About a quarter mile past the waterfall, we came to Imperial Geyser, a gurgling geyser situated within a crystal clear blue thermal pool. It's always pretty neat to see a thermal feature off the beaten path, away from the touristy boardwalks near Old Faithful and the other geyser basins. This was no exception.
Just past Fairy Falls
From Imperial Geyser, we headed deeper into the woods into partially burned forest. We started climbing up a ridge and from there entered a lush, unburned forest.
The partially burned ridge
The lush forest
We continued on for several miles, in and out of the forest until we finally got to Mystic Falls (about 11 miles into the hike). The falls were really beautiful and were in a very dramatically part of the trail. After checking out the falls, we pushed through the final leg of the hike, ending up at Biscuit Basin, about 2 miles down the road from our car. Casey was able to catch a ride to the other trailhead and get the car to pick us up.
The view above Mystic Falls
Unfortunately, my knee started hurting quite a bit during this hike. I am pretty sure it is an overuse injury related to my very tight IT band. I hope that a little rest will let it heal so I can do some more hiking before I leave in a few short weeks. I am sad I had to get hurt when Casey is here visiting as I was looking forward to lots of hiking with him.