A favorite pastime for families, friends, workers, and wanderers, hot springs have been around longer than settlers have. Known for their healing powers, they are also naturally practical and used in everything from wound healing, to cooking and clothes washing. The big sky state is a treasure trove for those who love the medicinal waters, and there's a Montana Hot Springs Resort for everyone, of every budget, and accommodation needs.
Check out these 21 Different Montana Hot Springs Resorts - From Communal Pools to Private Ranches
1. Yellowstone Hot Springs — Gardiner, Montana
One of the newest hot spring experiences in the state, Yellowstone Hot Springs is located exactly where one would expect them, right outside of Yellowstone! Situated not far from Gardiner and its iconic North Gate, the springs are incredibly peaceful. Unlike many resort hot springs, alcohol is not allowed on the premises, making for a more intimate and relaxing experience. With the natural beauty of Paradise Valley as the backdrop, this is a spot recommended for a visit after long hikes in the park, or for locals looking for a day trip getaway. With Chico not far away, and Mammoth Hot Springs a huge tourist draw right inside Yellowstone, it is not surprising another natural flow was discovered and developed. Check it out for yourself or with the family on the trip through Paradise Valley
2. Chico Hot Springs Resort and Day Spa – Pray, Montana
Chico Hot Springs has a long history. In addition to its role as a traditional hot springs getaway, it has been known for everything from a high-class retreat to a hospital. Having changed multiple hands throughout the years, its history has always catered to its good points. Relaxation, good times, and food have always played a key role in keeping customers coming back, even during the prohibition days, the resort was known for its atmosphere! Today, it features historical lodging and is popular for weddings and other significant events. The bar is known for its weekend fun, as well as good music. Interestingly, though usually known for good food, it features some of the finest dining around. With a private dining room seating no more than a handful and featuring 10-course meals, the personal chef also offers wine pairings from one of the most unique cellars in Montana. It is not the usual expectation of guests for such an out-of-the-way locale!
3. Norris Hot Springs – Norris, Montana
Still utilizing the original pool built by the gold miners of Virginia City, the single pool is well kept for its age and has been built up by a private family to now include a poolside bar where guests can order local brews and homemade organic food. A small stage is set up and sets a great mood with the lights and drinks, especially during the nighttime. A small number of camping sites are also available for overnight staying if you decide to hang out with some friendly campers, though booking ahead is recommended as they fill up fast.
4. Potosi Hot Springs – Pony, Montana
Montana is known for its small mountain towns and open public lands. But it is often held special in the hearts of many for one beautiful location or place that leaves its imprint on the traveler's soul. Pony is one such location. A hidden town up at the end of a dead-end road (unless you know where you are going), the small old mining town is a surprisingly hopping location in the summer for its size. Nestled in the Tobacco Root Mountains not far from Bozeman, the town has only a couple of hundred residents. The bar is where it is, right on the main street, with events throughout the summer ranging from weekly live music to Duck Racing. The next treasure is the road onward, straight up the mountain into the National Forest. (Who knows what is to be found there!) The hidden spot though is the hot springs that most don’t ever get to explore. Not open to the public, there are four cabins available for rent situated right along the creek. For those lucky enough to get a reservation, they’ll have access to the larger pool and a hot tub full of some of the purest mineral water around.
5. Fairmont Hot Springs Resort – Anaconda, Montana
An all-in-one resort with everything family and friends will need to spend a great getaway in the mountains. Having passed hands for over 100 years, the springs were originally a native gathering area for healing and gathering. Over the years they have been used for local events and meetings, but now have morphed into an all-encompassing resort with indoor and outdoor pools, a bar, restaurant, lodging, cabins, a petting zoo, and a golf course. Nearby is the quaint and historic town of Anaconda and the city of Butte. For ski enthusiasts, a ski hill close by welcomes visitors and even sometimes offers passes and discounts with the local resorts and town businesses.
6. Pipestone Hot Springs – Whitehall, Montana
Pipestone is an interesting one. Having been developed and renowned with quite an elaborate history, the springs sat in decay and ruins until recently. Now restored, this is the perfect getaway with quaint small cabins, each with its hot tub flowing directly from the springs. The location is easy to access all year round and includes dinner and other date night special packages, including a romantic evening plan full of roses and food delivery. The only exception when it comes to luxury is the lack of indoor plumbing. You will have to utilize one of the outhouses close by, so plan on soaking in the warm tub before heading out during the winter!
7. Elkhorn Hot Springs – Polaris, Montana
Not your typical “resort”, Elkhorn Hot Springs has everything from a restaurant to a full cocktail bar, live music, lodge, and cabins, but in a rustic setting. Nestled in the Pioneer Mountains, the hot springs were originally built in the early 1900s and were managed by the forest service until taken over privately shortly after the lodge and cabins were constructed. They still stand as they were today. Though there is no cellphone service, you’ll be able to use wifi, and besides that, get away from it all and relax in a rustic getaway.
