Grand Prismatic Geyser in Yellowstone

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The Grand Prismatic Geyser in Yellowstone National Park is one of the most popular sights to see! It’s even more stunning in person, and it’s part of the larger Midway Geyser Basin. You’ll find 2 other stunning geysers to see on a short loop though the Grand Prismatic.

The stunning Grand Prismatic Geyser in Yellowstone National Park!

Grand Prismatic Geyser is perhaps the most well known geyser in Yellowstone, (besides Old Faithful I suppose)! And… why wouldn’t it be, the colors are so unreal you feel like you may just be on another planet! We went midday and the light was very harsh.

So I’d recommend morning or early evening for the best photography opportunity. Whenever you go, try to see this geyser on a sunny day because the colors really pop when there’s direct light. We really noticed with all the deeply colored geysers that they look washed out when it’s cloudy, and you need the sunlight to get the full eye-popping effect!

Geyser sight seeing in one of the best things to do in Yellowstone National Park!

We didn’t have much time to research before our impromptu trip down to Yellowstone National Park, and there was some confusion about where to find this amazing wonder! We’d seen the pictures online, and knew that was one geyser we really wanted to see.

But we didn’t find any information regarding exactly where the Grand Prismatic was located. So, we set off on our trip figuring we’d find it along the way. (Which obviously we finally did after several turn arounds.)

Excelsior Geyser in stunning in it's own right next to the Grand Prismatic!
Both the Excelsior and Grand Prismatic are part of the Midway Geyser Basin.

As it would turn out, Grand Prismatic Geyser is located with Excelsior Geyser in the Midway Geyser Basin – this is super important because you’re going to be looking for the road sign that says Midway Geyser Basin!

Excelsior Geyser Basin in the Midway Geyser Basin in Yellowstone!
Excelsior Geyser is just before the Grand Prismatic Geyser.

This is a crucial piece of information we were missing on our trip. And it made it rather difficult to find this stunning site! Another thing you’ll notice if you look up images for this geyser online, is that they’re all looking down on the geyser. When we finally found it, we stood on the boardwalk wondering where on earth everyone was getting their photos from?

As you’ll see in the photos, there is a hill behind the geyser that’s accessed from the Fairy Falls Trail. It’s a short, off trail excursion to the top for a downward perspective of the geyser. We both thought the extra effort was well worth it. (The last 2 photos of this post show you the second view with directions)!

View of the Grand Prismatic from the boardwalk that runs through it!

The boardwalk for this trail takes you past Excelsior Geyser. Then it wraps around and you see the Grand Prismatic. You’ll literally be standing right in the geyser and the view is surreal!

Alternative route to look down on the Grand Prismatic!

This photo and the next one are views of Grand Prismatic from above. We climbed/bush-wacked on a unmaintained but clearly visible trail as high as we could get for this view. If you want the true ‘birds eye view’ you have to charter a helicopter ride!

The above view of the Grand Prismatic Geyser!

To find the trail, you head back out of the the Grand Prismatic parking area towards Old Faithful. Take the turnoff for Fairy Falls and park. You’ll cross the bridge over the river and walk along a gravel path for about 1/2 mile. Once you’re across from the Grand Prismatic you should be able to find the ‘trail’. Then just climb up as far as you’d like for this view.

Yellowstone National Park has many stunning geysers!

I’ll leave you today with the downward perspective view of the Grand Prismatic. There really are no words to describe this wonder. Just know that it’s even more impressive when you stand there in person!

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