I had no idea. Before I came to Yellowstone I had no idea that there were “geyser gazers” who watched the geysers and reported with walkie talkies when they had erupted and that the National Park Service made predictions on when several of the main geysers were likely to erupt. As a park ranger, it’s now a part of my duty to watch Old Faithful, predict its next eruption, and take scientific readings in the field of other geysers in order to predict their next eruption. It’s all quite fascinating really.
But I’ve always been one for the serendipity of the moment. On my first Sunday morning in Yellowstone I decided to take a walk and explore the Upper Geyser Basin. As soon as I reached Castle Geyser it began to erupt. I’d had no idea that it was going to, so it was a complete surprise. I felt like an early explorer discovering the place for the first time.
Whether you like to get the predictions and wait for your favorite geyser to erupt, or whether you like to wander and have them surprise you like I did, this place is sure to delight you. You need to give Yellowstone some time.
Castle Geyser has a major eruption about every 10 hours. It goes through a water phase for about 20 minutes, and then blows steam for about 30 minutes after that. It’s powerful and noisy. This geyser, standing next to it, will certainly give you a sense of awe. I hope you can see it sometime.