When we think of Montana, it’s cabins, skiing, and the great wilderness that usually come to mind. Montana is also one of those states that remind us of cowboys, westerns, driving cattle, and big stretches of wilderness. But Montana, one of the USA’s most beautiful states, also boasts a wealth of natural hot springs.
The mineral-rich waters of hot springs have been used for healing and well-being for many centuries. Native American people were among those that would migrate to these natural wonders to rejuvenate both physically and spiritually.
Montana hot springs locations offer resorts and developments around many of its springs. There is also a fair share of unspoiled, undeveloped springs in natural settings to explore as well.
29 Hot Springs in Montana, and Beyond
Table of Contents
- 29 Hot Springs in Montana, and Beyond
- 1. Alameda’s Hot Springs Retreat, Hot Springs
- 2. Big Medicine Hot Springs, Hot Springs
- 3. Boiling River – Yellowstone National Park
- 4. Boulder Hot Springs Inn and Spa, Boulder
- 5. Bozeman Hot Springs, Bozeman
- 6. Broadwater Hot Springs, Helena
- 7. Chico Hot Springs Resort and Day Spa, Pray
- 8. Elkhorn Hot Springs, Polaris
- 9. Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, Anaconda
- 10. Hunters Hot Springs, Springdale
- 11. Gigantic Warm Spring, Lewistown
- 12. Jackson Hot Springs, Jackson
- 13. K Bar L Ranch and Medicine Springs, Augusta
- 14. Landusky Plunge, Lewistown
- 15. Lolo Hot Springs, Lolo
- 16. Lost Trail Hot Springs – Sula, Montana
- 17. Nimrod Warm Springs, Missoula
- 18. Norris Hot Springs, Norris
- 19. Potosi Hot Springs – Pony, Montana
- 20. Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort, Paradise
- 21. Renova Hot Springs – Whitehall, Montana
- 22. Rose’s Plunge – Hot Springs, Montana
- 23. Sleeping Child Hot Springs, Hamilton
- 24. Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs, Saco
- 25. Spa Hot Springs Motel and Clinic, White Sulphur Springs, Montana
- 26. Symes Hot Springs Hotel and Mineral Baths – Hot Springs, Montana
- 27. Upper Potosi Hot Springs – Pony, Montana
- 28. Wild Horse Hot Springs – Hot Springs, Montana
- 29. Yellowstone Hot Springs, Gardiner
- Final Thoughts on Montana Hot Springs
Not to confuse the issue, but there is actually a town called Hot Springs, MT. We’re not going to confine our list to that location, though.
It is also worth mentioning that Montana hot spring waters contain a rich blend of sodium, bicarbonate, carbonate, silica, chloride, and sulfate. These are all known to be beneficial to the body and skin.
Many pools found at Montana hot springs resorts and lodges aren’t chemically treated and are as natural as one can hope for. Here are just 29 of the best hot springs in Montana.
1. Alameda’s Hot Springs Retreat, Hot Springs
This lovely motel offering has a classic 1930s charm – that’s when it was first opened. The town itself actually feels peaceful and quiet and seems to have remained frozen in time in many respects.
Enjoy hot mineral bathtubs at Alameda’s Hot Springs Retreat, all the while enjoying the location at the foot of the Cabinet Mountains. Best of all, the resort is dog-friendly, so bring your furball along for a fun weekend in the foothills.
2. Big Medicine Hot Springs, Hot Springs
Big Medicine’s big old cement pool is managed with an honour system – a wonderful throwback to a time when people enjoyed facilities and respected that privilege. The hot springs themselves are only for day use.
Camping is available nearby, and there are also cabins on offer. You can socialise with other visitors around a cosy fire pit in the evenings.
3. Boiling River – Yellowstone National Park
The appropriately descriptive Boiling River is a popular spot for visitors to Yellowstone National Park. Before visiting these thermal springs, there are some safety considerations to note. Only designated sections of the river are suitable for wading or swimming.
The reason for this is that the waters in the Boiling River can literally reach a point too hot to swim in. The only area where the water is safe (temperature-wise) is where the Gardiner River meets the Boiling River. Even so, the Gardiner’s current is strong, so exercise caution.
4. Boulder Hot Springs Inn and Spa, Boulder
This beautiful resort combines the facilities of an inn and a spa. The indoor plunge pools at the Boulder Hot Springs Inn and Spa are wholly sourced from the geothermal waters of the local hot spring. It feels luxurious and rejuvenating, complementing the resort’s health-focused approach to wholesome food, drink, and lifestyle.
