Rating 13 Absolutely Wild 1-Star Reviews of Yellowstone's Old Faithful Geyser | Big Horn Basin Media

Rating 13 Absolutely Wild 1-Star Reviews of Yellowstone’s Old Faithful Geyser

Written by on March 17, 2023

Old Faithful: A Legendary Yellowstone Fixture

Whether you live just outside Yellowstone National Park, have spent a lot of time in the region, or are just planning your first trip to the park, you’ve probably heard about Yellowstone’s most famous geothermal feature: the Old Faithful geyser.

It’s not the biggest geyser in Yellowstone, nor does it have the most regular eruptions, despite the name. However, Old Faithful erupts more often than any other big geyser in the park, with some 20 eruptions each day at average intervals of 90 minutes.

Old Faithful is one of the world’s most iconic geothermal features, and certainly one of Yellowstone’s crown jewels. But there’s no accounting for taste, and you might be surprised at how many visitors found this beloved geyser… well, let’s just say it wasn’t the highlight of their trip.

Although Old Faithful enjoys a 4.7/5 rating on Google with over 20,000 reviews, dozens of users gave the geyser just one star. Not all of these people explained their low ratings, but, lucky for us, plenty of them did.

Now, clearly, these people decided to post their ratings and reviews on Google in order to help other visitors make sound decisions about which attractions to prioritize during their trip to Yellowstone. In the interest of helping incoming tourists make good choices, let’s go through these unfavorable reviews and assess them based on accuracy, reasonableness, and usefulness. We’ll leave out the names of these reviewers to protect the innocent.

So, what exactly did these presumably reasonable folks find unappealing about one of the most stunning features in America’s first national park?

Unabashed 1-Star Reviews of Old Faithful

Highly overrated. Check out the mud pits instead. Less crowds, and look cooler.

The “highly overrated” part is certainly a matter of opinion, and we’re all entitled to our opinions, so we’ll just have to agree to disagree on that point.

And although it’s difficult to say the mud pits “look cooler,” that again is a matter of opinion. But as far as visiting the mud pits, we can agree they’re a unique feature in Yellowstone and definitely worth stopping for.

Overall, a subjective but reasonably written review: 4 stars. Next.

Very anti-climactic. The speakers must have been broken since there were no sound effects or music. There was so much steam, it made the eruption blend in with the cloudy sky so it was just like looking at clouds. Even the bison nearby didn’t seem to notice the eruption was happening. Not worth the wait time, nor the lines for the bathroom afterward.

Uh, okay… lots to unpack here. First of all, if you’re looking for a cinematic production, you can just stay home and stream a movie — seems like traveling to Yellowstone was an unnecessary hassle for this person who would’ve been much happier watching a Marvel film from their couch.

It should go without saying that if you want to ensure optimal viewing conditions, you need to check the weather before you visit and use a little common sense. Who knew that white steam and white clouds might blend together?

Can’t help you with the part about the bison. If they didn’t seem bothered by the eruption, it’s probably because they weren’t. However, it might interest this reviewer to learn that plenty of tourons (tourists + morons) have found ways to get visible reactions out of the bison in Yellowstone, although precisely none of those interactions turned out positively for the tourists.

No argument here about the restrooms, but again, something a reasonable person should expect when they visit the most heavily-trafficked feature in the park.

Super unrealistic expectations, not the most reasonable complaints, but at least this person didn’t feel the need to go ALL CAPS on us: 1.5 stars. Moving on.

The Yellowstone was closed but we were not notified by the hotel.

This person sounds like they’re accustomed to traveling with a chauffeur. Obviously, it’s a bummer that they visited when the park was closed, but don’t we all prepare for that possibility whenever we travel… anywhere? The park service does a solid job of posting closure notifications and updates on the Yellowstone website — can’t help you if you aren’t using the free resources at your disposal, friend.

Poor situational awareness + not the hotel’s job: our first 0-star review. Will it be the last?

Could not find the settings for this bidet. Landed somewhere in Utah. Still getting physiotherapy.

Whoa, buddy. Doubt your insurance is going to cover the physiotherapy, but this is definitely one of the most unique Yellowstone experiences a visitor could hope to have.

This person clearly isn’t housebroken but they are chock full of that pioneer spirit: 4.5 stars.

Raining, Cold, the gyser took 40 minutes. I was at old faithful in yellow Stone and I froze my ass off. If you go to Yellowstone PACK SOME DAMN LONG UNDERWEAR!!!

We tried to see if this reviewer visited Old Faithful in the winter or shoulder seasons, but judging by the date associated with the photo they attached to the review, it looks like they were in Yellowstone in late spring. So, this one’s kind of a head-scratcher. But, frankly, 40 minutes is not an unreasonable wait time for an eruption at Old Faithful.

If you aren’t familiar with Yellowstone and Old Faithful, it might surprise you to learn that the geyser sits at an elevation of 7,349 feet. If you’re planning a trip to Yellowstone, have a look at the forecast and pack accordingly.

