Fairy Falls Trail

Feel the spray from a 200-foot waterfall on this flat, family-friendly hike. The trail follows an old roadbed through young forest, approaching the Firehole River. Turn west at the Fairy Falls Trail proper and go another 1.4 miles to a grotto where the plume of Fairy Falls plunges over a cliff. When trail crews finish constructing a viewing platform for Grand Prismatic Spring (scheduled for 2018), you can also access Fairy Falls from a trailhead 1 mile south of Midway Geyser Basin, shortening the round trip to 5 miles. This hike can easily be combined with other trails for a longer loop (see below).
8.8 miles round-trip. Easy. Access: Trailheads are at the end of Fountain Flat Dr. and 1 mile south of Midway Geyser Basin (closed until 2018). 

Lone Star Geyser

Front-country geysers are spectacular, but there’s something extra-special about a backcountry spouter you have all to yourself (or more likely, to yourself and a few other hikers). Lone Star Geyser is one of the easiest ones to reach, and it’s predictable enough (eruptions happen every 3 hr. or so) to make catching its show likely: The 12-foot-high cone sprays water 45 feet in the air. Getting there means tracing the Firehole River on an old service road, passing intermittent meadows along the way; bikes can follow it almost all the way to the geyser. Check the register near the geyser to estimate the next eruption time.

4.8 miles round-trip. Easy. Access: Trailhead is at the parking lot opposite Kepler Cascades.

Observation Point & Solitary Geyser Loop

An alternate look at Old Faithful’s famous eruption—with a grander scope, no less—is just a short climb away from the busy Upper Geyser Basin. From the boardwalk, ascend 160 feet in .8 mile up to the natural viewing platform of Observation Point, then enjoy the geyser doing its thing. Backtrack to the trail junction and turn west to hike through thick forest to Solitary Geyser. This frequent spouter steams in the middle of a wide, white circle, and its runoff has created a colorful, mineral-laden slope streaked with thermophile bacteria. Heading south down the hill will link you back up with the boardwalk. 

2.2-mile loop. Easy to moderate. Access: Trailhead is at the Old Faithful boardwalk.

Sentinel Meadows & Imperial Geyser Loop

See backcountry hot springs and geysers, a National Historic Site, and Fairy Falls to boot on this attraction-packed loop. Begin with a hike to Sentinel Meadows, a grassy area speckled with thermal features, and the Queen’s Laundry Bathhouse, an unfinished building from 1881 that has been preserved by the thermal minerals. Then swing around to the south to follow Fairy Creek through more lush meadows. You’ll pass Spray Geyser and Imperial Geyser (the latter can erupt up to 60 ft.) before reaching Fairy Falls (see above). Reconnect with Fountain Freight Road and return to your trailhead. This area can be boggy and buggy in early summer, so pack your insect repellent.

10.5-mile loop. Easy. Access: Trailhead is at the end of Fountain Flat Drive. 

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.