Old Faithful to Madison Section of Grand Loop Road
The Grand Loop Road in Yellowstone is the main method of travel through the park. It is shaped like a giant figure eight. Sections of this road are usually referred to by the two “junctions” that the section runs between. Below is the description of the road between Old Faithful and Madison Junction. For an index of all road sections in the park, see the Yellowstone Roads index.
Mile 0 – Old Faithful Interchange
From the Old Faithful Interchange, the Grand Loop Road heads to the east on the West Thumb to Old Faithful section and north to Madison Junction, as described below.
Mile 0.4 – Black Sand Basin
The parking area for Black Sand Basin is on the left. This is a nice thermal area with many outstanding features, including the Emerald Pool, shown to the left.
Mile 2.0 – Biscuit Basin
The parking area for Biscuit Basin is on the left. This is another small thermal area, named for formations that existed here until they were destroyed by an earthquake. Several thermal features can be seen, including the Wall Pool, shown to the left.
Mile 4.4 – Fairy Falls Trailhead
A good sized parking area on the left is for the Fairy Falls Trail. This trail leads less than two miles to Fairy Falls. Along the way is a good view of the Grand Prismatic Spring in the Midway Geyser Basin.
Mile 5.9 – Midway Geyser Basin
The road passes by the large parking area for the Midway Geyser Basin. Some of the largest features in the park are here, including Excelsior Geyser Crater, pictured to the left.
Mile 6.3 – Whiskey Flats Picnic Area
The road goes by the Whiskey Flats Picnic Area.
Mile 6.8 – Firehole Lake Drive entrance
The entrance to the one-way Firehole Lake Drive is on the left. This road goes by several interesting thermal features, including Firehole Spring, shown to the left.
Mile 7.8 – Fountain Paint Pots
Mile 9.5 – Mary Mountain Trailhead
The road passes the parking area for the Mary Mountain Trailhead. This is an access to several long hikes.
Mile 10.4 – Fountain Flat Drive
The Fountain Flat Drive is on the left.
Mile 11.5 – Firehole River Picnic Area
The road goes by the Firehole River Picnic Area.
Mile 13.7 – Firehole Canyon Drive exit
The one-way Firehole Canyon Drive rejoins from the left.
Mile 15.6 – Firehole Canyon Drive entrance
The Firehole Canyon Drive leaves the road to the left. Several scenic spots are along this drive, including Firehole Falls, pictured to the left. There is also a swimming area on the Firehole River.
Mile 16.1 – Madison Junction