Our trip to Old Faithful Geyser, California, marked once again the beginning of a wonderful memory. We’d been planning this trip for only a short while, but the main thing that pushed us to it was so we could spend some time with my dad. While we have mostly relied on weekends to travel, a simple review of the place made us cautious enough to head out on May 9, 2022, a Monday. We set out from Union city around 7 AM and were already at Old Faithful Geyser at 9 AM. The weather was cloudy when we reached, but after a few minutes, it settled down; low, cool winds with the calm sun really made it nothing short of perfection.
I really have to hand it to the geyser’s keeper, who made sure we were informed and comfortable throughout the trip. It was flattering (and hilarious) for the keeper to give us a student discount because I came across a student, though I do have to say the keeper wasn’t exactly wrong since I am continuing my medical education. When we arrived, the geyser had already erupted about 40 minutes ago, and the keeper estimated it would re-erupt an hour after our arrival. We were also given a detailed guide about the Old Faithful Geyser which only made the trip easier.
As we didn’t research anything beforehand, we honestly had no expectations and were really glad to learn about the geyser’s history and how it works in extreme detail.
We learned that groundwater in the geyser is constantly heated by the Earth’s magma; this heat generates high pressure, which remains underground for a while. When it becomes difficult to hold the pressure in, the ground suddenly erupts after violently heating in an attempt to reduce pressure. The water then shoots out at an impressive height.
Of course, the Old Faithful Geyser has been erupting for well over a few decades. The indigenous tribes discovered the water’s healing properties, thanks to the abundance of minerals–and used the wet mud to treat stings and bites. The magic of the geyser can still be witnessed today; when it erupts, you’ll know what has been bewitching people for ages.
I do have to mention that it can be pretty taxing to wait an hour if you don’t have anything planned in between. But the hour was simply a blessing for me because I got to have a long and hearty conversation with my dad. We waited at the outdoor seating area and enjoyed the view. There were clean restrooms, chairs, and a comfortable lounge with eruption times, which kept us pleasantly entertained.
Surely, just like the keeper predicted, the geyser erupted after an hour for approximately 11 minutes. Because we had a rough idea of when it would interrupt, I was able to record a video and capture the stunning sight in its entirety.
While the geyser itself was a brilliant thing to witness, coupled with gorgeous hilly views and the breathtaking sky, what made our experience even more wonderful was how the environment was a great mixture of nature and fun. There was bocce to play and cardboard photo signs where you put your heads in to capture nice photos.
Overall, the experience was 10/10. Most of the credit goes to the keeper and of course, mother nature. The view itself was breathtaking and looked picture-perfect, but the sun can easily tan, so do lather a good amount of sunscreen beforehand!
Honestly, I’d keep coming here to catch up with someone while enjoying the view outdoors and waiting for the geyser’s next performance.