Old Faithful, a cone geyser, is the most predicted and studied geyser in the world. It is located in the United States, in the state of Wyoming. Tourists can observe this majestic wonder themselves, with a trip to Yellowstone National Park. In the old days, Old Faithful was used to clean laundry but now you can just enjoy the view and take photos. Don’t bring your laundry detergent.
The most convenient way to find this geyser is to enter Yellowstone Park through its West entrance. Your first stop should be the visitor’s centre. Here, you can watch an educational film and get maps for the area. A seismograph exhibit and information board is also offered to guests.
To give fair warning, Yellowstone National Park is enormous. It consists of a lot of driving and walking. The Old Faithful area is divided into four sections – Upper Geyser Basin, Black Sand Basin, Biscuit Basin, and Midway Geyser Basin. Don’t be discouraged by the size of the park, it’s quite easy to navigate through.
On my visit to this feisty fountain, my family made a day trip into the park. Our accommodations were outside of Yellowstone but there are plenty of lodges in the Old Faithful area. The most famous and frequented is the Old Faithful Inn. As the largest log structure in the world, it has seven stories of private rooms to please any guest. The best dining in the area is also here, providing three tasty meals a day to hungry travellers.
Yellowstone offers the largest number of accommodations compared to any other park in the country. This means there are also more affordable choices for families and tourists on a budget. I suggest Old Faithful Lodge or Old Faithful Snow Lodge, both a rustic feel and low rates. The lodge consists of frontier style cabins and the snow lodge is an eco-friendly choice.
The real treat is when you actually come face to face with this explosive thermal spring. Shooting 180 feet high, 4000 – 8000 gallons of boiling hot water and steam spray into the clouds above. These eruptions happen regularly, every 90 minutes to 2 hours. Continuous water blasts into the sky for about 2 minutes. You’ll have plenty of time to snap a picture.
There are a few different observation areas but it is best to arrive early, as seats are taken quickly. My family sat on the boardwalk seats, which are closest to the geyser. Here, you have a head-on view and plenty of space to move around, if necessary. The Point Trail is another option, located on a path above the geyser. This location is less crowded and has a better view.
You may be wondering why tourists would travel so far to see water shoot into the air for two minutes. I wondered that myself. It’s all about the love of nature. Geysers are vents in the Earth that allow built up pressure to be released. There are only five countries on the planet that have geysers. When these special eruptions take place, it is a miraculous event.
Old Faithful is unique because it erupts so regularly, which is how it received its name so many years ago. This makes it favourable to travellers, as you can find the time schedule for eruptions and plan your day accordingly. It is said that night eruptions are a gorgeous site under the light of the moon.
If you would like to compare Old Faithful to other geysers, Yellowstone Park gives you the perfect opportunity. With more than 500 active geysers, it contains the most in the world.
You can form your own opinion about Old Faithful. Do you think it is the best or can it be beat? Have you seen any other geysers that blow off steam? Share with us.