When tourists enter the Old Faithful village they usually start walking in one direction – towards the Old Faithful geyser. It is one of the most famous nature wonders in the Park and it attracts people with its predictable eruptions, roughly every 90 minutes.
The village itself is the biggest of all in the park and there is very low chance to be bored while walking on wooden boardwalk next to smaller or bigger geysers and hot springs. Signs inform tourists not to leave the boardwalk as the crust is very thin in some places and you could end up with your leg in a very, very hot water.
There is a book, called Death in Yellowstone and it has hundreds of pages with many different situations when people did not listen or were careless while being in the park. We highly recommend checking it out or, at least, reading ALL the signs because they are there for a reason. There is no need to add few pages to the book.
Apart from nature wonders, Old Faithful also has one of the biggest buildings made of logs in the world – Old Faithful Inn! It was built in winter, between 1903-1904 (mind you, the winters get very cold in Yellowstone, up to -40°, both Celsius and Fahrenheit. The construction started with big, rocky fireplace built inside of the restaurant and then the rest was built around it. Now, it serves thousands of people daily, with logging, restaurants and shops.
Yellowstone National Park has a number of amazing hikes to do and here is the list of, in our opinion, the best ones that start in Old Faithful village:
1. LONE STAR
Short, nice, pleasant hike starting in the woods, right behind the Kepler Cascade. It is a nice road for a bike ride and it doesn’t take too long – about half an hour to 45 minutes to get to the geyser. Lone star erupts roughly every 3h and it lasts for about half an hour. There is a small book next to it where people can write the time and duration of the eruption for others to know when more or less to expect it.
Lone Star geyser has a specific way of errupting – first there is a small eruption, with major one following it short after that one. If you get there, and see some small eruption, wait just a bit, because you are in for a treat!
2. Mystic Falls
It is longer hike then the one before, especially if you start from the Old Faithful Inn. As you go towards Mystic Falls, you walk on the path next to the geysers and thermal pools, woods to get to the hiking trail. There, you can either choose a shorter way up or go around to see the beautiful view from the top of the hill.
The trail itself is really nice, there are points where it gets more difficult but all in all it’s pretty easy. At the end, there is a beautiful waterfall where you can sit and relax – water is cold so it’s a perfect way to cool down after hiking but you should be careful as the current is pretty strong. Please, do not go and try to swim in there!
3. Observation point
A very short hike, about 15-20 minutes of normal speed walking. It starts behind the Old Faithful geyser and will take you to a smaller hill from which you can see the Old Faithful village panorama. It is a nice and pleasant hike for those who do not have too much time or are tired after whole day of walking around.
4. Mallard lake
Behind the geyser, behind the river, this hike takes about 1,5h to get you to a beautiful big lake. 3 years ago there was a small “beach” where you could just lie down and relax but the water level is rising and last year there was only a small part of it left.
The trail goes through the woods mostly and it is a very pleasant hike, although you shouldn’t go alone and you have to have bear spray with you. It is good to go with a group of friends but if there are only two of you, a good idea is to talk loudly or have some music on.
Whatever you do, keep an eye out on animals out there in the woods, feel free to ask people if there is something ahead of you and inform them about what’s behind you, and enjoy the hike!
5. Midway geyser basin
If you have a car, willing to cycle or hitchike, go and see Grand Prismatic. You can walk but it is a very, very long hike. If you go to the boardwalk – there is Grand Prismatic, arguably the most beautiful and most famous hot spring in Yellowstone, and right next to Excelsior Geyser lake. They are some of the biggest thermal features in the world!
It is enormous and its colors breathtaking. Walking around the boardwalk is gorgeous enough, but you can find the trail in the forest leading to the top of the neighboring hill where you can see its beauty from almost birds-eye view. Highly recommended hike, especially later in the day when the colors are even more intense.
If you have a chance to work in Old Faithful village, there is plenty of things to do. Apart from walking around, you can enjoy your afternoon in the pub for employees with pool table, darts, drinks and music. You can relax next to the river or have a fire bone with your friends. Old Faithful is full of amazing places and animals, you just need to go around and find them 🙂
Next post – Mammoth village!
Stay tuned and follow our footprints!