One hike that everyone should do on their first trip to Yellowstone National Park is the Old Faithful to Morning Glory Pool trail. This hike is flat, easy, and wheel friendly the entire way. Not to mention that there are hundreds of people and many things to see along the way.
The best place to start this hike is at Old Faithful. The geyser goes off pretty often (check the times at the Visitor’s Center), and as soon as it finishes, is the best time to start the hike. We recommend picking up a trail guide from one of the boxes around Old Faithful. It costs a dollar, but if you don’t want to pay, you can borrow and return it later. The guide will give information about each geyser including frequency of eruptions, height of the eruption, and many other details.
The hike starts to the right as you are facing Old Faithful. Walk along the boardwalk until you reach the pavement. The trail drops down and crosses a small river. There are often squirrels and mountain bluebirds hanging around the area, so notice your surroundings. There are a few trail that lead around different short loops that meander amongst the geysers, but there are trail maps at most junctions. If you’re up for a short hike, walk around the small loop behind Old Faithful and head back the way you came. First time visitors should take the longer walk, though.
We always walk the inside (left fork) of the small loop because we love Anemone Geyser. It erupts every 7-10 minutes, and though it is small, it is really close to the trail and spits a nice jet of water several feet into the air. It is definitely worth the wait. The trail continues past a bunch of geysers and pools in a generally northward direction. Giant Geyser, Grand Geyser, Riverside Geyser, Castle Geyser, and Beehive Geyser are just a few of the names. We’ve seen many of them erupt, and some are spectacular. Riverside shoots right out into the river, and Beehive jets quite a bit higher than Old Faithful. Most geysers are much less predictable though, and you may be waiting hours for an eruption, and a few are entirely unpredictable.
If you start to get pooped out along the trail, there are several places to cross back over the small river and head back to Old Faithful. Morning Glory Pool is really spectacular if you can make it all the way there, though. It is a deep blue pool that is wide and very beautiful. Please note that it is strictly forbidden to throw anything into any geyser or pool, and Morning Glory suffers badly from ill-mannered visitors.
After viewing the pool, there is a straight, paved trail that leads directly back to the Old Faithful Inn and parking area. It is wide and well trafficked, so you can’t really get lost. Every visitor to Yellowstone should definitely complete this hike at least once!