• Lone Star Geyser in Yellowstone


    Lone Star Geyser is one of the neatest, easily accessible, backcountry geysers in Yellowstone. The trail is an old paved service road extending about 2.5 miles from the parking area. The parking area is found about 2 miles south of Old Faithful on the South side of the road near Kepler Cascades and has restrooms.

    Lone Star Geyser trail is one of the few trails in the park that allows bicycles. If you have limited time to spend in Yellowstone, I highly recommend using a bike on this trail. At the end of the pavement there is a bicycle rack for locking up your bike. You must stop riding at this point. It is only about 100 feet to the geyser from bike rack. In the winter, the trail is accessible by snow coach, but you will need to bring snow shoes in order to reach the geyser.

    If you prefer hiking without mountain bikes riding past, a second option to reaching Lone Star Geyser is from the Fern Cascades Trailhead. This trailhead is about 1.7 miles north of the Lone Star Trailhead. Fern Cascades trail to Lone Star Geyser is about 3.2 miles, but is not open to bicycles.

    The Upper Firehole River, a calm, slow flowing creek weaves back and forth near the Lone Star trail for the first two miles of this backcountry experience creating a very beautiful, relaxing environment.

    Early flyers of Old Faithful had images of Lone Star Geyser drawn on the flyer because of its unique large cone. The idea was to attract people to Old Faithful by using something grander. Imagine that, marketers using false advertisements to sell something. One might assume that because of its large cone size the name is a reference to the Lone Star State of Texas. However, the geyser was named for its isolated location with no other geysers in the neighborhood.

    Two stories exist about how Lone Star Geyser was named. The first happened in 1879 when hunting was still allowed in the park. Colonel W. D. Pickett and J.M.V. Cochran camped near Old Faithful on a hunting trip. Later in their trip in a discussion with Henry Bird Calfee, a photographer for Yellowstone, they referred to the geyser as Lone. The second occurred in 1882 when two Northern Pacific Railroad surveyors working in the Upper Geyser Basin region came upon the geyser. They assumed they were the first to come upon Lone Star because of its remote location. They named it Lone Star Geyser in their notes.

    Eruptions occur every 2-3 hours for about 10-15 minutes and range in height from 30-50 feet. Between eruptions gurgling noises can be heard coming from the moaning belly of the geyser. Lone Star Geyser is definitely a treat served up by Yellowstone National Park.