A short .2 miles off the main road you arrive at the parking lot where the trail begins. A single restroom and trash dumpster are convenient amenities and wheelchair access is listed for a portion of the trail. However, it is over a dirt and gravel path and not very wheelchair friendly. A short .3-mile trail through new growth lodgepole pine puts you at the base of the thermal features and Blood Geyser. From this point on you start your .3-mile journey with an ascent up wooden stairs and along boardwalks completing a loop around many of the features. At the apex of the loop, before starting your descent, is a lookout point that provides a spectacular view of Mt. Holmes in the distance and a view of the entire Artists Paintpots geothermal area.
Mud pots are scattered along the ridge and are the origin for the naming of this area. These bubbling mud features are caused by various gases rising to the surface through the mud causing it to bubble. While the bubbling is caused by the escape of the gases, it is still hot enough to burn you. In the spring and other wet seasons, the viscosity is thinner, and the mud pots can hurl mud a greater distance. So, be alert for flying mud as it can launch onto the observation sites. As you descend from the ridge and are once again on level ground, you complete the loop as you pass by some beautiful hydrothermal features of milky blue pools with orange bacterial mat edges.
Artists Paint Pots was mentioned in our article titled: "Best Places to Go and Things to do with Kids in Each of Yellowstone's 14 Road Sections"