Upper Basin

Old Faithful from Observation Point

The Upper Geyser Basin is famous for hosting Old Faithful Geyser. But there is much more in the area than just this famous geyser. The Upper Geyser Basin also boasts the largest concentration of geysers in the world, including many of the worlds largest geysers.

Five of the largest geysers are predicted by the Park Rangers. All of these geysers, Castle, Daisy, Grand, Old Faithful and Riverside, are worth seeing but if you can only see one, try to see Grand.

Below is a map of the Upper Geyser basin showing the locations of some of the hundreds of geysers and hot springs in the basin.

To explore the Upper Geyser Basin, start by visiting the Old Faithful Visitor Center. Here you can get prediction times for the predicted geysers. Plan your exploration around the predicted geysers. Remember that Old Faithful is fairly frequent and predictable. You can always come back to see it later.

The Upper Geyser Basin is a fascinating area and a highlight of Yellowstone but it takes time to see. If you don’t have the time or inclination to wait and see the geysers here then skip the Upper Geyser Basin. Watch Old Faithful erupt, get into your car and drive north to the Lower Geyser Basin and the Fountain Paint Pots. The Fountain Paint Pots Trail is an easy 1/2 mile trail that passes good examples of most of the types of thermal features found in Yellowstone including some geysers that are almost always in eruption. You’ll get more out of a short tour of the Fountain Paint Pots than the Upper Geyser Basin.

Whatever you do, don’t rush through the Upper Geyser Basin. Don’t just walk down to the over-rated Morning Glory Pool and walk back. Morning Glory Pool is well-worth seeing, but there is much more to the Upper Geyser Basin.

If you have the time and inclination to see the Upper Geyser Basin you won’t be disappointed. Take your time and wait for some of the geysers to erupt. Try to take a ranger led walk. Explore the basin leisurely.  There is a lot to see in the Upper Geyser Basin, but it simply takes adequate time.