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green Upper Geyser Basin Trail

Trail

2.1 mile 3.3 kilometer point to point
Easy

Elevation

Ascent: 81' 25 m
Descent: -80' -24 m
High: 7,369' 2,246 m
Low: 7,321' 2,232 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 1% (1°)
Max Grade: 5% (3°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Trail shared by Tom Carter

This trail passes many of the most impressive geysers in Yellowstone!

Tom Carter

Features River/Creek · Views

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 2.1-mile, flat Upper Geyser Basin Trail begins left of Old Faithful at a trail junction by the Old Faithful Inn, front parking lot. From here, it does a 0.6-mile, clockwise loop around Old Faithful Geyser, passing the starting point and continuing along the paved path for 0.4 miles to Castle Geyser. The trail turns right, following boardwalks past Crested Pool, crosses the Firehole River, and reaches a junction near Sawmill Geyser 0.2 miles from Castle. At the junction, the trail turns left and continues past numerous features, including Grand Geyser, Economic Geyser, and Beauty Pool, before crossing back over the Firehole 0.4 miles from Sawmill. The trail continues another 0.3 miles, past Giant Geyser and reaches Grotto Geyser. From Grotto, the trail turns left, then immediately right, for its last leg passing Daisy, Comet, and Splendid Geysers before ending at its junction with the Punch Bowl-Black Sand Basin Trail.

Check the Visitor's Center for eruption times for Old Faithful, Castle, and Grand geysers before starting.

The following are important features you'll see along the trail:

Castle Geyser has the largest cone and may be the oldest geyser in Yellowstone. Since geyserite cones build up at only 1 to 2 inches every 100 years, we know that Castle is quite old. It erupts every 10-12 hours. Eruptions frequently reach 90 feet and last about 20 minutes. The water phase is followed by a noisy steam phase lasting 30-40 minutes. Members of the 1879 Washburn Expedition named Castle Geyser for its resemblance to the ruins of a feudal castle.

Grand Geyser, the tallest predictable geyser in the world, erupts every 7-15 hours. A classic fountain geyser, Grand erupts from a large pool with powerful bursts rather than a steady column like Old Faithful. An average eruption lasts 9-12 minutes and consists of 1-4 bursts, sometimes reaching 200 feet.

Giant Geyser was dormant for many years after 1955. Since then, it has slowly become active. In 1997, eruptions occurred every 3-10 days. Eruptions last about an hour and can reach heights of 180-250 feet. Today eruptions are less frequent.

Grotto Geyser erupts about every eight hours splashing 10 feet. The weirdly shaped cone that gives the geyser its name is from geyserite covering the trunks of trees that once grew here.

Daisy Geyser erupts at an angle to a height of 75 feet for 3-5 minutes. Daisy is quite predictable, with eruption intervals of 110-240 minutes.

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

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Check-Ins

Jun 18, 2019
Stephanie Levine
May 23, 2019
Josh Connors
May 21, 2019
Wendy Morton
2mi — 1h 00m
May 19, 2019
Matthew Blank
Apr 14, 2019
Marshall Roney
Beautiful trail lots of snow still since in preseason! Definitely added to the total time, but great to check out geysers and other thermal features 2.1mi — 2h 00m
Sep 18, 2018
Joe Crimando
Aug 25, 2018
Paul Thalacker
Aug 20, 2018
Matt Fallacara

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Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 15 votes

#2

in Old Faithful

#433

Overall
  4.4 from 15 votes
5 Star
53%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
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Rankings

#2

in Old Faithful

#15

in Wyoming

#433

Overall
179 Views Last Month
2,662 Since Sep 10, 2015
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