Midway Geyser Basin
Midway Geyser Basin
4.5
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  • BruinDan
    Fullerton, California3,169 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must-do, but be prepared for a parking nightmare
    Located in Yellowstone National Park about 6 mi/9.7 km north of Old Faithful and about 10.5 mi/16.9 km south of Madison Junction, the Midway Geyer Basin is relatively small but is probably the most-visited geyser basin the park. Its popularity is due in no small part to the presence of the second most famous landmark in Yellowstone (next to Old Faithful), the Grand Prismatic Spring. My wife and I visited here on a chilly day during the latter part of September 2022. One of the first things to understand and anticipate is that you will very likely experience a traffic jam in the parking lot. When the parking area was constructed, they probably didn’t anticipate the crowds that Yellowstone now experiences. My wife and I drove around the lot three times before finding an open spot, despite this being during the off-season; many others gave up and decided to park along the road. NOTE that if you choose this option, there is a hiking trail next to the road that will take you to the parking lot and enable you to avoid walking in the road. There are also vault toilets located in the parking lot. At one end of the parking lot you will find the trailhead for the Midway Geyser Basin. The trail (which is actually a boardwalk) is a fully accessible 0.8 mi/1.3 km lollipop loop with only a 75-foot elevation change, making it suitable for virtually all ages and fitness levels. The beginning of the trail is a pedestrian bridge that takes you over the Firehole River. I recommend that you pause briefly here and watch the boiling water from the Excelsior Geyser pour into the river – the resulting plumes of steam are a pretty remarkable sight. The trail then takes you to and around Excelsior Geyser, which is an impressively large dormant geyser that is now classified as a hot spring. The trail will then take you to the star of the Midway Geyser Basin, the Grand Prismatic Spring. NOTE that because you are so physically close to the spring, you won’t get those majestic, elevated views you see on postcards and in tour books; those photos are taken from the overlook off the Fairy Falls Trail. That said, even on a cold day causing a lot of steam to rise from the spring, we were able to see some of the unusual colors the spring is known for. From there the crowds start to thin as many rush by the final two springs, the Turquoise Pool and the Opal Pool. Take a moment to view them as they are quite pretty, especially the Opal Pool.
    Visited September 2022
    Written 28 June 2023
  • Rick B
    Round Rock, Texas1,402 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    go to the overlook
    Midway Geyser Basin is the home of the Grand Prismatic Spring one of Yellowstone's premier attractions. Best place to view this is to take the short hike to the Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook. The Grand Prismatic Spring is the third largest hot spring in the world so at ground level I don't think you can get the full effect of it's size and beauty. After visiting the overlook then go into the basin and look around.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 23 September 2023
  • jehenson81
    Washington DC, District of Columbia24,889 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Busy
    After spending all morning at the Upper Geyser Basin, I started to make my way North and my first stop was the Midway Geyser Basin which is home to the Grand Prismatic Spring and Excelsior Geyser Crater. The Grand Prismatic Spring was gorgeous and the main draw for most of the visitors while the crater was so steamy it was hard to see the awesomeness of its impressive size that was caused by an eruption ages ago. Well worth the visit but be cognizant of its popularity.
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written 22 April 2024
  • SwonQonDoi
    Boston, Massachusetts405 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Midway Geyser Basin @ Yellowstone National Park
    When researching what to do in Yellowstone National Park, Midway Geyser Basin consistently show up as one of the most popular destinations for travelers. It is home to the largest hot spring in the United States and the third largest in the world. Midway Geyser Basin is renowned for its vibrant hot springs and geysers. Located between the Upper and Lower Geyser Basins, it spans a relatively small area but boasts some of the park's most spectacular geothermal features. The basin is particularly known for its striking colors, which range from blue in the center to green, yellow, orange, and red at the edges. These vivid hues are due to microbial mats around the edges of the mineral-rich water. The Grand Prismatic Spring, the largest hot spring in the basin, measures approximately 370 feet (113 meters) in diameter and over 121 feet (37 meters) deep. Boardwalks around the area allow visitors to explore and view the geysers and hot springs up close without causing damage to the fragile environment. We spent quite some time enjoying the beautiful colors of this natural basin despite the heat. It was a truly wonderful experience.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 17 May 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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SwonQonDoi
Boston, MA405 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
When researching what to do in Yellowstone National Park, Midway Geyser Basin consistently show up as one of the most popular destinations for travelers. It is home to the largest hot spring in the United States and the third largest in the world.

Midway Geyser Basin is renowned for its vibrant hot springs and geysers. Located between the Upper and Lower Geyser Basins, it spans a relatively small area but boasts some of the park's most spectacular geothermal features.

The basin is particularly known for its striking colors, which range from blue in the center to green, yellow, orange, and red at the edges. These vivid hues are due to microbial mats around the edges of the mineral-rich water. The Grand Prismatic Spring, the largest hot spring in the basin, measures approximately 370 feet (113 meters) in diameter and over 121 feet (37 meters) deep.

