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This loop trail from Biscuit Basin takes you past Artemisia Geyser and Morning Glory Pool.


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Map Key

2.6

Miles

4.2

KM

Point to Point

7,349' 2,240 m

High

7,272' 2,217 m

Low

116' 35 m

Up

107' 33 m

Down

2%

Avg Grade (1°)

5%

Max Grade (3°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features River/Creek

Family Friendly With access from the Biscuit Basin parking area, this trail loops through a number of geothermal pools alongside the Firehole River, connecting with the Biscuit Basin Trail next to the parking area.

Geyser basin boardwalks and trails protect you and preserve delicate formations. You must stay on boardwalks and designated trails. Scalding water underlies most of the thin, breakable crust. Pools may be near or above the boiling temperature and can cause severe, possibly even fatal, burns.

Description

The UGB-Biscuit Basin Trail begins just across the highway from Biscuit Basin parking area. It follows an old roadbed 0.9 miles to Morning Glory Pool, then picks up a paved path another 0.2 miles to Grotto Geyser. Just after Grotto, the path makes two quick right turns. From there, it follows a hiking and biking trail another 1.4 miles back to Biscuit Basin, ending at the far side of the basin (about 0.2 miles from the trailhead).

The first 0.9 miles of this trail is infrequently used. It first passes Cauliflower Geyser on the right, then quickly makes a right turn. The Powerline Trail, used mostly by skiers in the winter, is to the left. From the junction, our trail follows an old roadbed that once was part of the main Grand Loop Road leading from Old Faithful. In 1972, to reduce stress on the geyser basin and better direct traffic the NPS constructed the Old Faithful interchange and moved the highway out of the basin.

The trail passes Gem Pool and a number of other thermal features before reaching Artemisia Geyser at the 0.5-mile mark. Here you get a commanding view of the geyser from above. Artemisia is the genus that sagebrush falls under. From this angle, it is possible to understand how the maze of silicon dioxide deposits, which emanate from the pool, cause the spring to resemble that plant. Artemisia erupts impressively to a height of 30 feet about once every 24 hours. Just beyond Artemisia lie two geyserite cones which are collectively known as Atomizer Geyser.

The trail continues another 0.4 miles over rolling terrain to Morning Glory Pool. Long a favored destination, Morning Glory was named in the 1880s for its remarkable likeness to its namesake flower. This beautiful pool has fallen victim to vandalism. People have thrown literally tons of coins and rocks into the pool. The debris subsequently became embedded in the spring's vent, affecting water circulation and accelerating thermal energy loss. Morning Glory's appearance has changed as its temperature has dropped. Orange and yellow bacteria that formerly colored the periphery of the spring now spread toward its center.

Thanks to guidebook author, Tom Carter, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about visiting Yellowstone, check out his book, Day Hiking Yellowstone.

Contacts

Shared By:

Tom Carter

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 5 votes

#18

in Old Faithful

#11547

Overall
  4.0 from 5 votes
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Trail Rankings

#18

in Old Faithful

#235

in Wyoming

#11,547

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2,448 Since Sep 10, 2015
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Photos

Bison in Biscuit Basin area. with permission from Richard Ryer
Mar 7, 2016 near Yellows…, WY
Well-named Riverside Geyser is perhaps the most beautiful geyser in Yellowstone. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.
Mar 6, 2016 near Yellows…, WY
Yellowstone National Park.
Oct 31, 2016 near Yellows…, WY
Morning Glory Pool was named in the 1880s for its remarkable likeness to its namesake flower.
Mar 6, 2016 near Yellows…, WY
The weirdly shaped cone that gives Grotto Geyser its name, likely resulted from geyserite covering the trunks of trees that once grew here.
Mar 6, 2016 near Yellows…, WY
Fly fishing.
Mar 7, 2016 near Yellows…, WY

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