Visiting the Old Faithful Geyser (Calistoga, CA)
I didn’t think I would have a chance to visit the Old Faithful Geyser in Calistoga before moving, but we had a few extra days and decided to go.
Truthfully, I didn’t know a lot about Geysers.
A geyser is a spring characterized by discharge of water ejected forcefully. It’s also accompanied by steam. Geysers are located near active volcanoes because the “geyser effect” is due to the magma of volcanoes. Generally, the surface waterworks down to an average depth of over 6000 feet, where it contacts hot rocks. The result creates a pressured HOT geyser effect out of the surface vent (what we see).
There are two types of geysers:
- Fountain Geysers: which erupt from pools of water. They are usually intense and violent.
- Cone Geysers: Usually steady jets that last between a few seconds and several minutes. Old Faithful Geysers are typically Cone Geysers, although the Old Faithful Geyser in Calistoga is tough actually to see the “cone.”
How Many Geysers are in the world? Over 1000.
Where are the geysers located? Mostly in Wyoming in Yellowstone.
You can learn more about Geysers here.
What makes a Geyser an “old faithful”?
Old Faithful Geysers have regular eruptions. Their eruptions are faithful, and you can count on them to happen.
We were lucky enough to live locally to the Old Faithful Geyser in Calistoga.
It does cost $15 to get into the Geyser, but there is a lot to do, and I think it’s well worth it.
The Old Faithful Geyser of California was declared one of only three “faithful” geysers in the world because of its regular eruptions. It’s also known for its good predictor earthquakes. When the Old Faithful Geysers eruptions are delayed or don’t occur, an earthquake will likely happen in the surrounding 500 miles.
There is a lot to do at the Old Faithful Geyser in Calistoga versus “just sitting around and watching the geyser.”
So What is there to Do?
- Animal Farm There are plenty of animals, and you can even buy food to feed them! They currently have Tennessee Fainting Goats, Jacob’s Four-Horn Sheep, Cameroon Pygmy Goats, and Guard Llamas.
- Gardens: The Gardens feature California native plants with a natural mineral water fountain as a center point. Plus, you’ll see paranomaic views of the mountains.
- Picnic: You are allowed to bring your own food and drink. We actually brought a pizza and enjoyed it at one of the tables.
- Geology Museum: I found the geology museum fascinated, and you can learn not only about the Old Faithful Geyser in Calistoga but also how geysers work, volcanoes, earthquakes, and the history of the region.
- Giftshop: Like any tourist attraction, there is a full gift shop where you can purchase almost any type of souvenir you want.
My experience at Old Faithful Geyser in Calistoga:
We went on a weekday around 4 pm. I’ve heard it can get crowded, but there were. When we arrived, the Old Faithful Geyser in Calistoga was already going off! I heard that some people waited hours to see it, so I was worried that we would miss it if we didn’t “hurry.” That wasn’t the case, and the Old Faithful Geyser in Calistoga went off the entire time we were there.
We enjoyed watching it while eating the meal we brought. We kept waiting for it to stop so we could do other things, but ultimately after an hour of just relaxing, we decided to check out the rest of the property.
While I didn’t have any interest in feeding the animals, I enjoyed watching them. The Guard Llama amused me. I also enjoyed learning more about geysers and volcanoes; I didn’t know much about either before.
If you are in the area and looking for a relaxing and unique dinner idea, consider the Old Faithful Geyser in Calistoga. It’s definitely family-friendly and a great idea for anyone.
You can learn more about the Old Faithful Geyser in Calistoga here.
Questions for you:
Have you ever seen a geyser before?
What is a fun tourist attraction in your area?