8. Bozeman Hot Springs – Bozeman, Montana
This one is probably one of the busiest hot springs in the state, having opened not too many years ago, there is no surprise it gets busy being in one of Montana’s fastest-growing cities. Open on some off hours, they are also a gym with memberships. A health bar is on-site, and accordingly, no alcohol. With multiple indoor and outdoor pools, as well as RV parking right out back, they also have an incredible stage that lights up at night with some well-known bands.
9. Wild Horse Hot Springs – Hot Springs, Montana
Located not far from Quinn, this is where the locals go to get away. Unlike the larger resort, Wild Horse is in the process of revamping itself. Discovered by a farmer in 1912 when his well hit an unexpected stream of hot water, the springs were closed for many years until recently reopening in 2018. Still, with many plans in the works, the locale currently features cabins and tipis for rent, RV spots, and pools with expansion plans in the works. The area is a place to get away from it all, overlooking rolling fields and distant mountain bluffs.
10. Jackson Hot Springs – Jackson, Montana
For those looking for a rustic and old-timey getaway in southwestern Montana, Jackson is the place. Complete with a rustic pool, lodge, bar, restaurant, and cabins, the place is one the entire family is sure to enjoy. In the heart of the Big Hole Valley, this is where guests come to get away. With regularly scheduled music, an open bar, and grill, and with a lodge or guest cabins available, visitors from Montana and Idaho frequent this old western resort on their skiing, hiking, or ghost town exploring vacations.
11. Symes Hot Springs Hotel and Mineral Baths – Hot Springs, Montana
Symes hot springs are often considered a highly underrated resort. Built back in the 1930s for miners, farmers, and workers to soothe their bones, it has a rich history. Now, the old rooms are updated and available to rent, along with an RV parking area. The restaurant and cantina are open daily with food, coffee, and drinks, along with a spa that offers massages and other services. They also regularly have music and a unique outdoor stage in the summertime.
12. Alameda’s Hot Springs Retreat – Hot Springs, Montana
With it's slogan “A Gathering Place,” the springs here are quaint, historical, and personal. While most hot springs are traditionally a communal pool, known for their gatherings, (This resort does have “A Gathering Place,” a large building where yoga and events are held.) but instead of a large pool, each room has a personal hot tub. Something a little different from the norm, as an overnight stop for the area's location, this may just be the getaway you’ve been looking for.
13. Big Medicine Hot Springs & Rose’s Plunge – Hot Springs, Montana
Both are located in the infamous little town of Hot Springs, Montana. The namesake makes sense, and it’s a little surprising the town never grew bigger. With two pools situated in the town, one would expect there to be more tourists however, the springs never got developed into more than anything but a couple of quiet cement pools that operate on an honor system. Open sunrise to sunset, there's a small dropbox and sign at each letting you know to leave a little donation. No lodging is available, nor specific bars or restaurants for the pools, it's simply a first come, first serve experience like no other.
14. Lolo Hot Springs – Lolo, Montana
The ultimate getaway for those whose phone never stops, you won’t get found or need service here. Originally a larger resort north of Missoula, one of the two locations shut down, and now the area consists of a lodge, springs, bar, restaurant, and cabins run by separate owners. They do work together and often guests are confused about where to stay. For a more rustic experience, grab one of the rustic cabins. Don’t expect plumbing or a hot breakfast, but you will see friendly faces around the campfire after a long day and a soak. If looking for something more personal and private, rent a room at the lodge where breakfast and wifi are included. Both options utilize the indoor and outdoor pools which were originally used by loggers and their families.
15. Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort – Paradise, Montana
Situated between Missoula and Spokane, Quinns Hot Spring resort is a beautiful getaway in the Northwest. Well-maintained and quaint, the rooms are up-to-date and worth the waiting list. With multiple pools ranging from hot to cold, they do offer a swimming and soaking area that the whole family can enjoy. Outdoors, it is always pretty popular and should be booked ahead. There is also a restaurant available for those wanting to spend some extra time.
16. Broadwater Hot Springs – Helena, Montana
Another more recently renovated hot springs in the state, Broadwater is one of the oldest and biggest back in its heyday. As a huge mining town full of rich and gold-wealthy citizens, the springs were a hit and had an expansive pool unlike any other. Unfortunately, years of wear and tear and fire took their toll and left the springs on their own until they were bought and rebuilt. Changing owners over the years, the popular spot now features hot pools, swimming pools, kiddy pools, a sauna, a fitness center, and a bar and restaurant. After covid restrictions, they did implement a membership-style policy, but anyone can sign up and it’s the same price for entry as you only do it once. Check on their schedule as well, as they often host live music on an outdoor stage.
