Significant resource damage and visitor safety concerns from off-trail travel on the hills south of Grand Prismatic Spring has led the park to construct and recently open the Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook Trail. To alleviate traffic congestion, safety concerns, and resource impacts, the park also made a parking area near the Fairy Falls Trailhead at Midway Geyser Basin. Parking is very limited at this popular destination.
Trail crew rehabilitated the hillside resource damage. They also designed and built the trail with assistance from the Montana Conservation Corps and Yellowstone’s Youth Conservation Corps. The new trail gradually climbs 105 feet over 0.6 miles from the Fairy Falls Trailhead to an overlook with views of Midway Geyser Basin.
The trail and overlook protects a heavily visited part of the park. Superintendent Dan Wenk remarked that the trail and overlook, “provide a different view of Grand Prismatic Spring and minimize the growth of unsightly, unofficial social trails in the process.”
The park also advises visitors to pack their patience. Anticipate traffic, limited parking, and delays at this and other popular park destinations.
Photos are available on Yellowstone's Flickr site.