When you’re not enjoying the waters, the comfortable rooms, and divine social areas, bask in the fresh air of the amazing Montana countryside and wildlife. The inn backs onto the Deerlodge National Forest.
5. Bozeman Hot Springs, Bozeman
Bozeman boasts 12 amazing pools differing in temperature. Choose and bounce between the pools ranging from 57 ℉ to106 ℉, even between indoor and outdoor options.
What makes this Bozeman resort a little more remarkable is the focus on social occasions. The outdoor pools regularly host musical acts and holiday-based events. It’s a fun-focused venue that offers memberships, additional wellness and fitness programs, and a campground.
Bozeman also has some awesome safaris into Yellowstone if you’re up for them.
6. Broadwater Hot Springs, Helena
Broadwater uses water from the nearby natural hot springs. It cools the water from the thermal spring, offering undiluted mineral benefits from both worlds, so to speak. Choose between outdoor pools, cold plunge pools, and hot tubs.
When you’ve had enough of the water, enjoy a session in the sauna or steam room. An onsite taproom and grill offer refreshments and tasty grill meals for when hunger strikes. This makes the Broadwater a great all-day relaxation location.
7. Chico Hot Springs Resort and Day Spa, Pray
Chico has been around for over 100 years. It’s a well-known and popular destination for vacations, weddings, and other events. Without a doubt, its highlight is its two hot springs-fed outdoor pools.
The pools are open until 11 p.m. every night, allowing visitors to enjoy late-night soaks while admiring the starry Montana sky. Resort guests can also enjoy a sunrise in the pool from 7 a.m. Day guests are only able to join after 8 a.m.
If that’s not enough, the resort’s historic Dining Room is a fine dining facility where high-end food meets comfort. Separate poolside grill facilities offer eating on the go right by the water. And for later, there’s a classic saloon setting for a drink.
8. Elkhorn Hot Springs, Polaris
If you’re looking for something a bit more rustic, that doesn’t feel like a fancy resort, welcome to Elkhorn. It combines a restaurant, dorm-style lodging, cabin options, and of course, the all-important hot spring pool.
The hot pool is elevated, has two tiers, and is set amongst the tall trees of the surrounding woods. It heats to around 102℉. There’s an additional indoor wet Grecian sauna for a change of scenery.
Elkhorn is a good base camp from which to enjoy Polaris’ most popular activities, like snowboarding, skiing, and hiking. As noted, it’s designed as a very rustic experience, including outhouse facilities – think of it as slightly more comfortable than a camping excursion.
9. Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, Anaconda
Fairmont Hot Springs Resort is one of the more up-market hot springs options in the Anaconda area of Montana. While it offers two Olympic-sized pools, a giant 350-foot water slide, it also provides several other recreational activities.
This makes it a great all-round destination for broad interests. The Fairmont golf course will intrigue players; the spa is designed for relaxers. Two restaurants and a whiskey lounge should take care of any dietary needs.
There are other indoor soaking pools and a fitness centre, so you don’t have to miss a workout even on vacation.
10. Hunters Hot Springs, Springdale
Although the public cannot enjoy the development of this hot spring anymore, it is worth noting this historic site. It was once one of the most voluminous hot spring outlets in the state.
Hunters Hot Springs is 20 miles east of Livingston, Montana, and is a historical native American healing site. The site was first developed for public use in 1873, with the construction of a pool and a bathhouse.
Today, most of what was once there – including a hotel and the old development – has been discontinued or removed. The springs have been capped.
11. Gigantic Warm Spring, Lewistown
Some claim this is the largest warm water spring in the world. Frying Pan Lake in New Zealand may have something to say about that.
Nonetheless, the Gigantic Warm Spring remains a popular local attraction, even if it is largely undeveloped. Basic camping is available in the area for around $15. The spring facility operates for a limited season in the year, usually over summer.
12. Jackson Hot Springs, Jackson
Get a taste of the old Montana cabin life while enjoying the natural hot spring water of the Big Hole Valley. Jackson Hot Springs is suited for a getaway stay, with rooms and cabins available at excellent rates. Some of the rooms are pet-friendly, and some also have fireplaces.
The unpretentious but comfortable surroundings are extended to the friendly bar and restaurant, where the staff is always up for a chat. The bar is typically western-themed, with burgers, steaks, salads, and fries at the top of the menu.
