What are the best geysers in Yellowstone? Let’s face it when you think of Yellowstone one of the first things that springs to mind is the famous Old Faithful Geyser! It was certainly near the top of Yellowstone National Park Bucket List when we visited! But Old Faithful is far from the only geyser in the park. In this guide we round up the best geysers in Yellowstone along with top tips and safety information for viewing the incredible spectacle that is the Yellowstone geysers!
Tips for Viewing Geysers in Yellowstone
Know your Times
Geysers at Yellowstone are actually pretty regular in their eruption (dependent on the geyser). Before setting out for your day in Yellowstone I would recommend heading to the Yellowstone Geyser Eruption website to get a rough ideas of timings of eruption for the day! Obviously no geyser – not even Old Faithful erupts exactly on the time every day but you can get a great idea of when to expect the eruption and plan your day accordingly!
I recommend checking this website before you leave as not everywhere in Yellowstone – depending how far off the beaten track you go – will have internet!
There is also a twitter account run by Yellowstone National Park which also posts the latest eruptions and next expected time! You can check that out here!
I would also recommend stopping in at the Yellowstone Park Lodges (even if you aren’t staying in Yellowstone) as they will have notice boards with up to date eruption for the day!
Safety Tips for visiting Geysers in Yellowstone
The geysers are some of the most beautiful and impressive I have seen in the world! However these places are extremely dangerous and there have been a number of deaths around the geysers in Yellowstone over the years! The best safety tips for viewing the geysers in Yellowstone are
- Keep to the boardwalks! The geysers in Yellowstone are surrounded by boardwalks – never stray off these!
- While on boardwalks please watch out for other people especially during peak season
- If travelling during Winter or rain be sure to have shoes with a good grip to prevent slipping (for a full Yellowstone packing list please click here!)
- If something falls off the Boardwalk do not attempt to retrieve it! It belongs to the geyser/hot spring now!
Visiting Geysers in Yellowstone with Kids
We loved visiting Yellowstone with our daughter but one thing I was very conscious off was safety around the geysers and hot springs! All of the normal geyser viewing precautions apply when visiting Yellowstone geysers with kids but on top of that I would recommend taking backpack reins if travelling with toddlers or preschoolers!
If travelling with older children be sure to fully brief them on safety before going!
The Best Geysers in Yellowstone
There are many geysers in Yellowstone – some with regular and some with irregular eruptions! Those classed as irregular are harder to spot and add into your itinerary and will in all honesty take a bit of luck to view! The regularly erupting geysers – the most iconic of which is Old Faithful – are the easier to spot! In this guide I round up some of the best irregular and regular geysers in Yellowstone that you might want to add to your itinerary!
Steamboat Geyser – the world’s tallest active geyser
This is an irregular geyser but well worth heading to as it holds the crown for the world’s tallest active geyser!
This geyser has both major and minor eruptions! Minor eruptions can occur with as little an interval as 5 minutes but the thing about the Steamboat geyser is that both the major and minor eruptions are completely unpredictable! When a major eruption does occur the water can shoot as 91 metres in the air!
We did the trail to Steamboat Geyser, located in the Norris Geyser Basin but didn’t see a major or minor eruption!
There have been several eruptions in 2018 and 2019! We were actually in the park and nearby at the time of one of the eruptions of September 2018 but were not on the trail at the time! It was just bad luck! There have been quite a few eruptions in 2018 and 19 after a four year break from eruption so it is worth heading there and taking a chance!
Who knows when the next will be but I would advise adding this onto your itinerary and you never know you might be one of the lucky people to see its eruption!
Another irregular geyser! Beehive geyser eruption schedule can be anywhere from 22 hours to 2 weeks between eruptions!
This geyser is located in the Upper Geyser Basin, part of the same complex of geysers as Old Faithful!
Another Geyser located in the Upper Geyser Basin! This however has a more regular eruption! Erupting usually around every 6-7 hours and can spurt water up to 50 meters in the air! One of the things that make this geyser grand is that eruption can be up to 12 minutes long! It is known as the ‘tallest predictable geyser in the world! Definitely worth putting one the itinerary!
Another pretty regular erupted with a similar eruption time to the Grand Geyser! The riverside geyser is worth visiting as it has an eruption length of 20 minutes which means that you are bound to be able to get a view of the eruption as not many people will stay for the length of the eruption! It also means you have a bit more time to play with for arrival!
And of course no list of best geysers in Yellowstone is complete without Old Faithful! In some ways this is both the best and the worst of all the geysers in Yellowstone!
Old Faithful despite popular belief does not erupt on the hour every hour. Instead the eruption schedule for Old Faithful is every hour and twenty minutes with +/- 10 minutes! One of the things that is great about Old Faithful is that you can pretty much plan seeing into an eruption into your Yellowstone itinerary from the start!
We recommend visiting Old Faithful early on one day of your itinerary to try and avoid the crowds which are numerous during peak season!
One of the things I liked about the Old Faithful viewing area is that it is extensive, with seating and offers a panoramic view of the eruption!
The eruption of Old Faithful can last anywhere between one and a half minutes to five minutes and squirt water up to 55 metres high! On the occasions we saw the eruption it was closer to 1.5 minute mark!
Depending on the time you go – we recommend spending the time after the eruption exploring the large Upper Geyser Basin (try and see Beehive Geyser) and then heading the lodge for a coffee before heading out again! We were lucky that we got to see an eruption from our table in the lodge while drinking our coffee before we headed off to our next stop!
Fun Yellowstone Geyser Facts
- There are more geysers in Yellowstone than anywhere else on earth!
- There are two types of geysers in Yellowstone – cone and fountain!
- Cone Geysers have a narrow opening for water at the vent! An example of a cone geyser in Yellowstone is the Beehive Geyser and Old Faithful!
- Fountain geysers such as the Great Fountain Geyser shoot water usually from a pool and the water from them spurts in many directions!
- Old Faithful was named during the 1870 first expedition to Yellowstone (the Washburn expedition). It was given its name given the frequency of the eruption!
The Best of the Rest – Other geysers in Yellowstone
I have listed only some of the highlights of the regular and irregular geysers in Yellowstone. There are numerous more big and small, regular and irregular and named and unnamed geysers! Here are a couple more highlights!
- Daisy Geyser
- Little Daisy
- Castle Geyser
- Great Fountain
Have you seen the geysers at Yellowstone? What was your favourite Yellowstone geyser?