Boardwalks around the area allow visitors to explore and view the geysers and hot springs up close without causing damage to the fragile environment.

We spent quite some time enjoying the beautiful colors of this natural basin despite the heat. It was a truly wonderful experience.
Written 17 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jehenson81
Washington DC, DC24,889 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Solo
After spending all morning at the Upper Geyser Basin, I started to make my way North and my first stop was the Midway Geyser Basin which is home to the Grand Prismatic Spring and Excelsior Geyser Crater. The Grand Prismatic Spring was gorgeous and the main draw for most of the visitors while the crater was so steamy it was hard to see the awesomeness of its impressive size that was caused by an eruption ages ago. Well worth the visit but be cognizant of its popularity.
Written 22 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rick B
Round Rock, TX1,402 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Family
Midway Geyser Basin is the home of the Grand Prismatic Spring one of Yellowstone's premier attractions. Best place to view this is to take the short hike to the Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook. The Grand Prismatic Spring is the third largest hot spring in the world so at ground level I don't think you can get the full effect of it's size and beauty. After visiting the overlook then go into the basin and look around.
Written 23 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BruinDan
Fullerton, CA3,169 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2022
Located in Yellowstone National Park about 6 mi/9.7 km north of Old Faithful and about 10.5 mi/16.9 km south of Madison Junction, the Midway Geyer Basin is relatively small but is probably the most-visited geyser basin the park. Its popularity is due in no small part to the presence of the second most famous landmark in Yellowstone (next to Old Faithful), the Grand Prismatic Spring. My wife and I visited here on a chilly day during the latter part of September 2022.

One of the first things to understand and anticipate is that you will very likely experience a traffic jam in the parking lot. When the parking area was constructed, they probably didn’t anticipate the crowds that Yellowstone now experiences. My wife and I drove around the lot three times before finding an open spot, despite this being during the off-season; many others gave up and decided to park along the road. NOTE that if you choose this option, there is a hiking trail next to the road that will take you to the parking lot and enable you to avoid walking in the road. There are also vault toilets located in the parking lot.

At one end of the parking lot you will find the trailhead for the Midway Geyser Basin. The trail (which is actually a boardwalk) is a fully accessible 0.8 mi/1.3 km lollipop loop with only a 75-foot elevation change, making it suitable for virtually all ages and fitness levels.

The beginning of the trail is a pedestrian bridge that takes you over the Firehole River. I recommend that you pause briefly here and watch the boiling water from the Excelsior Geyser pour into the river – the resulting plumes of steam are a pretty remarkable sight. The trail then takes you to and around Excelsior Geyser, which is an impressively large dormant geyser that is now classified as a hot spring.

The trail will then take you to the star of the Midway Geyser Basin, the Grand Prismatic Spring. NOTE that because you are so physically close to the spring, you won’t get those majestic, elevated views you see on postcards and in tour books; those photos are taken from the overlook off the Fairy Falls Trail. That said, even on a cold day causing a lot of steam to rise from the spring, we were able to see some of the unusual colors the spring is known for.

From there the crowds start to thin as many rush by the final two springs, the Turquoise Pool and the Opal Pool. Take a moment to view them as they are quite pretty, especially the Opal Pool.
Written 28 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

K B
Lafayette, CA452 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023
If you go here early in the morning, it's a lot easier to find parking but view of the main feature, Grand Prismatic Spring, was compromised by fog and steam. Later in the day, the congested parking lot is A VERY LONG WAIT.
Written 20 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

americancouple2017
New York City, NY30 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
It is recommended to come not too early in the morning and not too late to see the colors of the most photographed place of caldera.
Written 15 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ItchyFeet
Camarillo, CA10,811 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022 • Friends
Midway Geyser Basin consists of 4 major geysers/pools/springs:
The Grand Prismatic Spring (which is much better seen on the overlook trail just another 1/4 mile down the road); it’s often covered in steam so ask a ranger the best time to see based on when you plan to go. Beautiful colors nothing like what you’ll ever see elsewhere.
The Excelsior geyser which is a large deep blue pool with boiling water. This is the 1st feature you come to when walking up the boardwalk.
Then the Opal Pool which is smaller but very colorful
And finally the Turquoise Pool with its deep colors.
This is a must stop but for all the pools.
We were here 10/21 and all the hotels and visitors centers and eating areas were closed for the season.
Great time with few people but no services were open.
Written 23 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MGQ
Buffalo, NY521 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2022
The Painted Pots, Grand Prismatic Spring and Black Sand Basin are all in the area and all are "must-sees". Be sure to stop at them all. You won't be disappointed. Beautiful wooden walkways throughout are comfortable and easy to walk on.
Written 28 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kantbyluv
Coconut Creek, FL202 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
For the grand prismatic use the overlook it is worth it !!! beautiful pics and beat the tours or wait until they move on or it can be extremely crowded.
Written 28 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Christy D
15 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
Spent a day seeing these sites. Lots a board walks and trails. Took lots of photographs of these amazing geysers!
Written 6 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Midway Geyser Basin - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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