Artist Paint Pots

Be sure to visit the Artist Paint Pots whenever you next find yourself in Yellowstone

Yellowstone never ceases to surprise those that take the time to visit her, providing an endless amount of adventures and sites to see for all those that make the trip out to the world’s first National Park.

At the same time, too terribly many people (especially those that visit Yellowstone for the first time ever) end up getting sucked into the more touristy areas of the park – and they never get the chance to see some of the most amazing landmarks just off the beaten path.

The Artist Paint Pots are perfect examples of one of the true hidden gems you’re going to find if you are willing to leave the major trailheads and do a little bit of “off the record” exploring. All the pictures and all the paintings ever made of this stretch of land simply cannot do justice to the beautiful and exotic landscape you’re going to find a when you visit the Artist Paint Pots for yourself.

Early Yellowstone explorers considered the Artist Paint Pots to be “greatest marvel we have yet met with”

One of the very first expeditions to Yellowstone National Park was the Washburn Expedition, a group of explorers that set out to not only travel across the Yellowstone but also to survey the early boundaries of this park all the way back in 1870.

Nathaniel Langford was one of the group leaders, and when they came across the Artist Paint Pots – just 3 miles south of the Norris geyser basin – he described it as the “greatest marvel we have yet met with”, something that could today be described as one of the greatest understatements in all of early American exploration.

Spotting what would come to be known as the Artist Paint Pots from a hillside, this expedition was able to survey the entirety of the colored mud pits that would forever bear the Artist Paint Pots name – really taking in all of the incredible colors that were on full display.

It’s the many minerals and iron oxides in each of these “mud pits” that provide the amazing tinted colors

The early expeditions had absolutely no idea what colored these different mud pits and how each mud pit (no matter how close to one another they may be) could be so much a different and brilliant color than the rest.

Today, modern researchers understand exactly how this is possible, an understanding that takes absolutely nothing away from the majesty of this area.

Thanks to the geothermal activity in the region (Yellowstone sits upon one of the largest super volcano sites in all of North America) all kinds of minerals and iron oxide elements have been pushed up to the surface in large concentrations. Combined with consistent geothermal activity that isn’t quite as intense as some of the other areas, these minerals combined with the soil in the region and provide the majestic colors that people come from all over the world to witness.

Make sure you take the time to visit the Artist Paint Pots if you’re ever in the area. This is not something to miss out on!

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