Broadwater Hot Springs Montana is a unique destination that offers visitors a chance to soak in natural mineral waters and to be a part of the area's rich history. This destination has been a popular attraction for over a century, drawing visitors from all over the world to experience the healing properties of the hot springs and explore the area's past. The history of Broadwater Hot Springs Montana dates back to the late 1800s, and it has since regained traction as a popular tourist and local attraction.
The Discovery of Broadwater Hot Springs Montana
In 1883, the first bathhouse was built on the site after people began to recognize the therapeutic benefits of the hot mineral water. The water is believed to have healing properties that help relieve ailments such as arthritis, respiratory issues, and skin conditions. The therapeutic value of the hot springs led to its rapid popularity, which made it a destination for people seeking relief from these ailments.
The Rise of the Broadwater Hotel
The early 1900s saw the rise of Broadwater Hotel, which quickly became a hub of activity in the area. Colonel Charles Broadwater built the world-famous hotel in 1889, the same year Montana achieved statehood. This grand resort was the stopping place for elite travelers going to and from the national parks of Yellowstone and Glacier. Broadwater Hotel boasted luxurious accommodations, fine dining, and a variety of entertainment options, including a casino, dance hall, and bowling alley. Many famous people of the era visited the hotel, including President Theodore Roosevelt and Buffalo Bill Cody.
The World's Largest Indoor Pool
At the Broadwater Hot Springs Natatorium, which was attached to the hotel, was a 30,000 square feet indoor pool. It was the world’s largest indoor pool. The Natatorium also sported toboggan slides, a “plunge” and observation decks. Stained-glass windows and colorful tiles covered the interior floors and walls. At night, lit from within by electric lights, the building glistened like a jewel box.
The Decline of the Broadwater Hotel
Colonel Broadwater died a couple of years after the hotel was built, and an earthquake in 1935 severely damaged the Natatorium, which was soon condemned. The hotel became most known as a place for dancing and gambling. The state began to crack down on gambling, and in 1941 the hotel was closed down. It was another thirty-plus years before the springs would be thought of again, and in 1974, most remaining items in the hotel were sold at auction.
Broadwater Hot Springs Montana Today
In 1996, the Broadwater Hot Springs and Fitness Center was opened on the site of the original bathhouse. Today, visitors to Broadwater Hot Springs Montana can still soak in the natural mineral water, which is kept at a comfortable temperature year-round. There are multiple pools to choose from, including indoor and outdoor pools, hot tubs, and a lap pool. In addition to the hot springs, the resort also offers a variety of services, fitness classes, and outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, and skiing.
New Additions to Broadwater Hot Springs Montana
The Broadwater Athletic Club and Hot Springs officially opened its doors on October 17, 1979. Shortly thereafter, the first of three hot springs pools was opened. In 1983, the Recreational pool was opened, which is also outdoors and perfect for the enjoyment of children and adults alike. In 1989, a third hot springs pool was built.
Since 2015, Broadwater Hot Springs & Fitness has added five new free-form pools and demoed five old pools, giving the Broadwater seven bodies of water. The Springs Taproom & Grill was opened in 2017, having a burger and a beer poolside while listening to some live music is a popular weekend activity.
Other Area Activities
In addition to soaking in the hot springs and enjoying the resort's many amenities, visitors to Broadwater Hot Springs Montana can also check out some of the area's rich history through old wall displays and visiting other attractions nearby, like the Historical Society Museum. Visitors can explore the museum at their leisure, taking in the sights and sounds of another historic destination.
For those who are interested in exploring more the surrounding area, there are plenty of opportunities to do so. Downtown Helena, Montana's capital city, is just a short drive away and is home to a variety of cultural attractions, including the Holter Museum of Art, the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts, and the Montana Historical Society Museum. Visitors can also take a scenic drive to nearby Canyon Ferry Lake or explore the area's many hiking trails and outdoor recreational opportunities.
Overall, a visit to Broadwater Hot Springs Montana on your next visit to Helena is a unique and unforgettable experience that offers something for everyone. Whether you're looking to relax and unwind in the hot springs or explore the rich history of the area, this destination is sure to delight and inspire.