One of my favorite hikes in Yellowstone National Park is to the Artist Paint Pots. Is a about a mile long and the view is spectacular. It is a moderate hike that is easy for an experienced hiker and a little bit of a challenge for a beginner.
In Yellowstone on a busy day there is never enough parking at the sites. At Artiest Paint Pots there is a large parking lot that does fill up on busy days. On days that the crowds are light there is plenty of parking.
A trail starts out off of the parking lot and goes off to the thermal features of Artist Paint Pots. It is a relatively flat trail without large hills to climb until you get to the features. Once at the thermal area if you do not want to climb the hills you can simply turn around and go back to the parking lot and you will see much of the area.
But the best of the paint pots is up on the high parts of the trail. Up there you can see mud pots that bubble and send steam up into the air. One area has many mud pots making popping blooping sounds as bubbles shoot up into the air. If you stand too close you may even get hit by some of the mud as it splashes up.
I have been there when the weather has been wet. On wet years the mud pots are watery and not as spectacular yet they are still very nice. I have been there on dry years too and on a dry year the mud pots are thick and the air bubbles have a harder time popping to the surface. Yet they do pop with a thicker bubble that is magnificent.
I have also been there on years that have been really dry and the mud pots are almost dried up. A dry mud pot is more of a cracked muddy surface without much activity going on.
As you hike the trail you must keep aware of any animals that you might run into. Yellowstone is the home of many large dangerous animals and you must keep your distance. Leave plenty of room between yourself and the bear, buffalo, elk and even deer in the park.
If you would like to know more about the Artist Paint Pots hike in Yellowstone National Park you can go to http://www.everytrail.com/guide/artists-paint-pots-yellowstone-national-park.