OLD FAITHFUL GEYSER
Once called “Eternity’s Timepiece” because of its regular eruptions, Old Faithful has never truly erupted every hour on the hour. But the world famous geyser does show off its power more predictably than any other large geyser in Yellowstone National Park. The park has even set up a live streaming video camera so you can see it from afar (but it is much better in person).
GET READY FOR A SHOW
Don’t set your clock to it, but don’t miss this spectacle. Old Faithful, named by a member of the 1870 Washburn Expedition, erupts about every 40-110 minutes, depending on the duration of its last eruption, shooting a column of boiling water skyward nearly 140 feet.
Temperature at the vent has been measured at 204°F and steam has been measured above 350°F.
Old Faithful isn’t a lonely geyser. In fact, it shares the Upper Geyser Basin with about 300 active geysers, the largest concentration of geysers in the world. You’ll have a great view of the steamy show as you walk along the 4.6 miles of looped boardwalks that criss-cross the basin. When you arrive, check for prediction times posted in most buildings in the Old Faithful area. You can also sense the next eruption by the crowd movement at the viewing area. The crowd builds just before the time of the eruption and empties out as soon as the show is over.
IMPRESSIVE INN AND DINING ROOM
Just 30 miles from Yellowstone’s North Entrance you’ll find a different kind of hot springs – Chico Hot Springs, a historic resort in the heart of Paradise Valley.
One must-see building is the immense Old Faithful Inn, built in the winter of 1903-04. One of the few log hotels still operating in the U.S., this seven-story structure is nearly 700 feet long and features log staircases, a lobby with a 65-foot ceiling and interior balconies for reading or people watching.
After walking the Geyser Basin, trek to the Old Faithful Inn dining room where you’ll experience a culinary delight. Fresh, locally purveyed meats and produce create a delectable menu from which to choose. If you’re looking for a recommendation, may we suggest the wild game Bolognese with a glass of huckleberry lemonade?
After lunch, stroll over to The Old Faithful Visitor Center where you’ll discover amazing educational exhibits about the geologic forces at work at Old Faithful and throughout the Yellowstone caldera. It’s a great place for kids of all ages, who can get Junior Ranger and Young Scientist booklets from rangers.
After a full day, head back to the campground to enjoy another spectacular evening in your well-appointed vintage trailer. There are 12 campgrounds in Yellowstone National Park, and five require reservations. Just outside the North Entrance to the park in Gardiner, Montana, the Yellowstone RV Park provides a great jumping-off spot for park adventure. Many travelers passing through the East Entrance stay at the Green Creek Inn & RV Park in the Wapiti Valley between Cody and the park.
Are you ready for an adventure?