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Interesting Facts About Old Faithful

clouds in front of a sunset

Old Faithful, the world’s most famous geyser, is a must-see for visitors to Yellowstone. Most people know that Old Faithful got its name based on its highly reliable eruptions. But chances are, that may be all you know about this iconic hydrothermal feature of America’s first national park. Here are a few more interesting facts about Old Faithful.

Just How Faithful is Old Faithful?

The intervals between eruptions vary from 50 to 110 minutes on average, but that doesn’t make the famous geyser less predictable. Old Faithful enthusiasts, from scientists and mathematicians to dedicated observers have shown that the length of an eruption impacts the interval time between eruptions, helping park rangers know when to expect them.

All About the Eruptions

How Often? Currently, approximately 20 times each day. Before the 1959 Hebgen Lake Earthquake, Old Faithful was erupting 21 times a day. But the earthquake lengthened interval time and subsequent earthquakes have had the same impact.

How Long? Old Faithful eruptions can last anywhere from 1.5 to 5 minutes.

How Much? The amount of water expelled depends on how long the eruptions last. On average, Old Faithful will expel anywhere between 3,700 and 8,400 gallons of water. To put that in perspective, the average American household uses 400 gallons of water per day. During a five minute eruption, Old Faithful will spew forth the equivalent of 3 weeks of water usage.

How High? On average, Old Faithful eruptions reach between 130 and 140 feet, although, it has measured over 180 feet high.

How Hot? Water at the vent has been measured as high as 203 degrees Fahrenheit. The steam at the geyser’s vent has been measured significantly higher at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

On our all day Yellowstone Hike, you’ll visit Old Faithful along with several lesser known treasures of the geyser basin. Along the way, our professional guides will share information about the history of Yellowstone, the geothermal features, wildlife and more. You’ll see Old Faithful, one of the park’s most iconic feature and then travel well off the beaten path to see the secrets of Yellowstone and the geyser basin. Ready to book your Yellowstone hiking adventure? Contact us at Scenic Safaris today.