Day Hikes Near Old Faithful


Geyser Hill Loop Trail
Observation Point Loop Trail
Mallard Lake Trail
Lone Star Geyser Trail
Black Sand & Biscuit Basin Trails
Midway Geyser Basin Trail
Fountain Paint Pot Trail
Mystic Falls Trail
Fairy Falls Trail

Day hiking in Yellowstone provides an ideal opportunity for people of all ages to get out and experience the park’s many wonders away from the crowds. Thousands of miles of trails await, and wildlife sightings are nearly always guaranteed. Those planning a day trip into Yellowstone’s wilderness are encouraged to stop by a ranger station or visitor’s center for trail maps and the latest information regarding weather, animal activity, and trail closures. The following trails are available in the Old Faithful Area, and all hikers are reminded to stay on the trail.

Geyser Hill Loop Trail
Distance: 1.3-mile (1.2 km) loop
Climb: level
Difficulty:
easy
Location:
The trail follows the boardwalk in front of the Old Faithful Visitor Center. 

This short trail, appropriate for people of all ages and abilities, travels past numerous geysers lining the Old Faithful Area. Highlights include the spectacular Beehive Geyser and frequent eruptions from the Anemone Geyser.

Observation Point Loop Trail
Distance: 1.1-mile (1 km) roundtrip
Climb: moderate
Difficulty:
moderate
Location:
The trail begins behind the Old Faithful Geyser at the Firehole River footbridge. 

Mallard Lake Trail
Distance: 6.8 miles (5.3 km) roundtrip
Climb: moderate
Difficulty:
moderate
Location:
The Mallard Lake Trail originates near the Old Faithful Lodge cabins.

On its journey to scenic Mallard Lake, this trail climbs moderately through meadows and forests partially burned in the 1988 fires.

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Lone Star Geyser Trail
Distance: 5 miles (8 km) roundtrip
Climb: gradual
Difficulty: easy
Location: The Lone Star Geyser Trail is located adjacent to the Kepler Cascades parking area 3.5 miles southeast of Old Faithful. 

Winding beside the Firehole River through thick stands of lodgepole pine, this trail leads visitors to the Lone Star Geyser. The geyser erupts every three hours, and a logbook is onsite to record the latest eruption data. Except for the final approach to the geyser, bikes are allowed on this trail.

Black Sand and Biscuit Basin Trails
Distance: 0.5 miles (0.5 km) roundtrip each
Climb: level
Difficulty: easy
Location: Black Sand Trail is located 0.5 miles north of Old Faithful while Biscuit Basin Trail originates 2 miles north of the famous geyser. 

Midway Geyser Basin Trail
Distance: 0.5-mile (0.5 km) loop
Climb: level
Difficulty: easy
Location: The trail begins 6 miles north of Old Faithful at a parking area.

This boardwalk trail is appropriate for visitors of all ages and abilities. The short loop carries visitors past the Grand Prismatic Spring and Excelsior Geyser.

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Fountain Paint Pot Trail
Distance: 0.5-mile (0.5 km) loop
Climb: level
Difficulty: easy
Location: The trailhead originates 8 miles north of Old Faithful in a parking area. 

Although the Fountain Paint Pot Basin may be less impressive than the tall columns of water spouting off in other park areas, the region is recognized as one of the park’s most active. Strolling along a boardwalk, visitors are treated to all four types of Yellowstone thermal features, including fumaroles (steam vents), hot springs, mudpots, and geysers. Trail guides are available for this tour upon request.

Mystic Falls Trail
Distance: 2.4 miles (4 km) roundtrip
Climb: moderate
Difficulty: moderate
Location: The Mystic Falls Trail is located on the Biscuit Basin Boardwalk 2 miles north of Old Faithful.

Following a series of switchbacks beside a creek, this scenic trail wanders through a lodgepole pine forest before leading visitors to a stunning overlook of the seventy-foot tall Mystic Falls.

Fairy Falls Trail
Distance: 5 miles (5.5 km) roundtrip from the Steel Bridge Trailhead or 7 miles (8 km) from the second trailhead on Fountain Freight Road.
Climb: level
Difficulty: easy
Location: The Steel Bridge Trailhead is located 1 mile south of the Midway Geyser Basin in a parking area. The second trailhead, which requires a longer hike, begins 1 mile south of the Nez Perce Picnic Area at the Fountain Freight Road parking area. 

Fairy Falls is a semi-popular backcountry destination for hikers. The scenic waterfall plunges an impressive 200 feet. Hikers should expect some company from other visitors but no large crowds.

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