When you think geysers, which one is the first you think of?  Old Faithful, I'll bet.  When I googled most popular geyser in the world, that was the first one mentioned.  I'm guessing it's popularity comes from how much we can count on her going off consistently.

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Did you know there's a geyser in Yellowstone National Park that's not only about three times higher than Old Faithful, but one of the most well known geysers in the entire world, and arguably the largest geyser in the world?


Steamboat Geyser

This Yellowstone National Park geyser is the largest known active geyser in the world.  From the National Park Service, Steamboat Geyser will, sometimes, feature eruptions of over 300 feet.  There is only one geyser in the world that has ever been recorded to be higher, Waimangu Geyser in New Zealand, but that hasn't happened in over 100 years.

When Steamboat Geyser has a major eruption:

Water surges from two vents to varying heights, then suddenly water is expelled to more than 300 feet (91 m) high.

When Steamboat Geyser has a minor eruption they:

 reach 6–40 ft (2–12 m) and last 1–4 minutes. Intervals may be as short as 2–5 minutes.

Where is Steamboat Geyser?

The Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone Park

When Does Steamboat Geyser Erupt?

That's the thing.  There is not a set schedule for eruptions like Old Faithful.  In fact, there was a period of 50 years, where no one saw Steamboat Geyser Erupt.

After the 1959 Hebgen Lake Earthquake, Steamboat Geyser erupted for the first time in around 50 years.  Since then, there can be dozens of eruptions in a year, or 2 to 3 years of no eruption at all.  In 2019 and 2020, there were the most recorded eruptions of the geyser ever, 48 each year.   Since March 2018 the geyser has erupted fairly regularly.

How Can I Make Sure I See Steamboat Geyser Erupt?

You really can't.  It's one of those magical things that may or may not happen while you're visiting Yellowstone.


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