Mar 06

Yellowstone – Old Faithful and Norris Geyser

For my last edition of Yellowstone posts it’s all about Geysers, specifically Norris Geyser Basin and Old Faithful.  I’ll start with Norris Geyser since I know after you read about Old Faithful you’ll probably want to move on and we can’t have that.

At Norris Geyser there are several different geyser areas.  Steamboat Geyser is probably the most popular because it is the tallest geyser.  But, I went to the Porcelin Basin, which was very pretty and had some steam pockets, but nothing went off.  I didn’t feel so bad though because nothing went off at Steamboat Geyser either.  This are though represents a more baren type of geyser area, some others are more woodsey.  But it’s the type of place you could hang out at all day and nothing happens, which would make me sad.

Old Faithful is not the most regular or the largest geyser, but it is the most regular large geyser.  At Old Faithful there are two large lodges, one with food and shops, the other as more of a visitors center.  Old Faithful goes off every 35 to 120 minutes, when I was there it was on a 45ish minutes cycle.  She went off for about 2-3 minutes when we were there, long enough for me to watch a bit and take over 150 pictures.  When you enter Yellowstone the guards should be able to tell you when she’s scheculed to go off, you could probably also find out from just about any ranger at the park too.

The area is sectioned off and has a large seating area of benches.  People will be seated at least 15-20 mintues before, if it’s a crowded day you’ll probably want to find seating early.  The restaurant there will be busy after she goes off, you may want to plan your time around that if you don’t like crowds.  Is Old Faithful worth it?  Of course, it’s pretty cool watching a geyser go off and the wind blow the water off in one direction.  It’s a cool aspect of nature.  And since Old Faithful is pretty regular, it’s a great choice to guarantee you see a geyser go off.