Fall is certainly here, and its first frosty reminder is swirling around Bozeman as I write. For some this brings discontent, for the rest of us it signals a period of undeniable excitement. What, you ask, is the hullabaloo all about? During the next few months the mountains will start to build their first solid snow pack, which will help to define the ski season ahead. It also signals the return of soaking in one of many hot springs near Bozeman. These hot springs, which are easily forgotten in the summer time (except on the occasional dreary night), serve as a necessary component to the perfection of almost any chilly fall day. Hot springs excel in fixing almost any ailment, be it stress from an exhausting day at the office, soaking your achy limbs after a taxing day on the ski hill, or the answer to finding that perfect place to sip a frosty brew in a serene atmosphere. Living in Bozeman (or Montana for that matter) affords us easy access to a plethora of options when seeking the therapeutic waters of a hot spring. The following are outstanding hot springs near Bozeman.
Water of the Gods – Norris Hot Springs
As the name suggests this place is quite divine. Water of the God’s has all its bases covered. It offers local beer (and wine) to calm the mind, live music to soothe the soul, and magma heated waters to mend thy wracked frame. It also helps that the 45 minute drive from Bozeman, helps to keep a portion of the riff-raff out. More about the Water of the Gods here.
The Boiling River – Yellowstone National Park
In the event that I find myself awake before noon on a non-work day (which if you ask anyone that knows me even a little bit would say is quite rare), The Boiling River makes for an awesome morning to late afternoon soak. There are some really nifty features to enjoy while at this location such as; a mini waterfall to sit under, the bone-chilling river attached to the spring, and well an elk. The Boiling River is the only hot springs on the list that is entirely natural, as all the others are spring fed but have structures built around them. Be prepared to have your Yellowstone Park Pass ready, as this destination is just inside the park.
Chico Hot Springs – Pray, MT
Chico in general is a pretty awesome place. Apart from other hot springs chico offers lodging as well, and it serves as an amazing location for weddings, as well as weekend getaways. Just outside of Livingston, MT it is nestled just beneath the superbly impressive Absaroka mountain range. More about Chico here.
Bozeman Hot Springs – Four Corners, MT
In the event that I don’t have the time to make the trek out to the Water of the Gods there is always the nice alternative of Bozeman Hot Springs. At just 10 miles out of town, Bozeman Hot Springs is definitively the closest of all the options. While the majority of their pool facilities are indoors, they do have an outdoor pool as well. Located inside is a sauna, as well as a regular temperature swimming pool (in case you need to cool your jets after a long soak).
(Honorable Mention) The Huntley Hot Tub – Big Sky, MT
Let’s clear one thing up real quick, this is definitely NOT a hot spring. However, it does deserve mentioning as I can confirm it a necessary destination after a hard day of skiing at Big Sky. Careful though, The Huntley is not fond of those it deems “hot tub poachers” (of course I would know nothing of that).
If you are looking for other hot springs opportunities throughout Montana click here, for an interactive map.