Yellowstone Fountain Paint Pots Trail
This trail can be found near the West entrance to Yellowstone. It is a truly amazing place that has a good representation of the geothermal features you can find within the park. The fountain paint pots trail is well worth the stop. Within this trail you will find several geysers, some bacteria mats, fumeroles and a couple amazing bright blue hot pools.
In the video above you will see many of the geysers and attractions that this trail offers. If you don’t want to watch the video keep reading, because we are going to take a virtual tour through the entire Fountain paint pots trail right here.
As you are walking down the first portion of the trail you will come to Silex Spring. This bright blue hot pool has a bottom lined in silica. The latin name for silica is silex, which is how this stunning hot pool got it’s name. The edges and surrounding area of the Silex pool are covered in heat loving bacteria. The various colors of this bacteria prefer different temperatures. The brown bacteria around the perimeter of the pool likes cooler temps than many bacteria in this area.
The Fountain Paint Pot
Acids in the steam and water break down rocks and minerals to form this clay. In the early spring (as shown here and in the above video) the mus is quite thin from large amounts of snow runoff. During the hot summer and fall, the paint pots are more of a dried thick cracked mud with an occasional spurt. To see the mud pots in their glory, I recommend visiting this area in April or May.
Gases and steam from deep within the earth escape at these fumeroles. You can clearly hear the hissing of the hot gasses escaping. Any water that enters a fumerole will quickly flash into steam.
This small geyser can burst water up to 20′ in the air. It erupts fairly often in the time leading up to the fountain geysers eruption. You can see it erupt in the video near the top of this page.
This is a truly massive spectacle when it goes off. Of all of Yellowstone’s geysers, the morning is one of the largest. It rarely ever erupts, so if you get to see it you are quite fortunate. You can watch an eruption in a video located at the Yellowstone geysers page.
This geyser erupts regularly and puts on a nice show. You can see water spraying in every direction. Watch the Yellowstone Clepsydra Geyser erupt at this video.
This page certainly doesn’t show all of the amazing geologic features you can find at Yellowstone’s Paint Pots Trail, but you have gotten a taste of what it has to offer. This is a remarkable place in the park and I hope you get a chance to see it with your own eyes, you won’t regret it.