Thumb Paintpots 1


Known today as the Thumb Paint Pots, the Hayden Expedition of 1871 originally named these fanciful features the "Mud Puffs." Picture a field of miniature mud volcanoes that are 3 to 4 feet (1 meter) high with steam curling from their delicate mud chimneys in various shades of red. Surrounding the cones, the mud appears to be stirred and mixed to the smoothest, most satiny consistency by some unseen hand. Sometimes the mud was thrown 25 feet (7.6 m). Beginning in the early 1970s, the Paint Pots became less active. Activity has increased again, however.

Mudpots differ from most hot springs; their water is much more acidic and dissolves the underground geological "plumbing system" into wet clay mud. Also, mud pots vary with precipitation and groundwater levels. Sometimes they look like muddy water; other times they look as if you could build pottery with their mud.
*Adapted from the West Thum Geyser Basin Trail Guide and the West Thumb Interactive Tour

Feature Type

Not Reported

Inventory ID



Latitude: 44.41602
Longitude: -110.5713
Survey Date: June 21, 2000

Geographic Area: West Thumb
Thermal Region: West Thumb Geyser Basin
Thermal Complex: Lower Group
Ranger District Contact: Grant District, Matt Vandzura (307) 344-2601

Feature Data

Data Source Supplied By Sample Date Temp Vent Temp pH Cond Extended Data
Park 6/21/2000 -- 0°C -- -- No
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