Old Faithful? This Other Geyser Erupts 10x Longer!

Everyone loves Old Faithful geyser at Yellowstone National Park. It is an icon because of its eruption consistency. But did you know there is another geyser right near Old Faithful that erupts for ten times as long? In this article, we will discuss the amazing Old Faithful geyser basin and give you all the information you will need to plan your visit to Yellowstone. Check out the video linked above if you would like to see this geyser in action!

Heading to Old Faithful Geyser Basin

I recommend heading to Old Faithful early in the day. You can figure out when the geyser will erupt by downloading the NPS Yellowstone app. They have live eruption predictions for six geysers including Old Faithful, Daisy, Riverside, Grand, Castle, and the Great Fountain Geyser. Be sure to download this app before your trip so you can plan around the eruptions.

Arrive early and find parking. There are bathroom facilities all over the place. For the 2020 season, the Old Faithful Visitor Center is closed. But no worries, there are lots of outdoor activities to fill your time. I would set aside three to five hours to fully explore and enjoy all of of the geyser basin’s offerings.

Once you have determined when Old Faithful is going to erupt, try to go and find a spot to sit or stand. This should be no problem if you arrive at least 45 minutes before the next eruption. Old Faithful is VERY reliable. She will erupt within a few minutes of the predicted time. Once she begins erupting, she goes for one to three minutes. So sit back and enjoy the show! The NPS Yellowstone app has an awesome animation you should check out of how the geyser refills and why she erupts so consistently.

Old Faithful Geyser erupting
Old Faithful Erupting (taken with GoPro 8)

Where to See a Longer Eruption

But Old Faithful isn’t the only attraction to see! If you want to see a geyser that erupts ten times longer, check out Riverside Geyser. Riverside goes off every six to seven hours and erupts for twenty to thirty minutes! To get to Riverside geyser, you have to walk down the boardwalks and paved paths to the left of Old Faithful. It is probably about a half an hour hike. There are maps on the NPS app and posted along the pathway. As always, check out the geyser predictions to see when Riverside is scheduled to erupt. The predictions are also remarkably consistent. This comes from years of timing the geysers and data. So cool!

Riverside Geyser erupting

Other Sights at the Geyser Basin

Don’t fret if the geyser predictions are too far apart to enjoy more than one or two eruptions. There are a TON of other beautiful features to enjoy. Everything is always steaming and bubbling. There are beautiful, brightly colored hot springs that are worth the hike as well as crazy mineral formations that are worth a look. One of my favorites was the Crested Pool, which is right next to Castle Geyser.

Castle Geyser
Castle Geyser

Planning Your Visit

Here are some tips that will make your trip to Old Faithful more enjoyable!

  • Get there early
  • Plan around geyser predictions
  • Set aside several hours so you dont have to rush
  • If you are traveling to Yellowstone in 2020, remember that some facilites will be CLOSED due to the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Be sure to explore all the sites. You made it this far, make the most of it!

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out these other articles in our Yellowstone Travel series:

Top 3 Places to Skip in Yellowstone: https://adventuresinjennyland.com/top-3-places-to-skip-in-yellowstone/

Camp Setup in Canyon Campgrounds at Yellowstone: https://adventuresinjennyland.com/easy-tent-setup-burgers-and-frostbite/

How to Make Foil Packs for Camping: https://adventuresinjennyland.com/foil-packs-for-camping-how-to-prep-grill-packs/

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