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How long to do all the walks around Old Faithful Area, Norris Area, and Lower Terrace in Mammoth?

How long to do all the walks around Old Faithful Area, Norris Area, and Lower Terrace in Mammoth?

Old Jan 21st, 2009, 09:29 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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How long to do all the walks around Old Faithful Area, Norris Area, and Lower Terrace in Mammoth?

In looking at an interactive map of the areas, I now can sort of visualize what they look like....lots of trails/boardwalks that meander about in big loops where you look and pass by the various features.

Here's the question then...

How long would it take to do them? Norris seems like it's broken down to two sections (Porclein and Back Basin).

Old Faithful area (not the entire upper basin area) seems to be a bit more spread out.

Lower Terrace seems quite short.

travelinandgolfin is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2009, 11:00 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Here's my 2 cents.

Mommoth Hot Springs Lower Terrace: less than an hour.

Norris: 1 1/2 hour for the whole thing - longer if you stop for any length of time to observe/wait for an eruption.

Old Faithful: 1 - 4 hours depending upon how extensively you hike and how long you take to observe/wait for an eruption. I'd suggest taking the hike up Geyser Hill back behind Old Faithful to get a bird's eye view of the Old Faithful area. It's not long (15 - 20 minutes up)and mostly a gentle uphill walk.
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Old Jan 21st, 2009, 11:20 AM
  #3  
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Thanks furledleader.

I also just found the map for the north section of Old Faithful. Ok, bigger area than I thought!
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Old Jan 21st, 2009, 12:38 PM
  #4  
maj
 
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That time sounds about right to me also. There is no way you are going to see everything in 3 days. I do think you should plan a stop in each area because they are so different, but at the places you have listed you can stop at any time and move on.

We usually pick an area or part of the loop with a destination (or beginning point) in mind -- say for example: start at Old Faithful (maybe see Old Faithful and either walk along the trail to the left where Castle and Riverside geyser, etc. are or go to the right to the observation tower and follow that to solitary geyser and back to Old Faithful). Then move on towards Madison stopping at any point where something interests us. (the first time we went we stopped at all the sights along the way until we hit Biscuit Basin and got tired of seeing thermal stuff) There are also two drives along that way that we like -- Firehole River road(there are geysers, hot spots along that road also) and Firehole Canyon road. If you still have time you can continue on to Norris or over to Canyon.

Then the next day maybe do the northern loop -- knowing that you want to stop at Mammoth, Lamar, etc. and see where that day takes you. Get my drift? We have things we really want to see and others that we would like to if we have time, leaving ourselves the ability to stop for an animal sighting or something of interest along the way when it occurs. You really won't know what will interest you until you get there. I think it is nice to have a plan, but just be ready to make it flexible. Too many variables -- weather, road closures, held up by animal road jams, etc.

Anyway, that is also my 2 cents.
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Old Jan 21st, 2009, 05:21 PM
  #5  
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Thanks maj.

We've increased time in YNP to four full days. I'm trying to NOT schedule things that would make for anything over 7 hour days. I figure that way, that will leave several hours of daylight left when those unexpected things come up.
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Old Jan 21st, 2009, 05:46 PM
  #6  
maj
 
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I think you'll have a great trip. Please let us know how it went, what you did etc. after you get back.
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Old Jan 21st, 2009, 06:06 PM
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Most people don't spend enough time in the Upper Geyser Basin. Instead, they watch Old Faithful and then drive on.

Some of the most fabulous geysers in the world are in the UGB. If you stop at the Visitor Center by Old Faithful, you can find out the prediction times for the various geysers that day. And you can take a ranger led walk which will give you some basis of understanding on how it all works.

We like to spend the best part of a day in this area when we visit Yellowstone. We start out with a hearty breakfast at the Inn and then head out on the trails. It takes patience to see the great eruptions but it is well worth it. If we miss some of our favorites, we will try to return the next day to catch them.

Here's a link that might help:

http://www.yellowstone.net/geysers/upperbasin.htm
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Old Jan 22nd, 2009, 10:25 AM
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Thanks supercilious.

We have one full day planned for the upper gesyer basin.

Thanks for the link. Most informational.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2009, 10:27 AM
  #9  
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maj, I'll be posting an itinerary soon, so please feel free to comment. And I will definitely post a trip report afterward.

Thanks.
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