SUMMARY: Lone Star Geyser is a large, cone shape geyser located in the Lone Star Geyser Basin about 3 miles southeast of Old Faithful Geyser. The Lone Star Geyser Trail follows the remnants of an old service road from the trailhead near Kepler Cascades on the Grand Loop Road. It is 2 ½ miles from the trailhead to Lone Star Geyser (5 miles roundtrip). The easy, mostly level trail follows alongside the picturesque Firehole River and passes through a beautiful pine forest that was spared from the 1988 firestorm. Numerous shady spots along the clear flowing river offer a place to linger and relax. Elk and deer are sometimes spotted in the meadows along the trail. Pack a snack or your lunch and plan to stay awhile as the eruption might last 30 minutes. Lone Star erupts approximately every 3 hours to a height of 35-45 feet. It’s recommended that you check with a ranger at Old Faithful Visitors Center to get an estimate of the time of the next eruption. The trail is restricted to bicycles and foot travel. Cyclists must dismount at the end of the asphalt and walk the last few hundred feet. Following the show, retrace your path to the Lone Star Geyser Trailhead. The Lone Star Geyser Trail is a favorite with cross country skiers during Yellowstone’s winter season (December-March).
RATING: Easy 5 mile roundtrip.
BEST TIME OF YEAR TO HIKE: Late May until the snow flies (mid-September to early October.) It is recommended that you check with a ranger at the Old Faithful Visitors Center to get the latest report on the Lone Star Geyser’s Trail’s condition and make sure it is free of snow and ice. The Old Faithful Visitors Center is located a short distance east of Old Faithful Inn.
AMOUNT OF TIME NEEDED: A fit hiker might complete the 5 mile hike in two hours. Keep in mind that the estimated eruption time of Lone Star is just that. Lone Star’s eruption is a spectacular show. Don’t fret if you have to wait a while for the show to start, it is quite a performance. It is recommended that you allow a leisurely one-half day.
DIRECTIONS TO TRAILHEAD: From the Old Faithful Visitors Center parking area drive northwest to Old Faithful Junction, staying in the left lane. At Old Faithful Junction, follow the sign toward West Thumb on to the Grand Loop Road. 3 ½ miles south of Old Faithful Junction, just past the parking for Kepler Cascades, turn right into the parking for the Lone Star Geyser Trailhead.