August 29, 2010

Observation Point, Yellowstone NP

After watching Old Faithful erupt we decided to continue on to Observation Point Trail. From the Upper Geyser Basin area we crossed the bridge behind Old Faithful and made our way to the trailhead for Observation Point. We had read in the past that it was a nice short trail that with good views of the Old Faithful Area Upper Geyser Basin. The trail can be done as an out and back or can be combined with other short trails in the basin to make a loop of varying distances. The trailhead was easily marked. We headed up the dirt trail and since it was a warm afternoon we could really feel the sun in the exposed areas of the trail. We hadn't been on the trail long when we came across bison. We intially thought it was just one but after watching for several minutes we were able to see a group of about five or six a little further down. This was the first wildlife sighting we had on our trip so we took the time to watch and take pictures. We continued on the trail and came across a marmot sitting on a rock. We soon reached Observation Point, which lived up to our expectation. We were able to see the Old Faithful area and geysers in Upper Geyser Basin. There were a few other hikers along the trail and at Observation Point but it was not crowded by any means. We decided to take a different trail back to the basin and passed Solitary Geyser. This geyser erupts every 4-8 minutes. We were there just a couple of minutes when it erupted a few feet, lasting only a few seconds. We headed back down the trail and made our way back to the boardwalk in the basin. The entire hike was just over a mile in distance with about 200 feet elevation change. Observation Trail is a good short hike very close to the Upper Geyser Basin area that provides different views of Old Faithful and the other geysers.