Outstanding Hot Springs Near Bozeman

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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

A frosty drink to sip on at the Water of The Gods, a hot springs near bozeman


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

Elk in the river at the boiling river, also a hot springs near Bozeman


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

A beautiful day at Chico Hot Springs


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

The hot springs at Bozeman Hot Springs


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

huntley hot tub


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.

Strange Possessions Seized by Customs

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Typically, “seized by Customs” brings to mind the usual suspects; gold, jewels, counterfeit goods, even people. However, there exists a whole world of unique and strange “things” that get intercepted during the attempt to smuggle them into the country (occasionally even leaving the country). During the last few months, I have come across some rather fascinating articles about the absurd possessions that people attempt to sneak past customs (or forget to declare). From African Snails to Ivory Bagpipes, here are some of the strangest possessions seized by Customs.

The “Good Luck” Primate Skull

A primate skull with attached feather, that is suppose to be a luck charm


Who wouldn’t want a “Good Luck” Primate skull? What a perfect piece for the mantel! This skull was taken from a Russian traveler that purchased it in Togo, Africa. Sadly, the sullied nature of this luck charm presented a very unfortunate avian disease risk, and it had to be disposed of. Shucks!

Read here how dead bats and a primate tooth Voodoo necklace suffered a similar fate. Personally, I don’t think I would want the bad juju from taking a Voodoo Priest’s prized necklace.

A Batch of Giant African Snails

A picture of a Massive African Snail


The credit for this excellent internet find goes to Tyler Zaichkin. These half-pound monster snails were purportedly intended for human consumption(or perhaps vice versa?).  Unfortunately for the importer, it seems that Customs deemed these burly beasts a threat to the U.S. agricultural system and had them incinerated.

The Ivory In Those Scottish Bagpipes

A set of bag-pipes made out of ivory


Recently, a van full of teenage bagpipers, who had just performed in Canada, was prevented from crossing the border for attempting to transport Ivory into the U.S. The Ivory in question was a functioning part of an heirloom set of bagpipes handed down from a grandfather to a grandson. In a rare turn of events they were able to get the bagpipes back, but not before being issued a cool five hundred dollar ticket. Why? For crossing at a “non-designated crossing”. Read the whole article here.

(Honorable Mention) Noah’s Ark, Heathrow Airport

A Heathrow airport employee holding a massive lizard


Heathrow Airport is certainly not in the U.S. However, this is a rather bizarre case of what happens with exotic animals after the attempt to traffic them through Heathrow Airport is thwarted. Enter Noah’s Ark at Heathrow Airport, where exotic (usually endangered) animals are stuck until airport authorities can ship them back home. More about this animal oasis here.

(Honorable Mention) $1 Million Dollars Worth of Counterfeit Guitars

A sampling of seized, counterfeit guitars


While not common, counterfeit guitars are certainly not out of the realm of reasonable targets of things to be counterfeited. This deserves an honorable mention out of the sheer volume of goods confiscated by Customs. That is a lot of knockoff guitars! The picture barely does justice to the quantity seized.

Other Odd’s and End’s

For a look at some other odd items specific to Kennedy Airport, check out this link. Scroll near the bottom to find a plastic juice container full of salami. Delicious!

An excellent ploy, let’s just write “Toy Train Model” on the side of the box, Custom’s would never think to X-ray our shoddily packaged container. What was inside? Find out here.