The Artist's Paint Pots trail is an easy hike to several geothermal features in Yellowstone National Park. From the boardwalk, you can see colorful hot springs, two large mudpots, a fumarole, and a couple of geysers.
Many of the geothermal features along this trail do not have names, and little is known about them. Montana State University maintains a database of features in this area as well as other areas of the park. They can be found at http://www.rcn.montana.edu/resources/features/features.aspx?nav=11®ion=9
Hydrothermal features are fragile rarities of nature. Yellowstone preserves the largest collection of hydrothermal features on the planet. You have an unparalleled opportunity to view hot springs, geysers, mudpots, and fumaroles in a natural setting.
Change takes place naturally in a hydrothermal area, but people can disrupt these processes and cause irreparable damage. Rocks, sticks, and other objects thrown into a hydrothermal feature may be permanently cemented in place, choking off water circulation and ending all activity.
For the sake of all who follow, never throw objects into any feature. Stay on established walkways for your safety and to protect fragile formations that have formed over thousands of years.
It is illegal to collect any natural or cultural objects or to remove, deface, or destroy any plant, animal, or mineral in Yellowstone's hydrothermal areas. Bring drinking water; take out all trash.
While viewing or photographing the area, protect your camera, glasses, and binocular lenses from hydrothermal heat and stray.
Toxic gases exist in Yellowstone. Dangerous levels of hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide have been measured in some hydrothermal areas. If you feel sick, leave the location immediately.
Help preserve Yellowstone for the future.