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Must-See Yellowstone Attractions: Riverside Geyser


Located in the Upper Geyser Basin, alongside the Firehole River, you’ll find the Riverside Geyser. This natural attraction is a favorite among the Yellowstone geysers as it shoots superheated water in an arc that can reach as far as 75 feet. On a good day, when the conditions are right, the Riverside Geyser stretches from one side of the river to the other, forming a colorful rainbow that’s a rare sight to see.

The Science Behind the Steam

As one of the most predictable of Yellowstone geysers, the Riverside Geyser erupts like clockwork once every 5 1/2 to 7 hours because it stands alone, with no other geysers to interrupt its source. Each eruption lasts for 20 minutes.

A geyser is basically a vent in the Earth’s surface that allows built-up steam and hot water to erupt when the pressure beneath the surface becomes too high. Geysers are rare as there are only about 1,000 of them that exist in the entire world, most of which are located inside the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park.

How to View the Riverside Geyser

Although the Riverside Geyser is bimodal, meaning it erupts typically 20 minutes before or 25 minutes after the average interval, it’s still relatively easy to predict when it’s going to blow. Hot water pours forth from the cone beginning about 90 to 120 minutes before each eruption.

When you visit the geyser in Yellowstone, you’ll wait in the observation area that’s across the river for the event to take place. It’s important to keep your distance from Yellowstone geysers because they can spew water that’s superheated to 204 degrees when it leaves the Earth.

The next time you venture to Yellowstone National Park, remember to take a tour with Scenic Safaris to the Riverside Geyser before you leave. It’s a sight you’ll not soon forget.