowstone
by Steve Freitas
January 18, 2004
The next day we were off again to Old Faithful and didn’t leave until we saw the water in the air. While waiting for the show, we walked around the thermal activities (there were wooded paths going by numerous fountains). Some spitting water, others just looking hot and deep. By the time the walk was done, Old Faithful was ready to spout off, so we sat down on the provided benches and listened to the park ranger talk about Old Faithful and the surrounding thermals. After the show, we headed north to see other thermal things. When you go, make sure you take any back road there is. That is where we saw the most activities. In fact, we stopped at this one thermal by the Great Fountain Thermal that was spouting for at least 15 minutes. (Don’t know how long it was going, because it was going when we got there and still going when we left.) On the way to Madison, we stopped to have lunch at a little picnic area next to a stream. Once our bellies were full, we continued on through Norris to Canyon to see the Falls. We got some good pictures, then back into the Jeep. We found out the road from Canyon to Fishing Bridge was closed for the season, so we had to backtrack to our motor home. Once we were back, we compared notes to a neighboring camper and then settled down next to another campfire where we had some roasted marshmallows.
From journal Yellowstone in September
Idaho Falls, Idaho
December 31, 2002
Live WebCam of Old Faithful updated every 30 seconds!
The ranger station also has a ton of information about everything that is going on in the park, plus a movie and of course the gift shop.
There are plenty of places to eat from quick and easy to gourmet, but we always pack a lunch and eat it here.
From journal The Great American Destination
July 4, 2002
There also is another geyser area across the road from Old Faithful Inn that seemed to erupt at the same time as Old Faithful. It also was very impressive and when caught at sunset, it provided a wonderful memory and some breathtaking photographs.
From journal Yellowstone Through Our Eyes