No trip to Yellowstone is complete without a viewing of this geyser!
The most famous of Yellowstone's geothermal features is a rather ordinary geyser with an extremely fortunate name and extraordinary regularity. The most popular attraction by the Firehole River in Upper Geyser Basin, Old Faithful Geyser draws millions of visitors from around the world each year. It is surrounded by numerous other geysers, hot springs, and steam vents, as well as a modern and historic village of lodging, eateries, souvenir shops, book stores, a visitor education center, police and medical facilities, employee housing, and parking lots. It is a "must see" attraction and draws smothering crowds of visitors in both winter and summer. At it's busiest, there are more people at this spot than most cities in the state of Wyoming. We recommend not visiting this area around lunch time!
Upper Geyser Basin has a spectacular array of other geothermal features as well. You will find geysers taller than Old Faithful that should be famous in their own right, but they just aren't as frequent. Grand Geyser is the tallest predictable geyser in the world but its eruptions are much less frequent than its famous neighbor. Beehive Geyser is just across the river from Old Faithful but you may need to be there at midnight to catch it. If you have the time, you can easily spend a full day in this basin exploring the wonders of geothermal activity while waiting for some of the taller but less-frequent geysers to play. Before heading in to the basin, be sure to stop into the Visitor Education Center for an exhibit on how geysers work as well as to jot down geyser prediction times.
Opened in 1904, the historic Old Faithful Inn is also worth a visit and free tours of it are offered throughout each day. Be sure to walk up to the top floor and peer down, walk down one of the halls, and step out onto the porch for a great view. A short stroll through this large "log cabin" reveals why it contains the most requested lodging in the park!
When visiting Old Faithful Village, be careful while driving and observe the traffic laws. The wildlife (bison, elk, coyotes, marmots, moose, ground squirrels, and the like) are not cognizant of the rules of the road and, seemingly, neither are many of the pedestrians and motorists! This is a crowded and congested area containing the only overpass in the road system of the park. It is easy to become distracted and lose your way - just remember you need to drive through that same overpass to leave the village.