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  • Writer's pictureJyothi Vummiti

Fountain Paint Pot/Lower Geyser Basin - Yellowstone NP

Fountain Paint Pot area showcases an impressive collection of all four of the hydro-thermal features in Yellowstone National Park - fascinating mud-pots, exploding geysers, colorful hot springs and fumaroles. Of all the groups in Lower Geyser Basin, Fountain Paint Pot is the most interesting group to explore.

Lower Geyser Basin/Fountain Paint Pots

A short 0.6 mile loop boardwalk passes some interesting hydro-thermal features like bubbling paint pots, active geysers, colorful hot springs and fumaroles. 

Fountain Paint Pots Nature Trail

There are many large and small, prominent and unnamed geysers across the basin. These are some of the features that can be easily spotted from the boardwalk.

​Silex Spring: Silex Spring is a beautiful turquoise blue hot spring. The spring boils occasionally and large bubbles of gas rise to the surface. Silex spring is a heavily overflowing spring.

Silex Spring

Bacteria Mat: The overflowing waters of Silex Spring has given way to the growth of thermophiles creating large areas of Bacteria Mats. This run-off water flows to the other side of the boardwalk and collects in a pool. Run-offs from other geysers also flowed in and killed lodgepole pine trees, which  now stand as tree skeletons slowly being consumed by silica from the bottom up.

Bacteria Mat

Fountain Paint Pot: Fountain Paint Pots are a soupy muddy mixture of heat, gasses, minerals, water, rocks, acids and even micro-organisms. Pastel pink and grey colors are a result of iron-oxides present in the mud. Snow, rain and seasons affect the behavior and consistency of these mud-pots. 

Fountain Paint Pot

Red Spouter: ​Red Spouter did not exist until a major 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck in 1959. Red Spouter was born in the aftermath, just like so many other features across Yellowstone. It boils, spits and spatters thick mud.

Red Spouter

Leather Pool: ​Leather Pool is a quiet dark pool. It is named for the dark bacterial mat that is often found in it warm waters.

Leather Pool

Fountain Geyser: ​Fountain Geyser is an active geyser in the basin. It erupts every 4-15 hours without much warning. Its violent explosions can reach up to 75 feet and in all directions.

Fountain Geyser

Jet Geyser: ​Jet Geyser is a frequent performer and is usually more active when Fountain Geyser is erupting. It erupts every 7-30 mins and can reach up to 20 feet high.

Jet Geyser

Spasm Geyser: ​Spasm Geyser is a small geyser right next to the boardwalk. Its crater is often dry but it is an active geyser and can erupt continuously for several hours. 

Spasm Geyser

Clepsydra Geyser: Clepsydra Geyser is a colorful geyser located behind Spasm Geyser. It is an active geyser almost erupting continuously and rarely stops for short intervals.

Clepsydra Geyser

Gear used: Fuji X-T20 with 18-55mm lens.

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