Old Faithful: Just One of the Daily Performances in Yellowstone

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It doesn’t operate like clockwork producing a spectacle every hour on the hour like many towering timepieces in European town squares. Yet, Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful does produce a show of its own. And it draws crowds for most of its 20 daily performances thanks in part to the fact park rangers can determine when the next eruption will be—give or take 10 minutes.

No one knows how long Old Faithful has been consistently showing off her ability to shoot steam 140+ feet up into the air. At the very least, this Wild West show has been happening since about the time Wyatt Earp and his buddies took on the Clairborne and Clanton families at the O.K. Corral.

We arrived in between performances and took the time to stroll around the Upper Geyser Basin area before taking our seats in the bleachers. Almost right on cue, puffs began to come up out of the ground. Then the geyser pushed higher and higher for two minutes before she began to fall. Then it was all over. Until the next time.

If you enjoyed this story in our series, you may also enjoy two other stories about Yellowstone’s bison and grizzlies. We also encourage you to check out any of our books