No Finger Painting Allowed
Size:  (not chosen)
Use of geocaching.com services is subject to the terms and conditions in our disclaimer
The Artist Paintpot area is a glorious place to hike and see the unique geothermal features. The trail is marked and maintained, it does climb stteply, however the views are worth the climb.
Geology: Paintpots defined, a spring or pit filled with boiling colored mud, also called mud pots. Wearing nose plugs when visiting the paint pots may be a good idea. When you smell get past the smell of rotten eggs, you can appreciate watching the mud boiling like a pot of pudding. The presence of sulfur is what makes paint pots diffrent from hot springs. The sulfur is what caused the rotten egg smell. Sulfuric acid breaks the rock down into clay. The "boiling" is caused by gases that excape throught the layers of mud. Although they are not as pretty as thermal pools or exciting as geysurs, paint pots are another feature the makes this area special. Paint pots are points close to major faults, called resurging domes, where lava flowed through the collapsing caldera. These points are carefully monitored for information about possible volcanic activity. Many of these paint pots are very colorful. These colors are due to the substances found in the water, and the color is a very good indicator of what these substances are. If a spring has a red color to it, most likely it is caused by a large amount of iron. If it is yellow, it is probably due to the presence of sulfur (though the smell of rotten eggs pretty much guarantees it is sulfur). Pinks and whites are often caused by the presence of calcium.
BEFORE you may log and claim this earthcache as a find, you must first email us your answers to the following questions. Do NOT put your answers in your log posting!
1. Looking west from the coordinates, how many Paint Pots do you see?
2. What causes the "boiling"?
3. Provide a picture of your party at the Paintpots.
4. Why are the Paint pots monitored?
The temperture of the piant pots is around 185 degrees F. The paint pots are isolated in a lodgepole forest at the end of a half mile hike. The thickness of the mud varies from sean to season. In the spring and fall the mud pots are thin and soupy, and the mud bubbles and boils. By the late summer the mud pots thicken and may hurl mud 10-15 feet high. Mud cones will also form when the mud is thick.
(No hints available.)