We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“You can have the place to yourself”
Review of Upper Geyser Basin

Upper Geyser Basin
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Most of the geysers in Yellowstone Park can be found here.
St. Cloud, MN
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“You can have the place to yourself”
Reviewed December 24, 2013

This is a great area of the park and of course one of the busiest. However you can still have it nearly to yourself. Most visitors aree not willing to get up at sunrise. I find this the best time to visit. There will be relatively few people. The steam from the geysers is much more dramatic, allowing for some neat photo opportunities. It's worth getting up early to experience it in the morning.

Visited June 2013
5 Thank smartman89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

959 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Joplin, MO
Level 5 Contributor
79 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2013

All the geyser basins are worth seeing, in my opinion. This one is very interesting with several geysers going off intermittently. I don't think there are many that are predictable, but we were fortunate enough to see one of the major ones go off for an extended time.

Visited October 2013
1 Thank PJKJoplin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South africa
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Shades of color”
Reviewed October 22, 2013

This site is not to be missed. Awesome colors! lovely easy boardwalks through amazing ponds with turquoise blue water and bubbling mud-pots, bobby socks trees and an excellent information centre showing the broader picture of what's happening underneath one's feet.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Joles2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marietta, Georgia
Level 6 Contributor
633 reviews
198 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 284 helpful votes
“Beautiful and unique”
Reviewed October 14, 2013

At sunset, a plume from a geyser with a reddish orange sky behind it makes for a great photo op. At sunrise it is full of steam for some interesting pictures.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank ballhawg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elgin Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
233 reviews
146 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 351 helpful votes
“This is the place to see a geyser eruption!!!!”
Reviewed October 7, 2013

When you here about people doing a boardwalk hike in yellowstone, This is place they are most likely talking about. The Upper geyser basin Is the largest of the 3 basin areas here in southwest yellowstone park. By far the biggest service area in the whole park. 3 hotels,8 places to eat,two general stores,gas station,post office,visitor center,Several gift shops, and more......

There is a 5 mile hike (if you do the whole thing) here that will take you past several predictable geysers,hot springs,colorful pools,streams, steam vents, a river,and lots of other thermal features. The best way to get started, is to make a visit to the visitor center, buy a trail map for 50 cents, and check the posted geyser eruption times on the board behind the ranger desk. This trail map is the best one you can get as it shows you where everything is , what its called, how to get there, and what it is.
Important information about the geysers-------- first . there are several predictable geysers here including Castle geyser Riverside geyser Grand geyser Daisy geyser and Beehive geyser. Second----- Most of these geysers have a 7 to 12 hour gap between eruption times. Third------- Although the rangers do there best to predict eruptions, there is often a half hour to hour window of uncertainty . This means if they predict castle geyser to go off at 7pm, It could go off anytime between 6.30 and 7.30 pm

This makes it real hard to plan your touring. So if your goal is to see as many geysers as possible, You will need 2 days or better here in the old faithful area. I would concentrate on 3 of the geysers per day. Example--- see old faithful, than head over to daisy geyser for its predictable time. Than watch for riverside geyser, you can see both from the same viewpoint.
If your staying in this area you could see one or two geysers in the am and than leave the area to tour another part of the park, come back at dinner time and see more geysers. This plan works well with good weather conditions. We had some thunderstorms and even snow in september this keep us from touring in this area for the am.Than it cleared up latter.

Besides the geysers, there are several colorful hot pools and springs. Most of your hike is on even boardwalks and paved bike paths.There are some stairs and a little elevation gain but nothing i would call strenuous. If you are here for more than one day, you could split the trail up into smaller hikes if the 5 mi trail is too much.
When your hiking is done, Remember- this is a large place of services. If you cant get a table in the old faithful inn for lunch, try the cafeteria two building over.I would for sure allow some time to see the Historical old faithful inn. Even take part in the free hotel tour (check with the front desk for times) There are also several shops here to find that gift for home or that someone special.

The best thing you can do for yourself here, is to allow yourself enough time to see the area. Most people come here only spend a few hours. This is a Mistake, A few hours wont even cover the boardwalk. I would do yourself the biggest favor of your trip and stay overnight or better still two nights. Its easy to under estimate how large and magical this area is. Old faithful may be the star attraction here,but if you spend a little more time on the trails you will be reworded with seeing other star attractions that equal or even surpass old faithful.

As a bonus watch for bison, they are commonly seen grazing in the open meadows and even in front of the hotel. P S act responsibly do not approach wildlife for any reason.

Visited September 2013
4 Thank mountiamsandcanyons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Upper Geyser Basin also viewed

Yellowstone National Park, WY
Yellowstone National Park, WY
Yellowstone National Park, WY

Been to Upper Geyser Basin? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing