Mystic Falls – Biscuit Basin

Mystic Falls, Biscuit Basin, and the Biscuit Basin Overlook makes for a fantastic hike including a waterfall, fantastic geothermals, and wonderful views in one short hike.

I arrived at Biscuit Basin around 10am in early August which still afforded me a parking spot. After crossing over the Firehole River on a fun, old bridge, I entered a wonderland of pools. Black Opal Spring and Black Diamond Pool set the tone for many more wonderful pools. The crown jewel of the basin is Sapphire Pool which is crystal clear, deep, and an incredible blue.

Small geysers such as the Shell Geyser flung boiling water in the air, while extremophiles fed on hot, mineral rich water in brilliant oranges and deep green colors. This looping boardwalk is fantastic for everyone and is wheelchair accessible.

Mystic Falls 2I stepped off of the boardwalk and onto the Mystic Falls trail at the far west end of the boardwalk and entered into a hall of younger lodgepole. The trail loops to the top and back down to Mystic Falls and I decided to go right and climb up to the Biscuit Basin Overlook first.

The trail switchbacked up. While not incredibly steep, it will still get you breathing heavy. Thankfully, the interesting rock, the flowers, the raspberries, and the increasingly better views kept me busy until I reached the top.

Once on the top, the trail traversed along the cliff-edge with panoramic views looking south over Biscuit Basin and on to Old Faithful. Social trails at the top confused me a little, but I figured it out and walked the ridge heading west back through more lodgepole pines.

The trail had scant views through this section, then steeply dropped past wonderful rock formations, cliff walls, and boulder fields housing pikas which I thoroughly enjoyed. Mystic Falls comes into views in sections. It is tall, terraced, varied, and lovely.

After resting for a bit and enjoying the waterfall, I followed the Little Firehole River out back to Biscuit Basin. Hydrothermal features occur along the bank adding intrigue to an already beautiful, small river.

Back on the boardwalk, past the pools, springs, and geysers and to my car. Mystic Falls, Biscuit Basin, and Biscuit Basin Overlook are fantastic features that should be on anyone’s list when visiting Yellowstone National Park.

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6 Responses to Mystic Falls – Biscuit Basin

  1. Marilyn July 17, 2016 at 11:33 am #

    sounds like a great short hike…even for us seniors!

    • hike734 July 18, 2016 at 7:19 am #

      It is great! You can do it in sections. The boardwalk is obviously level, but so is the trail to Mystic Falls. From there, you can see if you want to climb up to the overlook. Just remember to get to the parking lot early! (before those dang buses)

  2. Marilyn July 18, 2016 at 12:02 pm #

    How about middle of September? Will it be less crowded? We are likely to climb to the overlook…we always want to see everything!!!

    • hike734 July 18, 2016 at 3:15 pm #

      Much better then… although I’d still go earlier in the day or in the later afternoon when people are starting to head to dinner.

  3. Sarah July 21, 2016 at 9:21 am #

    How long a hike to the top of the overlook where the best views are?

    • hike734 July 22, 2016 at 10:05 am #

      I don’t have an exact mileage from the car to the overlook, but you’re looking at no more than a mile.

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