But of course, the main attraction is the large pool, which is regularly measured at more than 100 ℉.
13. K Bar L Ranch and Medicine Springs, Augusta
If there’s an experience that approximates an old-style wild west Montana ranch, it’s this one. K Bar L is found some seven miles from any main road. It is truly a wilderness experience. It can only be reached by boat, hiking, helicopter, or horse. It’s, therefore, a uniquely private experience.
The pool is one of the key attractions. Fantastic views of the surrounding wilderness of the Lewis and Clark National Forest make the setting typically Montana-level beautiful.
Elk regularly can be seen in the surrounding area, and the local waterways make for excellent fishing. Guests can choose between rustic cabin accommodations. A lodge provides social areas and meals.
14. Landusky Plunge, Lewistown
The area is publicly cared for, so the only actual prerequisite for using it is an appeal to keep it tidy and clean. The water is relatively cool at a modest 77 ℉.
Locals advise bringing water shoes. The bottom of the swimming hole has many sharp or pointy rocks that are painful to walk on.
15. Lolo Hot Springs, Lolo
All-round year-long soaking is best when there’s both an indoor and outdoor pool to enjoy, which is the case at Lolo Hot Springs. The indoor pool is heated. Choose from cabins or a camping area experience if you’re staying.
Aside from the pool and wonderful waters, the resort offers horse riding, hiking, and other fun activities throughout the lodge. There are also reasonably priced breakfast, lunch, and dinner options available at the lodge restaurant.
16. Lost Trail Hot Springs – Sula, Montana
Lost Trail offers a rustic experience with a large hot pool. Notably, the pool is covered by a greenhouse-style dome in winter to make it swimmable in the cold months. Guests can alternate their pool visits with a sauna or hot tub soak.
The adjacent Sacajawea Lodge offers space for up to 42 people. There is also space for RV parking and a few cabins available for rent. Two of the cabins feature jacuzzis.
17. Nimrod Warm Springs, Missoula
One of the undeveloped springs on this list, Nimrod is worth a stop when you’re in the Missoula area. It offers a great example of what the natural setting for a hot spring is. The spring itself is not particularly hot at just 70 ℉.
One of the unique aspects of the spring pool here is the presence of an underwater cave. The original pool was blasted out of the rock face in the early to mid-1900s. There was also a development in the 1930s that has disappeared from the area since.
Missoula is one of the better-known areas for hot springs in western Montana.
18. Norris Hot Springs, Norris
Weekends at Norris are alive with live music and a celebratory atmosphere, all happening by the pool.
Accommodation includes a fun campsite that can also accommodate RVs.
As an added bonus, the on-site food option – the 50-mile Snack bar and 50-mile Grill – offers gluten-free and organic options. This may be a factor for those who struggle to find venues to suit their dietary needs.
19. Potosi Hot Springs – Pony, Montana
Although the old resort isn’t open to public visits anymore, there are cabin rentals available to the area that will allow access to the pools.
There are indoor and outdoor pools at Potosi Hot Springs, I recommend supplementing your activities with some great hiking and views of the Tobacco Root Mountains.
20. Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort, Paradise
The stylish multi-level pool at Quinn’s is an immediate example of what sets it apart. Quinn’s is one of the most highly-regarded hot springs resorts in Montana. The establishment is also unique in that it offers two separate lodges as accommodation options.
Aside from the hot pool running at over 100℉, there’s an equally impressive ice pool. Alternate your dips for maximum effect. When you get hungry, enjoy the fine dining on offer at the Hardwood house restaurant.
As a guest of the lodge, your pool usage is unlimited. However, day visitors need to reserve a three-hour session. It’s a good idea to just book yourself in for a few days and enjoy the facility to the fullest.
21. Renova Hot Springs – Whitehall, Montana
Renova is undeveloped but relatively easy to get to. Whether or not the water is suitable for a soak depends mainly on the height of the Jefferson River. Too low, and the hot spring is too hot. Too high, and it may feel a bit chilly.
A drive on a dirt road is necessary to get there. Upon arrival, you’ll discover a couple of hand-built rock pools which are perfect for soaking in. Be aware that you’re in a river, so expect to get a little sandy, silty or muddy on your way in and out of the water.
Parking is a short walk from the river’s edge.
22. Rose’s Plunge – Hot Springs, Montana
This is the town of Hot Springs mentioned earlier. It is in the Sanders County Flathead Indian Reservation. The hot springs associated with this particular town used to be called Camas.