17. Lost Trail Hot Springs – Sula, Montana
A popular location for skiers, this resort has a history well worth stopping by! Located on the pass, originally it took long days of hiking straight up the steep mountainsides to even visit this location. The weary travelers weren’t trekking just for fun though, the pools were a halfway point that most used as an overnight location to tackle the rest of the long haul ahead. With multiple residents attempting to build on the spot for years, it took many hands to finally build a place that would be able to stick with the resort type of vibe, and then a few more turnovers to turn it into the hot springs it is today. Now offering an RV park, cabins, a dry sauna, and a few cabins with private tubs, it's a unique location meant for relaxation. The new owners have many plans for the future, with their infamous NY-style pizza a popular recommendation among locals.
18. Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs – Saco, Montana
One of the fewer resorts on what is known as the Montana Hi-Line, Sleeping Buffalo has a long history. Originally discovered when an oil driller struck hot water instead of oil back in the early 1900s, the fast and mineral-rich flow has been utilized ever since. First used by locals for bathing, it wasn’t until one of the residents' sons came down with Polio that they realized the true benefits. As the father built a wooden pool for his son to recover, the other bathers made use of it as well. Over the years a resort was eventually established for healing and relaxing. Today, it features an RV park, a sauna, cabins, luxury suites, and an overall experience like no other around.
19. Boulder Hot Springs Inn and Spa – Boulder, Montana
Boulder hots spring is a place full of history. Now a popular conference center, the springs have an outdoor swimming pool and indoor men's and women's segregated pools in the old style of “clothing optional.” Used for medicinal purposes, these hot springs offer a unique and relaxing getaway without party scene drama. One unique part of this resort is its history next to mining locales like Butte and Elkhorn. Well known for its ghostly haunts, Boulder is also on the ghost hunter radar. Simply ask about some of the rooms, and you may find yourself out for an adventurous night!
20. Spa Hot Springs Motel and Clinic, White Sulphur Springs, Montana
White Sulphur has in recent years revamped itself and is quite the destination located between Helena, Bozeman, and Great Falls. A tiny town with a ton to do, guests will find multiple bars, restaurants, a brewery, shops, and more when visiting the area. Come for a day to soak in one of the pools or sauna, or stop by for an overnight visit to the newly renovated hotel. If thinking about visiting in the summertime, Red Ants Pants Music Festival, or the rodeo is the place to be!
21. K Bar L Ranch and Medicine Springs – Augusta, Montana
Not your typical resort, the K Bar L Ranch Hot Springs are not only private but an exclusive luxury experience. Situated near the expansive and unexplored Bob Marshall Wilderness, these are a true adventure. A small ranch for guests, only allowing 16 at a time, there is everything here from horseback riding to hiking, fishing, and hunting. With its exclusivity, it is necessary to book ahead and plan. No roads will get you here, and the accommodations are uniquely almost off-grid. Be prepared for a soak and more like no other if you book a night, or an event, at the K Bar L Ranch.
Exploring Yellowstone's Geothermal Activity: Take A Guided Tour Beyond the Hot Springs
Yellowstone National Park is famous for its incredible hot springs and geysers, but there is so much more to explore beyond the popular tourist attractions. If you are interested in learning more about the geothermal activity and the geology of Yellowstone, a guided tour is a great way to go.
The geology of Yellowstone is truly unique and fascinating. The park sits on top of a massive volcanic caldera, which means that there is a lot of geothermal activity happening just beneath the surface. The hot springs and geysers are just the most visible evidence of this activity.
A guided tour can take you to some of the lesser-known geothermal features in the park, such as mud pots, fumaroles, and hot springs that are not on the main boardwalks. Your guide can explain the science behind these features and how they relate to the park's volcanic history.
One of the most interesting things to learn about on a geology tour of Yellowstone is the "Yellowstone hotspot." This is a plume of magma that rises from deep within the Earth's mantle and feeds the volcanic activity in the park. The hotspot has been active for millions of years and has left a trail of volcanic rocks and ash across much of the western United States.
In addition to learning about the geology of Yellowstone, a tour can also take you to some of the park's most stunning natural landscapes. The park is home to incredible waterfalls, canyons, and wildlife, and a guided tour can help you make the most of your visit.
When looking for a tour, be sure to choose a company with knowledgeable guides who are passionate about Yellowstone's geology and natural history. A good guide can make all the difference in helping you appreciate the wonders of the park, and enjoy your next stop in a hot spring just a little bit more!