Features: Geyser — River/Creek — Hot Spring
Family Friendly: An easy, short trail over a safe paved path along a beautifully meandering Firehole River with a great geyser to watch at the end (but it requires patience to see).
The Lone Star Geyser Trail is located just south of Kepler Cascades
on the Old Faithful
to West Thumb road. This mostly paved path was used as an auto road until 1971. Today pedestrians and bicyclists enjoy a pleasant trip along a beautifully serene stretch of the Firehole River to reach Lone Star Geyser.
The trail closely follows the Firehole River through a forest partially burned by the 1988 fires. The man-made structures you'll notice in the river are part of an old drinking-water system for the Old Faithful
area. The trail remains close to the river as it twists and turns its way past you to reach the Upper Geyser Basin. At the .5 mile mark the trail makes a bridged crossing of the river. At 1.6 miles the Spring Creek Trail
joins from the left. Continue straight and follow the trail as it bends to the right and affords nice views of a small meadow through which the Firehole runs.
At the 2.5 mile mark, Lone Star Geyser is reached. Bicyclists will have to park their bikes at the bike rack before continuing to the geyser. As a Texan I was disappointed to learn that "Lone Star" Geyser was not named after my home state, but rather because it is a significant geyser that stands alone, away from the large concentration of geysers down river. Lone Star's 10-foot geyser cone is one of the largest in Yellowstone, indicating that this geyser has been erupting here for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. And its 45 foot eruptions which shoot from the top of the cone are well worth the wait.
Lone Star Geyser erupts about every 3 hours. Look for the log book maintained by the Park Service to see if previous visitors have noted the time of the last eruption. The geyser itself will also give you a clue of its pending eruption. It generally begins splashing about 90 minutes prior to eruption and builds for the big event. Eruptions last about 5 minutes and are followed by a loud steam phase that can be heard a mile away.
The trail continues another .2 miles near a number of hot springs and small geysers and ends at a junction with the Shoshone Lake Trail
and the Howard Eaton Trail to Old Faithful
Thanks to guidebook author, Tom Carter, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about visiting Yellowstone, check out his book, Day Hiking Yellowstone