Simply awful grammar, went ALL CAPS on us, apparently has never looked at a weather report in his life, and, honestly, who needs long underwear for a little bit of rain? Welcome to springtime in the Rockies: 0 stars.

It can’t get much dumber than that, right?

The tour guide wouldn’t let me take a bath in one of the pools.

Well, that’s what we get for asking. 0 stars.

It was broken. I would love to see some improvements made in this area , then I might return

Just to be clear, you’re saying… you’re saying the geyser is broken? Like, the whole thing? Well, I’m sure the park service will get one of their plumbers right on that.

To be fair, maybe this person was referring to a segment of the boardwalk. Walking around the perimeter of Old Faithful to see it from every angle is enjoyable, and anyone who was looking forward to it would be understandably disappointed to arrive and find the boardwalk damaged.

Unclear as to what’s broken, but this person gets points for ending on a hopeful note: 2.5 stars.

Eription was not on target and messed up my mood for the day

Seems like the only “target” Old Faithful shoots for is the sky, which is pretty tough to miss. Maybe this reviewer was referring to the estimated eruption time? Look, Yellowstone (and, some would say, any national park or other vacation destination) is not the place to be in a hurry. Whatever happened to relaxing and taking in the natural beauty? It’s not like Yellowstone National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site or anything…

Inadequate spelling/grammar and the intestinal fortitude of leek soup: 0 stars.

I can’t believe how much water the Government wastes running this geyser. Theres people dying of thirst in third world country and we waste water pumpint it into Old Faithful.

At first glance, this looks like another sarcastic review. But to be honest, the poor spelling and grammar kind of call that into question, don’t you think? We just can’t afford to overestimate these people. As a Yosemite park ranger once said about designing a dumpster that’s both user-friendly and bear-proof: “There is a considerable overlap between the intelligence of the smartest bears and the dumbest tourists.”

Comedic intent unclear: 1 star.

Geyser didn’t erupt. They should call it Old Boring as Hell.

You don’t deserve to see an eruption. Mystery solved. 0 stars.

Too many people, parking is a sh**show. Skip this spot for sure. Buffalo are awful mean in this area just ask the floridians.

Look, if you visit one of Yellowstone’s most popular sites during peak tourist season in the middle of the day, you should be prepared for a bit of the good ol’ bumper-to-bumper. Not saying it’s pleasant, but keep in mind that the park service keeps infrastructure like roads and parking lots to a minimum in order to maintain Yellowstone’s natural beauty to the greatest extent possible. If you can’t find a spot for your diesel-powered 15-wheeler, that sounds like a personal problem.

And the buffalo aren’t “mean” — they’re simply content to help anyone who looks like they could use an attitude adjustment, that’s all. If you want to see them during your trip, check out our list of the four best places to see bison in Yellowstone.

Not wrong about the parking, but foolish for thinking anyone should outright skip Old Faithful. Good call on waiting for the Floridians to leave before you visit, though: 3.5 stars.

Didn’t wait for us to be alone. Just did it with everyone standing there. Not very faithful at all.

Some people’s children. 4.5 stars.

Alright, here’s the last one, but let’s not get our hopes up.

The scenery was amazing! The park was well maintained and awesome! The 800 other tourist not so much. This is a rating of the tourist for the most part. Obviously it’s one of the most beautiful places in the country. It’s the human beings that are the problem. I get it I’m part of the problem just being there but your selfie is not that important. Certainly not important enough to ignore other people and clearly marked signs not to step on fragile geothermal structures. I am not opposed to technology at all but put your phone down, be a decent human being and enjoy where you are at while you are there. There are plenty of professional photos you can look at later. Tell your friends and family you were there and leave it at that.

This final review said it all. 5 stars, A+, gold medal, first place, etc.

Just to clarify: this reviewer was thrilled by the park itself, including Old Faithful, and seems to give implied thanks to the park staff who work hard to give visitors a memorable experience. But, because of how their fellow tourists behaved, this person left a one-star review of Old Faithful.

This person couldn’t be more correct. No, it’s not exactly a new thing for Yellowstone tourists to behave selfishly, but for reasonable folks, it’s still appalling every time you see it. This review gets bonus points for calling out tourists that ignore posted warnings, especially the warnings designed to keep people from getting hurt.

All Yellowstone visitors should ponder one question: Why do national parks exist?

Hint: it’s not so you can build a following on social media. 

The entire point of establishing and maintaining national parks is to preserve areas where people can get out into the wild and experience pure, unadulterated nature. It’s how we gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us. No, you don’t need to be a monk in order to get something out of a trip to Yellowstone, but you aren’t going to create a more meaningful experience for yourself (not to mention the people around you) by narrating a live stream for your online followers while the people around you are trying to enjoy the peace and quiet.

If you want to find the serenity that left the first American explorers in awe and inspired people like John Muir, try heading off the beaten path and leaving the crowds behind. There are plenty of places with hardly any traffic that are perfect for creating a unique, tranquil experience in Yellowstone. A little research will go a long way.

For anyone who has questions about how to be respectful to the park itself and their fellow visitors, show them our helpful guide to responsibly visiting Yellowstone.

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