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If you are in Yellowstone and wanting to see hot springs and nice waterfall all in short day hike, the Mystic Falls hike is a great option. The most direct route to the falls is only a 1.2 mile, 30 minute walk (one-way) on a flat trail. If you want a bit more exercise you can make a loop out of it by hiking up the switchbacks to Biscuit Basin Overlook for a nice view of the area (adds an extra mile to the journey).

Biscuit Basin Boardwalk

The hike to Mystic Falls begins from Biscuit Basin, a thermal area that is home to several beautiful hot springs and small geysers in the Upper Geyser Basin area. One of the most scenic is Sapphire Pool shown below – it is as crystal blue as the name implies. 

The dirt trail to Mystic Falls starts from the far end of the boardwalk and is clearly marked.

10-15ft Geyser Erupting Every 10 Minutes
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“Erupts Every 10 Minutes”

Trail to the Falls

Shortly after leaving the boardwalk and there is a junction where you can choose:

Left: flat, direct path to the falls (0.7 miles)

Right: a longer loop that goes up some switchbacks to an overlook of Biscuit Basin (1.7 miles + 500 vertical feet of elevation gain)

Mystic Falls

Additional Notes

– The parking at the Biscuit Basin trailhead is pretty limited so you may have to loop around several times before finding a spot, or it might be best to go during off-peak times.

– It’s always a wise idea to carry bear spray when hiking in Yellowstone. During the summer the trail is pretty busy so the chance of a dangerous bear encounter is probably lower than other trails in the park, but still it’s not a bad idea to carry bear spray.

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