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“Great view from Fairy Falls Trail”

Grand Prismatic Spring
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$65.00*
and up
Self-Guided Yellowstone Lower Loop Tour from...
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Brightly-colored hot spring, the result of algae that live in the water.
Reviewed August 12, 2010

After visiting Old Faithful, we drove further north on the road, and stopped at the Fairy Falls parking area. We then hiked 0.6 miles until we reached a fairly obvious unmaintained trail on the side of the mountain. We quickly scrambled up the mountain to get an unparalleled view of Grand Prismatic Spring, the largest hot spring in Yellowstone. Very few people know about this opportunity, and instead try and view the spring from the boardwalk. The problem is that the spring is so large, it is impossible to take a worthy picture that includes the entire hot spring and it's vibrant colors. It was definitely one of my favorite photographic subjects in Yellowstone. The runoff streams produce a rainbow of colors that are dependent on the temperature of the runoff water. Yellow bacteria are found in the hotter waters close to the spring; orange, red, and brown grow in progressively cooler waters. We then headed further north and took the 0.5 mile boardwalk around Midway Geyser Basin, again viewing the famous Grand Prismatic Spring and Excelsior Geyser Crater from a different perspective. I definitely recommend climbing up the hill to get the unparalleled view, though!

46  Thank outdoorventurer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"fairy falls"
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"ground level"
in 69 reviews
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in 107 reviews
"aerial view"
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"parking lot"
in 139 reviews
"beautiful colors"
in 67 reviews
"steam coming"
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"sunny day"
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"excelsior geyser"
in 25 reviews
"old faithful"
in 143 reviews
"board walk"
in 30 reviews
"half mile"
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"vantage point"
in 28 reviews
"amazing sight"
in 22 reviews
"different colors"
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2,105 - 2,109 of 2,624 reviews

Reviewed July 17, 2009

In viewing the spring from the boardwalks of the Midway Geyser Basin, you only get a hint of the beauty seen on the aerial photos that Yellowstone has of it (see photo). For a better view, park at the Fairy Falls Trailhead, just north of the Basin. Hike along the path opposite the Basin until you reach a hill opposite the Spring. No mountain gear is necessary to hike up the hill, however it is a little steep and there are dead tree trunks strewn everywhere. Multiple footpaths wind up the hill, which help. The hike is not for everyone. In June I ran into a lot of hungry mosquitoes as well. But, up the hill is a fantastic view of the Spring, making the hike well-worth it.

12  Thank stillmanroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2009

You really can't see much from the ground but if you walk half a mile along the fairy falls trail and then scramble up the steep bank on your left then you'll be rewarded with this amazing view! The climb isn't too difficult and well worth it. Best done on a sunny day though as the colours are more intense.

14  Thank 44rl44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2008

We visited Grand Prismatic spring on a cold, damp June day and found the fog generated by the hot water almost totally obscured the view (especially if you wear glasses)! The best time to see this spectacular sight would be on a warm, dry day.

The view from ground level is interesting, with some beautiful, vivid colours radiating from the spring but you can't really appreciate the pool from the ground.

We returned the next day, parked by a small bridge just up the road from the main carpark and hiked about half a mile to a nearby hill. You don't have to be especially fit or well equipped to reach the summit of the low hill and the view's far better.

11  Thank SquareBear1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 25, 2008

I enjoyed this because of the size of the spring and the intense blues of the neighboring pool. Got good photos of people seemingly suspended in steam on the board walk. Not a big thermal area compared to others, but great place for photos. I bought a postcard to get a view from above.

2  Thank frenchkiwiz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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