6/28/18 – Old Faithful

While breaking down my damp cold tent in the morning, I came to realize that while tents are better than nothing, not having to deal with them is much better. I’m putting some serious thoughts into my next vehicle purchase on this trip. After camp was broken, I made my way south to Roaring Mountain.

I arrived at the Upper Geyser Basin at about 9:30, just in time to catch the tail end of Old Faithful erupting. This would be the theme for most of the day. Also, here is a map of the trails in that area.

From there, I headed to Geyser Hill and followed the trail counter clockwise. I tried to include the name plate for all of the features I saw, but some were obscured by steam or tourists. I was about a quarter of the way around when I saw the top of a geyser over the trees. I would later learn that it was Grand Geyser going off.

I left Geyser Hill and headed north on the trail were I made it to Grand just as the last of the steam was subsiding. Asking around, I found out that it would be about 8 hours before it erupted again. Maybe next visit I’ll be more lucky. I followed the trail past pools and geysers to the end where Morning Glory Pool is.

From there, I figured that I had plenty of time to make it back to Old Faithful before its next eruption. I headed back along the more direct paved trail. When I got to Castle Geyser, I learned that it was predicted to erupt in another hour, give or take 45 minutes. So I sat to wait, intent on not missing another eruption. Unfortunately, I had failed to bring any water with me. After about 15 minutes of sitting in the sun, I decided to risk a quick trip back to my car to get water and a snack bar. Not unexpectedly, I caught the tail end of Old Faithful again as it came into view.

After making it back to my car and heading back, my luck began to change. Castle began erupting when I was only a few hundred feet away. Thanks to a quick dash and a long eruption, I got to see my first up close eruption. It is a very visible reminder that I was standing on an active volcano.

After watching Castle for a while, I continued back to Geyser Hill to see the last of the features in the area. In the back of a few, you can see Castle continue to erupt. It kept going for about twenty minutes.

Not wanting to push my luck, I took a seat on the edge of the boardwalk and waited the twenty minutes until the next scheduled eruption of Old Faithful. By the time the eruption happened, it was about 12:30 and it was getting very crowded.

After Old Faithful, I left that area and headed to Black Sand Basin. The pools there were beautiful and I even got to see a small geyser eruption.

My last planned stop in Yellowstone was Biscuit Basin, but unfortunately, by now it was so crowded that it took 20 minutes just to loop through the small parking lot since everyone was waiting for a spot to open. I decided to save that area for a future visit and head off to Glacier.

The hope was for one of the eastern campsites to still be open, but by the time i made it to the park at 9:20, they were all full. Thankfully, Going To The Sun road just opened a few days ago, and I made it over Logan Pass before it got completely dark. Finding the camps full on the west side as well, I headed out of the park and found a 24 hour grocery store that had a few RVs in the parking lot that I joined. By the time I parked it was nearly midnight. I think I’ll take tomorrow off.

Miles Driven: 527.4 mi
Time Driving: 11 hr 18 min

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