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gem icon Artists Paintpots

8 votes

Description

Just south of the spectacular Norris Geyser Basin, visitors will find the equally as stunning Artists Paintpots. This hydrothermal area has a lot to offer, and visitors will be able to take in a variety of geothermal features, many of them unique to the area. Along the short trail that leads through the area, visitors will have the opportunity to take in boiling pools, steaming hillsides, and pastel colored mud pots.

The Artists Paintpots themselves are mud pots situated on a small incline, just high enough up slope to limit the amount of water that the features can utilize. These limited water resources allow mud pots to form. Unlike geysers and springs, mud pots are usually cut off from underground thermal water features. Instead, heated gas such as Hydrogen Sulfide or steam rises through the ground, heating surface water and releasing more steam. This steam rises through the rock, breaking it apart. With the help of microorganisms, the Hydrogen Sulfide gas is converted into sulfuric acid, which aids in breaking rock down into clay. These clay rich pots then bubble merrily as gas continues to be released. Various mineral compounds give the pots distinctive color, with Iron Oxides being primarily responsible for the gray, beige, and pink hues that can be seen at Artists Paintpots. The pastel colors are a striking juxtaposition with the landscape and are reminiscent of an artist's palette. Combined with the milky blue pools located downslope, and visitors can imagine the area as a starting point for a massive watercolor painting.

While Yellowstone offers many different types of geysers and hydrothermal features, stopping by Artists Paintpots offers a less crowded option, and shows off some of the Park's lesser known features. Visitors will enjoy these bizarre pots, and a stop here is well worthwhile.

Short Walk: Boardwalks and trails leave right from the parking area, allowing visitors to choose how far they'd like to wander.

Gem Type: Geothermal Hotspot

Shared by:
Mikhaila Redovian

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Shared by Mikhaila Redovian on Jun 2, 2016. All Page Views: 269. Last Month: 66.