Grand Prismatic Spring

Grand Prismatic Spring & Midway Geyser Basin

Grand Prismatic Spring is one of Yellowstone's most iconic natural features and, arguably, its most visually stunning.  Third largest in the world, the fiery colors of this huge geothermal pool make for a sight that is almost otherworldly in its beauty.  Located within the Midway Geyser Basin, Grand Prismatic Spring is surrounded by a small but impressive collection of other features, mostly hot springs as well, which are stunningly beautiful in their own way.  The Excelsior Geyser Crater is particularly impressive.  Once one of Yellowstone's most powerful geysers, shooting water upwards of 300-feet in the air,  a particularly explosive event in the late 1800's seems to have permanently altered its character.  Other than a brief eruption in the 1980's the Excelsior Geyser now exists as a huge hot spring.  Only the steep crater walls tell of its former, much more violent, life.


Our tour of Grand Prismatic Spring and the Midway Geyser Basin took the form of two short walks.  The first was along the Fairy Falls Trail up to a fantastic overlook of Grand Prismatic Spring.  The size and stunning colors of the spring are fully realized from this elevated point and, despite a final rather steep climb, the 1.5-mile round-trip effort to get there is more than worthwhile.  The second portion of the tour would involve a walk around the 0.8-mile boardwalk through the heart of the basin, getting us up-close-and-personal with Excelsior and Grand Prismatic along with their small handful of beautiful neighbors.  This is certainly a pair of walks that shouldn't be missed on any visit of Yellowstone, as I'm sure you'll see!  As always, ENJOY!!               


Trailhead GPS Coordinates:  44.515318, -110.832646  (Fairy Falls Trailhead)

Trailhead GPS Coordinates:  44.528368, -110.836026  (Boardwalk Trailhead)


Location:  Midway Geyser Basin

Hike Length:  1.5 miles (Fairy Falls Trail to overlook);  0.8 miles (boardwalk)

Hike Duration:  1:45 (total)

Elevation:  7,230' to 7,350'

Geysers:  Opal Pool

Hot Springs:  Excelsior Geyser Crater, Grand Prismatic, Turquoise


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