Fountain Paint Pot Trail

This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Very Easy
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
1.0 km
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
7 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
Be the first to add a review!
Directions to Trailhead

The Fountain Paint Pots Trail is a remarkable display of geothermal wonder. This short and easy trail features geysers, hot springs, mud pots, and fumaroles. The fountain Paint Pots Trail follows a boardwalk and is easily accessible for families with children and hikers of all ages and abilities.

Download the 10Adventures App

View Fountain Paint Pot Trail on Map

View Map

Join our newsletter

Get a weekly dose of discounts and inspiration for adventure lovers

Route Description for Fountain Paint Pot Trail

The Fountain Paint Pots Trail is an incredible tour of geothermal features. This route is very popular and can get crowded with kids and tourists. We recommend heading out early in the morning to beat the crowds. Although this trail does follow a boardwalk, it does have a steep section and a few stairs, so it is not wheelchair accessible or stroller friendly. When hiking the Fountain Paint Pots trail, it is imperative that you stay on the boardwalk as the high temperatures and high acidity of these geothermal features can cause serious injury or death.

For an incredible tour of the geothermal features of Yellowstone National Park, look no further than the Fountain Paint Pots Trail. With active geysers, bubbling mud pots and hot springs, and smoking fumaroles, this area is truly otherworldly.

To hike the Fountain Paint Pots Trail, begin at the aptly named Fountain Paint Pot Trailhead and follow the boardwalk past the Celestine Pool, then take the path on your right to hike around the paint pots going counterclockwise. First, you will pass the colorful bacteria mats and bubbling mud pots, before making your way past a series of active geysers and looping around to the Celestine Pool.

Once you find yourself back at the start of the circuit, retrace your steps along the boardwalk to the Fountain Paint Pots Trailhead, where you began.

Trail Highlights

Fountain Paint Pot

The Fountain Paint Pots is a region in Yellowstone National Park named for the rainbow of red, brown, and yellow mud pots in the area. The different colors of these mud pots are caused by oxidizing iron in the mud. The intense heat of the groundwater below the Paint Pots causes the mud in these pots to bubble and boil like soup on a stove.

Fountain Geyser

The Fountain Geyser is the most prominent geyser in the Fountain Paint Pot area. This geyser erupts at intervals of 4-15 hours. Eruptions last approximately 30 minutes and shoot scalding water 23 m in the air.

Clepsydra Geyser

The Clepsydra Geyser is a constantly active geyser in the Fountain Paint Pots area. The eruption activity of the Clepsydra Geyser has changed over the years with earthquake activity in the area. These days, eruptions from this geyser reach up to 14 m in the air. The Clepsydra Geyser’s unusual name comes from Greek for “water clock”.

Morning Geyser

The Morning Geyser is an unpredictable but impressive geyser in the Fountain Paint Pots area. This fountain-type geyser goes through long periods of dormancy but when it goes, it goes big with eruptions reaching up to 61 m.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the Fountain Paint Pot Trail?

The Fountain Paint Pot Trail is 1.0 km long

How hot are the Fountain Paint Pots in Yellowstone?

The temperature of the Fountain Paint Pots vary, but the average temperature of these mudpots is approximately 167 degrees Fahrenheit.

Insider Hints for Fountain Paint Pot Trail

  • Don’t forget the camera! This trail is incredible.
  • For more geothermal features in the area, check out the Midway Geyser Basin Trail just down the road.

Getting to the Fountain Paint Pot Trail Trailhead

This hike begins at the Fountain Paint Pot Trailhead on Grand Loop Road.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground


  • When to do

    May to September

  • Pets allowed


  • Family friendly


  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type


Fountain Paint Pot Trail Elevation Graph

Weather Forecast

Check Area Weather

Fountain Paint Pot Trail Reviews

Add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Nearby Trails

Nearby Regions

Get travel inspiration and discounts

Join our weekly travel newsletter