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Hiking & Walking: Wyoming > Yellowstone National Park

Quick Facts

Artist Paint Pots Trail

Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Length: 1.0 Mile (1.6 Kilometers)
Recommended Season: Summer
TI Topo Maps: Mammoth Hot Springs
USGS Map: Noris Junction Quad

Outfitters and Guides

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

Artist Paint Pots Trail, located near Norris, offers an easy one mile roundtrip hike. This is one of the overlooked yet wonderful short hikes of Yellowstone. The trail winds across a wet meadow on boardwalk then enters a partially burned lodgepole pine forest. The thermal area within the short loop at the end of the trail contains some of the most colorful hot springs and small geysers found in the area. Two mud pots at the top of the hill allow closer access than Fountain Paint Pots. Caution for flying mud! Remind folks to stay on the trail throughout the area.

Directions from Norris: Travel 4.5 miles south on the Norris-Madison road.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: Mid-May through Late September .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Filed By: Michele Trowell (Nampa, ID)
Time of Day: noonish
Length of Time: about 45 minutes to an hour
Difficulty: Easy
Number of People Encountered: 25-50 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: The hike was easy, but not boardwalk the entire way, like many other trails. Was pushing a one year old in stroller, had to fold it up and carry the baby for some of the hike. Very worthwhile. These sites allow you to get very close to some of the pots and the sounds are fantastic. My 10 year old and 6 year old boys thought the "natural" sounds were the best part. Not really a good place to eat lunch, although I think I saw 1-2 picnic tables by the parking lot.
Conditions: Where the boardwalk ended the trail was narrow, single file hiking. Beware of rocks, like any other hiking. Exposed to sun the entire trail. There was one spot of mud. By the way, NO BATHROOMS! Don't expect to combine this with a pit stop.
Water Availability: There isn't any water. So if you require any, take it with you.
Recommended Clothing: We were wearing shorts and t-shirts with good walking shoes. Not suggested for sandals or thongs. Wear a hat and maybe sunglasses too.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Hiking & Walking Artist Paint Pots Trail
ICON Viewing Interpretive Sites

Related Activities
Monument Geyser Basin Trail - Monument Geyser Basin Trail, located near Norris, offers a difficult two mile hike.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Yellowstone National Park, P.O. Box 168 , Yellowstone, WY, 82190, Phone: 307-344-7381


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