Of all the trail loops in Yellowstone National Park, Fountain Paint Pot trail is one of the most interesting trail of Yellowstone park. It lies in the Lower Geyser basin which is scattered over wide expanse of area and is characteristically marked by all the geothermal features like geysers, fumaroles, mud pots and hot springs. This unique feature made this part of the Yellowstone stand apart from the rest.
Celestine Pool at a distant.
While none of the geysers here are as famous as Old Faithful and its companions, but in just a half -mile long compact trail loop can guarantee you a great show.
Imagine you are standing alone in a wide expanse of area, as wide as it stretch beyond the horizon and fused with the deep blue sky above, the periphery of your view is surrounded by tall pine trees and other conifers, at a distant you can see the Yellowstone river flowing quietly. The Earth near you is all painted in numerous shades of brown, white, pink, oranges, yellow and you are surrounded on all sides by numerous geysers that erupts synchronously in tune following some unknown rhythms, clouds of steams slowly venting out from the fumaroles and somewhere near you a giant vat of bubbling super heated water is in progress. Isn’t it thrilling and exciting?
I just felt the same way when we stood there in silence, watching the spectacular live theater of nature. For few moments, I forgot to bring out my camera. The feeling that can not be described in words and can not be captured in camera. But for our memories, I shoot some and then relaxed, soaking every bit of this beautiful scenario, which is out of the world in true sense.
Above is the Fountain Paint pot displaying a beautiful colorful palette of pink, brown and white. The colors are derived from the different oxidation states of iron present in the mud. In late Summers, the water table goes down and the mud becomes thicker.
Below is the fumaroles and giant mud pots bubble and spews mud springs at regular interval.
Clepsydra Geyser – The second photo – It performs persistently and splashes water from several vents every three minutes, covering the landscape in the blanket of clouds of steams. It takes break only when its neighbor Fountain Geyser erupts. Besides these two, this area of Yellowstone park displays many clusters of geysers that erupts with various levels of regularity.
Below is the Silex Spring – It is a beautiful blue hot spring with white silica rim and orange crust growing outwardly. You can see in the picture steam jetting into the pool from the vent at the bottom of the pool.
Another interesting thing that will greet you as you walk down the boardwalk are the rows and rows of dead lodge pine trees that did not survive in this new soil. As the hot springs shifts through time, the simmering hot water explodes with fury, steam streaming away on the wind turning these pine forest lifeless. Earth around is scorched black, trees stripped to bare bones of trunk and branches and yet stood proudly telling stories of battlefield . There is beauty in everything. Even when they are dead. In the evening when the sun sets, painting the landscape in many shades of orange, yellow and crimson, these pine trees looks quaintly beautiful and scenic, telling a different story.
Make it happen – The access to trail head – from Old Faithful, it is about 8.5 miles north on Grand Loop in Lower Geyser Basin. From the other directions, it is 8 miles south of Madison Junction on Grand Loop Road.
Read here how to reach Yellowstone National Park.