Artist Paintpots Hike

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone, Wyoming

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Artist Paintpots Hike


  • The start of the Artist Paintpots Trail.- Artist Paintpots Hike
  • Near the trailhead of the Artist Paintpots Trail.- Artist Paintpots Hike
  • Wildflowers and dead trees in the meadow.- Artist Paintpots Hike
  • Lower thermal features of Artist Paintpots.- Artist Paintpots Hike
  • Looking down on the boardwalk from the top of the loop.- Artist Paintpots Hike
  • The view from the top of the loop is grand.- Artist Paintpots Hike
  • Artist Paintpots.- Artist Paintpots Hike
  • Artist Paintpots.- Artist Paintpots Hike
  • Artist Paintpots.- Artist Paintpots Hike
  • A boardwalk winds among the thermal features.- Artist Paintpots Hike
  • Artist Paintpots Trail.- Artist Paintpots Hike
Overview + Weather
Interesting thermal features. Great views. Easy hike.
Thermal pools are not as extensive or spectacular as other areas.
Yellowstone, WY
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
100.00 ft (30.48 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
1.00 mi (1.61 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
7,350.00 ft (2,240.28 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Paintpots or mudpots are some of Yellowstone National Park’s most unusual features. Created when the water of a hot spring is very acidic, mudpots are “muddy” because of the dissolved rock that builds up in them. Minerals in the rocks add color to the mud and create fascinating burbling pools.

Honestly speaking, the best feature of the Artist Paintpots hike is not the mudpots, though they are interesting. The views are the highlight here, with both close-up overlooks of beautiful thermal features and distant views of the meadows and hills on the Yellowstone Plateau. After a flat, wheelchair-accessible walk to the base of the thermal area, the trail forms a loop that can be taken either direction. Going to the right, there is a stretch of boardwallk that winds among the lower pools. The bubbling Artists Paintpots are at the top of the bluff, as are the most inspiring views.

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(11 within a 30 mile radius)

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(64 within a 30 mile radius)

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