If you’re an artist, I’m not sure you’d want to use these paint pots, named for their colors, but they’re another of Yellowstone’s unique features. The forest surrounding this area was reseeded naturally by the fire of 1988, when the fire almost reached the historic lodge near Old Faithful, the next stop on our tour. Nowadays, the heat is all under the surface. Many places in the park are boiling hot, literally, and although people are told to stay on the path, there have been casualties when someone fell in and was boiled to death, not my preferred method of dying!

The standing dead trees are called bobby sox trees for their white bases. When the nearby water flooded, the minerals plugged the base of the trees and they died.  As you go up the hill, there’s less water and where gas is present and escapes the mud bubbles and pops. Be careful not to get hit by flying mud. It had been dry when we were there, so some of the holes had dried up, forming fumeroles, or steam vents.

If you’d like to see the mud actually bubble, you can watch this short video: http://www.nps.gov/yell/photosmultimedia/0009artistpaintpots-iy.htm.










  1. Joe Owens says:

    I would like to visit Yellowstone one day. You make my desire greater with your descriptions. Thanks for sharing with us.

    • Joe, you’d love it and I hope you get a chance to go. I’m glad you’re enjoying coming on the trip with us and I love being able to easily share through the blog.


  2. A fascinating, beautiful, and scary place!

  3. mpejovic says:

    Cool pictures! A few weeks ago I watched a movie at the San Diego Natural History Museum about mammoths and they showed how young mammoth males tended to fall into these hot, muddy water pools and died there. I guess there’s one area where they found a whole bunch of skeletons. Definitely not an inviting place.