Midway Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park

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Midway Geyser Basin

Containing the largest hot spring in all of North America, the Grand Prismatic, Midway Geyser Basin has a collection of other features that caused Rudyard Kipling to call it Hell’s Half Acre.

  • The magnificent Grand Prismatic Spring is the largest hot spring in North America.
  • Excelsior Geyser discharges over 4,000 gallons of water per minute into the Firehole River.

What can I do and see in the Midway Geyser Basin?

  • Grand Prismatic Spring: At almost 370 feet in diameter, the Grand Prismatic Spring is on top of a large mound with step-like terraces around it. It is the largest hot spring in North America. It's rainbow of colors and steam that reflects them are hard to forget. Although often packed with visitors, you can follow a nicely maintained boardwalk around the spring.
  • Excelsior Geyser: It's been dormant since the 1880s except for one long eruption in 1985 when it spouted water for two days at a height of 20 to 80 feet. Today it’s considered a hot spring and discharges over 4,050 gallons of hot water per minute right into the Firehole River. You can gaze into this gaping crater from the same boardwalk as the Grand Prismatic Spring.
  • Hike to Fairy Falls: Just 1 mile south of the Grand Prismatic Spring area, park and follow the 5 mile round trip trail to Fairy Falls, a spectacular waterfall in Yellowstone's easily accessible backcountry.

Where is the Midway Geyser Basin?

Located midway between the Upper Geyser and Lower Geyser Basins, Midway Geyser Basin Yellowstone stretches along a mile of the famous Firehole River. To access, follow signs to the Grand Prismatic Spring.

When can I visit the Midway Geyser Basin?

Yellowstone Park is open the year round, but spring, summer and fall are your best bets for a visit via your own wheels. In the winter, you can access the area via guided snowmobile or snowcoach tour.