This oddly unsophisticated plunge pool is actually one of those things that might be described as a “best-kept secret” of sorts, if it were indeed secret, that is. Rose’s Plunge is part of the Carnas Recreation Center but is open to the public.
Dip into the three-foot plunger for a soothing soak. It’ll cost $5 for the day. If you‘re around for a while, look into some of the other activities around the town. The centre itself focuses on wellness activities like yoga and workouts.
While you’re in the area, you should try a day trip on the Flathead River.
23. Sleeping Child Hot Springs, Hamilton
In the Rocky Mountains, Sleeping Child’s name suggests what you might feel like after a day of soaking in these waters. This lodge has just nine bedrooms and is perfect for a significant private get-together or reunion – as it sleeps 20 people.
Even if you are just visiting along with other guests, the 40-acre estate is fairly isolated, providing a semi-exclusive use of the lodge and hot spring.
24. Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs, Saco
Back in the 1920s, this development was called the American Legion Health Resort. The story is long and detailed, but the end result is a well that runs 3,200 feet deep, pushing hot water into the facility’s pools at 900 gallons per minute.
A large indoor pool, sauna, and hot tub are on offer. The pool at Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs especially is set in a gorgeous wooden room. Luxury cabins and suites are available for rent, and an RV park and camping is also an option for travellers.
25. Spa Hot Springs Motel and Clinic, White Sulphur Springs, Montana
The facility has three amazing sizeable pools to choose from – two outdoor and one indoors. All are hot, though the indoor pool is the hottest at around 105 ℉.
The Spa Hot Springs Motel and Clinic itself offers 41 comfortable rooms and several cabins for your accommodation. There’s an express cafe outside the motel for light meals and snacks (especially coffee).
White Sulphur Springs is known for great skiing nearby, three awesome mountain ranges, and excellent hiking.
26. Symes Hot Springs Hotel and Mineral Baths – Hot Springs, Montana
A full-featured hotel (30 rooms) invites a comfortable stay alongside three great springs-feed pools. In addition to these, some of the luxury rooms have a private hot tub for those on a romantic weekend.
Symes Hot Springs hotel is actually a registered historical landmark, which makes a stay here all the more special. Local artists provide live entertainment at the hotel every weekend night.
27. Upper Potosi Hot Springs – Pony, Montana
The Upper Potosi spring is not too far from the previously mentioned Potosi Hot Springs. Upper Potosi is undeveloped and can accommodate a small group of people. The spring itself is public and free and has a rock bottomed pool.
There are a few cabins available for rent in this area as well, through the Pony Montana Hotel. Alternatively, visitors can camp at the nearby Potosi Campground.
28. Wild Horse Hot Springs – Hot Springs, Montana
The Wild Horse offers 14 plunges – none of them is cold. They all have temperature control valves. The natural water from the Mother Dragon geyser arrives at 128 ℉, which is undoubtedly very hot!
Accommodations take a boutique approach, as each cabin is uniquely designed. Choose from cabins called The Fox, The Bear, The Moose, and others. The Wild Horse also has tipis, and there are campsites and RV spots available.
29. Yellowstone Hot Springs, Gardiner
Not too far from the previously mentioned Boiling River, this is a proper commercial and public development in the Yellowstone National Park, along the Gardiner River.
Yellowstone Hot Springs is definitely one of the prettiest places to enjoy a hot spring soak in Montana, set in the gorgeous wilderness of one of the USA’s most famous parks. There are more than 4,000 square feet of soaking pools, both hot and cold.
There are some accommodations nearby at Yellowstone Destinations – a short walk away. In winter, Yellowstone Hot Springs only operates on the weekends, however.
Final Thoughts on Montana Hot Springs
Whether your taste is a romantic getaway with private plunges, a family holiday with a resort-like atmosphere, or a rustic backpacking adventure, Montana has a hot spring that suits your needs.
In the case of the undeveloped sites, remember that some may require that you navigate dirt roads or a little bit of walking. Consider conditions and accessibility. And bear in mind that some remote hot spring pools may have unwritten rules about clothing being optional.
If you’re looking to venture elsewhere in the western United States, why not try the selection of hot springs in Washington State?
With all that said, there’s plenty to explore in the beautiful state of Montana. You owe it to yourself to try at least one of these rejuvenating hot springs while you’re there.
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