Please read the WARNING about traveling safely in backcountry thermal areas.
Gibbon Geyser Basin is located about five miles south of Norris Geyser Basin. The thermal areas of the basin lie in clusters around the perimeter of Gibbon Meadows.
Only Artists' Paint Pots and Monument Basin are accessible by maintained trail. All other thermal areas require a knowledge of the geography and off trail bushwhacking to reach. Much of the area was heavily burned in the 1988 fires. Thus, reaching most areas requires navigating long stretches of deadfall.
Artists' Paintpots is the easiest group to reach in Gibbon Geyser Basin. It is accessible by a very easy and flat one mile, round trip, trail and boardwalk. The trailhead is located just north of spot where the Grand Loop Road enters Gibbon Canyon. At the south end of Gibbon Meadows.
As might be expected from the name, Artists' Paint Pots is a collection of pretty and colorful hot pools, springs and mudpots. The group is relatively small but the features are densely packed. Besides the pools and mudpots, there are also a couple of small perpetual spouters and small geysers in the area.
The bubbling and spouting seen in some of the features is not due to boiling but is caused by the evolution of carbon dioxide. The water in these pools is well below the boiling temperature.
The group is located at Paint Pot Hill. The clear water pools and geysers are located at the base of the hill. The paintpots are located a short distance up the hill. The paintpots, though small, are usually very active and fun to watch.
Geyser Creek Group:
Geyser Creek is one of the most dangerous areas in Yellowstone. Do not walk on the valley floor. Stay on the hillsides above the thermal areas.
No trail leads to this area which requires bushwhacking through dense deadfall to reach. The group lies about one half mile southeast of Artists' Paint Pots. It is best to have a guide for your first visit to this area. The group's features lie along Geyser Creek.
The Geyser Creek Group is home to the most vigorous activity in Gibbon Geyser Basin. There are numerous hot springs, a couple dozen small geysers and two large geysers in the group. There are also mudpots, fumaroles and other interesting features.