Fairy Falls Professional Reviews and Guides
"A short, easy, popular hike to a beautiful waterfall. This is not the only way to see Fairy Falls, but it is the shortest and most popular route. From the trailhead walk on Fountain Flats Drive as it crosses the Firehole River on a bridge and skirts the west side of the Midway Geyser Basin, with Grand Prismatic Spring off to the right (east). After 1 mile the Fairy Falls Trail turns left (west) off the road. The trail is well traveled and easy to follow as it goes through thick lodgepole, past campsite OD1, and on to Fairy Falls. Fairy Falls is a delicate, 197-foot waterfall named for its graceful beauty. There’s a bridge below the falls, and a short spur trail allows you to get an even closer look at the waterfall and the deep pool it has carved out."
--Bill Schneider, Hiking Yellowstone National Park (Falcon Guides).
"Fairy Falls is a slender, 200-foot vertical waterfall that splashes into a beautiful pool in a shady rock grotto. This near-level hike skirts the edge of Midway Geyser Basin past geysers and springs parallel to the Firehole River. The path leads thorough a lodgepole pine forest that was burned to a crisp in the 1988 fire. It is fascinating to see the growth of the new trees carpeting the valley floor."
--Robert Stone, Day Hikes in Yellowstone National Park (Day Hike Books).
"A long day hike or overnighter for experienced hikers. This is a great hike to Fairy Falls, Imperial Geyser, Little Firehole Meadows, and Mystic Falls. It ends at Biscuit Basin Trailhead (OK4), 2 miles up the road, so if you want to avoid walking this stretch when you finish, leave a vehicle or bicycle here. When I first hiked this route in the mid-1990s, it was a route-finding challenge, but when I hiked it again in 2011, the trail was in great shape all the way. From the trailhead follow Fairy Flats Trail as it crosses the Firehole River on a bridge and skirts the west side of the Midway Geyser Basin. You can often see large numbers of people viewing Grand Prismatic Spring. In less than 1 mile, turn left (west) off the road onto Fairy Falls Trail."
"This family-friendly dayhike epitomizes what’s so wonderful about the Yellowstone backcountry. Just a short distance off the road, you’ll find one of the park’s tallest waterfalls and a couple of intriguing, seldom-seen geothermal features. It’s a jeans-andtennisshoes sort of picnic outing."
--Andrew Dean Nystrom, Top Trails Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks (Wilderness Press).
"Located 6 and 8 miles south of Madison Junction (which is 15 miles east of West Yellowstone, Montana), in the west-central part of Yellowstone National Park. Two short, flat, half-day hikes into the steaming heart of Yellowstone's geothermal activity area."
--Bill Hunger, Hiking Wyoming (Falcon Guides).
Paved trail that is flat - less foot traffic than expected. I wish I did not wear my hiking shoes, to be honest. A great trail to do, but the best part is hiking up the hill towards the start of the trail to see the Grand Prismatic Gesyer from the top!
this was a nice day walk/hike. not strenuous at all. enjoyable for all levels. the water fall was beautiful. a must do if in the park
We started at the Fairy Falls trailhead. The trail is level the whole way, starting off on a gravel fire road that passes along the back of Grand Prismatic Spring. You can climb the hill behind the spring for a grand view of it. Nicer than the view from the official boardwalk on the other side, I thought. A little further, you turn left into the lodgepole pine regrowth. Not beautiful, but fascinating to see close up results of a major fire and how nature comes back. The falls were impressively high, though not a lot of water in August. We got a good look at a marmot foraging in the area below the falls. We made a circuit of about 8 miles by taking the Imperial Meadows trail just past the falls. The hewn log "boardwalk" was so cool I walked it even though the ground was dry. We could see the falls in the distance for a long time. After all the warnings to stay on boardwalks, I was nervous when the trail crossed something that appeared to be a nascent spring, but we just got our boots a little wet. Finally, we reached the intersection with the fire road and turned right toward the trailhead. A nice pond was on the left between us and the Firehole river, but we didn't see anything special wildlife-wise.
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