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Lone Star Geyser
Lone Star Geyser in Yellowstone National Park is a great, cone geyser set away from the large collection at Old Faithful. The path to it is along an old road that is bike-friendly and follows a beautiful, lazy section of the Firehole River.
Just east of the Kepler Cascades pullout is the parking lot for the trailhead to Lone Star Geyser. I parked there, went through the gate at the trailhead, and began walking down the road. This trail follows the Firehole River and begins at a section where there is some kind of water works diversion. The trail follows the river upstream along an older stand of lodgepole pines.
It was a perfect, sunny day, and the shade was welcome. The river meanders and the path stays true to the river, never straying very far. There are a few spots that I stopped and just stared at fish in the river and the plants growing in the bottom, lazily swaying in the current. I passed a small hydrothermal feature that was steaming and bubbling just off the road as well as a couple of nice, pocket meadows.
The road crosses over the river on a bridge. The road is no longer used by the public and has a few sections that are degrading, but it makes for great walking and biking. I was passed a few times both going and coming by bicyclists. Eventually, the road leads to the basin where the Lone Star Geyser sits. A few bikes sat leaned up against the gate as they aren’t allowed past that point.
The geyser’s cone is immediately visible when you enter into the basin. All around, you can see pockets of bubbling pools and steaming vents. The geyser itself was steaming and spouting when I arrived. I failed to check with the Old Faithful Visitor Center to see when it was estimated to erupt again, but luck was on my side and it was about to go off.
The geyser sat there and had some pretty nice spouting and steaming action going on and one might mistake that for an actual eruption. I was sitting next to a couple that assured me that wasn’t the case and I waited for it to finally erupt and, when it did, it was fantastic. It shot high in the air and lasted quite a while. I moved over to have the sun behind me and a chunk of rainbow appeared in the mist.
Overall, it was a great, mostly level hike. The river is beautiful and relaxing and the geyser is great. It’s pretty predictable and way less busy than Old Faithful. If the distance is too much to walk, take a bike on the path, then wait for the show.