Artists' Paintpots

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Artists' Paintpots, located close to the road between Madison and Norris, is by far the most gorgeous and most popular thermal area of Gibbon Geyser Basin. A one mile loop trail, partly persisting of boardwalks, gives easy and secure access to all features. Artists' Paintpots is devided into two sections, a ground level, where outstanding colorful hot springs can be found, and an elevated terrace alongside Paintpot Hill, where the mud pots or paint pots are located. Unfortunately, only two of all features, Blood Geyser and Flash Spring, do have official names. For all others I have used the code from the RCN database.

The view from Paintpot Hill explains more than a thousand words why this area has been named Artists' Paintpots.

Artists' Paintpots Yellowstone
View over the lower section of Artists' Paintpots

Here we will follow the loop trail counterclockwise to present the main features. The first spring you encounter on the lefthand side is GAPNN023.

Hot spring GAPNN023, Artists' Paintpots Yellowstone
Hot spring GAPNN023 (Paintpot Hill in background)

Across the boardwalk from GAPNN023 the rusty brown spring GAPNN021 can be seen.

Hot spring GAPNN021, Artists' Paintpots Yellowstone
Hot spring GAPNN021

On the same side GAPNN020 follows, showing finely graduated pastel colors.

Hot spring GAPNN020, Artists' Paintpots Yellowstone
Hot spring GAPNN020

The third in a line is GAPNN003 with a strangely dottet surface.

Hot spring GAPNN003, Artists' Paintpots Yellowstone
Hot spring GAPNN003

A bare, dark gray to red colored area with three exceptional springs attracts more attention from vistors. GAPNN011, the first spring, contains a light bluish gray, boiling slurry. Up to and including 2010 it had nearly the same appearance as the following GAPNN006 and GAPNN007.

Hot spring GAPNN011, Artists' Paintpots Yellowstone
Hot spring GAPNN011

The other two springs, GAPNN007 and GAPNN006, exhibit a nice bluish oplascent glow.

Hot spring GAPNN007, Artists' Paintpots Yellowstone
Hot spring GAPNN007

Hot spring GAPNN006, Artists' Paintpots Yellowstone
Hot spring GAPNN006

After climbing the terrace at Paintpot Hill you come across two large mud pots on the right side. Because of the pinkish tinted mud, they are also called paint pots. So to speak, the paint pots of Artists' Paintpots. In summer the mud usually dries out a little bit and thickens, so the bubbling and spouting activity declines.

Paint Pots GAPNN059 and GAPNN060, Artists' Paintpots Yellowstone
Paint Pots GAPNN059 and GAPNN060

Subsequently, the hematite rich red pool GAPNN058 and a cluster of the springs GAPNN057 and GAPNN056 line the trail.

Hot spring GAPNN058, Artists' Paintpots Yellowstone
Hot spring GAPNN058

Hot springs GAPNN056, GAPNN057 and GAPNN058, Artists' Paintpots Yellowstone
Hot springs GAPNN056 (left), GAPNN057 (center), and GAPNN058 (in background right)

GAPNN053 would look very much like the springs before if it were not dried up.

Hot spring GAPNN053, Artists' Paintpots Yellowstone
Hot spring GAPNN053

The row of muddy features ends with the pinkish, crater shaped paint pot GAPNN048.

Paint pot GAPNN048, Artists' Paintpots Yellowstone
Paint pot GAPNN048

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