Fountain Paint Pot
Stretch road-pounded muscles. Walk the 1/2-mile
boardwalk loop - safe, easy access to Yellowstone's
winter wilderness. Take a break from being road-bound.
Danger: Thin crust and scalding water. It is
unlawful to leave trails.
Caution: Thermal area trails may be icy.
The trail enters an alien garden of mud cities, ghost
trees, and ice crystal formations. Early in winter the
mud pots are thick and plastic, and hold shapes
longer. Later, after several snowfalls, the mud thins
and forms very different patterns. Watch a while:
the mud seems alive, like a planet being born.
Beyond the mud pots, the trail passes several
active geysers. Winter's fire-ice contrast inensifies
eruptions and steam clouds.