“There she blows!”
Old Faithful is perhaps the most studied and predicted geyser. Mathematicians, statisticians, and dedicated observers have analyzed it for many years. For example, a direct relationship exists between the duration of Old Faithful's eruption and the length of the following interval. Short eruptions (around 2 minutes) lead to short intervals (about 65 minutes), long eruptions (4 minutes or so) lead to long intervals (about 94 minutes). During a short eruption, less water and heat are discharged, thus, they rebuild again in a short time. Longer eruptions mean more water and heat are discharged and they require more time to rebuild. As of August 2002, the average interval was 94 minutes.
Very popular, somewhat crowded, but pretty obvious what you are there for and it is easy to enjoy. I stayed at the old faithful in and had a wonderful time. Make sure to walk around the local paths to enjoy much of the other thermal sites at Old Faithful too. I have a video of the geyser going off at sunset July 4, 2014 on the link to my blog. Very cool, worth a trip to see and worth your time to watch now. It is raw footage so you can experience the sights and sounds as they are on site.
I suppose part of the marvel lies in Old Faithful's consistent performance over such a lengthy period of time, but truth be told, the entire thing was somewhat anticlimactic. There are larger geysers and much prettier scenery in other parts of Yellowstone NP. Do this early in the morning when the crowd is thin so you can spend more time oohing and aahing over the truly beautiful portions of the park.
Rather crowded although it still is a pretty spectacular geyser! Head further down the path's to see more unique geysers!
Pretty crowded (it felt more like a sporting event than anything else), but still something you should probably see in your lifetime. I mean, you can't go to Yellowstone and NOT see Old Faithful. Plus, it's very cool to see a geyser like Old Faithful erupting in person.
So horribly over crowded I couldn't even get near it. Vicious drivers in the huge parking lots.
Crowded but worth it!
Very cool, but pretty crowded. Worth seeing but definitely not the best thing to see in the area.
I think it's just one of those things people feel like they have to see because it's so famous, but it's a big of a let-down. There are far more spectacular things to see at Yellow Stone, Old Faithful just happens to be really accessible and easy to get to. I'd spend the time going elsewhere like the Norris Geyser Basin, the Grand Canyon (especially the lower falls, the views are spectacular) and Mammoth Hot Springs which is really cool.
Short, steep hike (to get the view pictured above) was my favorite spot to view Old Faithful. Less hot and crowded. Check the parking lot for different state license plates, we found all 50!
LOTS of tourists here, but still a must see at Yellowstone.
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