Old Faithful: America’s Best Known Geyser

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Park’s most active and best known geyser, was named by members of the 1870 Washburn Expedition while exploring the area of northwest Wyoming that later became Yellowstone National Park.

As one of the country’s greatest natural occurring attractions, Old Faithful continues to awe, inspire, and humble visitors since 1870 when Nathaniel P. Langford first saw “an immense volume of clear, sparkling water projected into the air to the height of one hundred and twenty-five feet. Geysers! Geysers! … It was a perfect geyser indeed.” Langford’s words from can be easily overheard today.

A Feast for the Senses – A walk down the wood-plank path of geysers and Old Faithful is a feast for the senses. Shooting approximately 400 gallons of boiling water up to an average height of 145 feet, Old Faithful is a show stopper.  Together with the strong spray of water from nearby geysers, the bubbling sulpher “paint pots,” and pools of technicolor water (caused by various bacteria reacting with minerals in the ground), the Yellowstone geysers have inspired generations of family members to return to the park throughout the years.

Visitors to Old Faithful may be surprised to see a lot more than geysers on site.  Vacationers often see bison, elk, moose, or bears through the geyser area.  The Old Faithful Visitor Center offers outdoor arena-style benches, and indoor seats which facing the geyser through large windows. A steep walk up leads you to the Upper Viewing Area where you’ll find an incredible view of the geyser and of the surrounding area.

A webcam inside the Visitor Center allows staff to post predictions for the next eruption so that visitors know when they can take a tour of the center, or watch a film about Old Faithful.  Visitors can help make the eruptions an even more entertaining experience.  Sometimes the crowd will cheer with each eruption; other times, all one can hear are the steam and boiling waters making their way from deep underground.

If you would like a guided tour to see Old Faithful we recommend to consider the  ”2-Day Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks Wildlife Adventure,” or the “4-Day Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks Wildlife Adventure.”