Top 10 Regional Natural Hot Springs
Pat Hill | Thursday Apr. 1st, 2021
Natural hot springs abound in the southwest corner of the Treasure State due to the geology of that mountainous region. Whether developed enterprises or still in a natural environment, Montana’s hot springs offer a unique and relaxing way to enjoy the Rockies.
Here are 10 hot springs within 150 miles of Bozeman that are among some of the favorite places to get into hot water.
Bozeman Hot Springs
Located just 8 miles west of town, Bozeman Hot Springs, which has been operating since the late 19th Century, offers 12 different pools (both indoors and outside, ranging from 57 to 106 degrees) for your soaking pleasure, as well as hot and dry saunas and a full fitness facility. They are currently operating at a limited capacity due to Covid-19. For more information, including hours and pricing, visit bozemanhotsprings.com/
Norris Hot Springs
Located 30-some miles west of Bozeman, Norris is a lovely place to enjoy natural hot springs, get a tasty meal made with local, organic ingredients, and even catch some live music. The original pool was built by miners in the 1860s, and the wood-lined and wood-floored pool there today reminds one of that original rustic pool, although this one is probably much better maintained. The springs are currently operating for the public on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. For more information about Norris Hot Springs, visit norrishotsprings.com/.
Fairmont Hot Springs
These hot springs were originally known as Gregson Hot Springs, after the original owners of the property, who acquired it in 1869 and soon began to develop the 12 hot springs located there. These days, after many owners and many stories, Fairmont boasts a fine hotel and restaurant, hot springs pools both in- and outside including a waterslide, a convention center, golf course and more. Coronavirus has put some limits on visitors, so be sure to check with Fairmont before heading out. Visit fairmontmontana.com for more information.
Boulder Hot Springs
Boulder Hot Springs boasts a 100-year-old historic inn in a natural and relaxing environment. The indoor pool temperature is kept at 104 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit, while the 20-foot by 60-foot outdoor pool is kept at 92 to 100 degrees seasonally. I personally think the water at Boulder offers some of the finest soaking for sore muscles in the region. Due to Covid-19, call the springs before heading out as reservations may be required to soak. For more information go to boulderhotsprings.com/
Spa Hot Springs (White Sulphur Springs)
Located in White Sulphur Springs, about 70 miles north of Livingston, the Spa Hot Springs is a family-friendly endeavor offering soaking in three different pools, as well as lodging in both the original motel as well as newer facilities. The first bathhouse was constructed here in 1872, and the chemical composition of these waters has been likened to those of Baden Baden Springs in Germany. For more information regarding the Spa Hot Springs, visit spahotsprings.com.
Chico Hot Springs
Since it opened its doors as a resort at the base of Emigrant Peak in the Paradise Valley, Chico has been beckoning both locals and tourists alike to its waters. With multiple lodging offerings ranging from the original hotel to Conestoga “glamping” and modern cabins, two pools for soaking, and an award-winning restaurant, as well as the Saloon and Poolside Grille, and even more, Chico is a destination well worth investigating. For more info check chicohotsprings.com.
Yellowstone Hot Springs
Located near the site of the old Corwin Hot Springs resort near Gardiner, Montana, this newest of developed hot springs in the state offers great open-air soaking in a mountain setting along the Yellowstone River. Visit yellowstonehotspringsmt.com for details.
Jackson Hot Springs
Nestled among the Big Hole Valley’s spectacular scenery sits Jackson Hot Springs, where Lewis and Clark wrote about stopping and cooking their meat in the hot water. The water’s a bit cooler these days in the outdoor pool at Jackson, and Jackson Hot Springs Lodge is a favorite hangout, with its huge, old-fashioned dance floor, tavern, cozy fireplace, and fine meals. Check out Jackson Hot Springs at jacksonhotspringslodge.com/
Elkhorn Hot Springs
Located in the upper Big Hole Valley some 40 miles from Dillon is Elkhorn Hot Springs, a primitive, family-owned operation in the Pioneer Mountain Range. Along with the soak, enjoy nearby Crystal Park or Bannack State Park. Elkhorn offers lodging as well as dining at this rustic mountain retreat. Learn more at elkhornhotsprings.com/
Boiling River (Yellowstone Park)
These hot springs between Gardiner and Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park require a short hike in from the parking lot. They remain in their natural state and are a popular soaking destination all year long. At present, the Boiling River is closed to swimmers because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Enjoy these and more of the natural hot springs Montana has to offer.