Any time is a good time to soak. After all, what better way to laze away the hours on a weekend (or heck, weekday) afternoon than by submerging your tender flesh in a gurgling, mineral-enriched, open-air spa? Thanks to our proximity to the geothermal hotspot of Yellowstone National Park, southwest Montana is dotted with hot springs. In fact, each one is likely not more than an hour's drive from the next.
Whether you're looking to unwind in a natural setting after a long hike, or fired up for some apres-ski drinks, there's a hot pool of water somewhere nearby that's calling your name. No matter the season, no matter the occasion, here's a rundown on some of our favorite spots:
Bozeman Hot Springs
Just a 20-minute jaunt from downtown, Bozeman Hot Springs in Four Corners is a locals' favorite for good reason. They've got indoor and outdoor pools ranging from steamin' hot to frigid cold, plus a dry sauna and steam room. It's a popular place for kids on weekends, especially during the winter, but if you're looking for quietude, the outdoor pools are massive and will surely allow enough space to sprawl out—plus, there's a stage with live music on select evenings. They've also got a full gym with exercise equipment if you're looking for a double-burn.
Bozeman Hot Springs is getting a big makeover this year, with a brand-new entrance area set to open in May 2024. The addition will feature new locker rooms, a juice bar, cafe, and more. It'll lead directly to the outdoor pools, so you won't have to walk through the whole facility to get outside.
Chico Hot Springs
Nestled in the shadow the high Northern Absarokas, smack in the middle of Paradise Valley, lies Chico Hot Springs. This outdoor soak is renowned for its laid-back vibes and poolside service. There's a saloon with window access from the outdoor pool, where you can also sit inside pre- or post-soak for delicious burgers, sandwiches, and salads. If you're keen on a classier experience, Chico's historic dining room stands out as one of the region's best restaurants.
Looking for accommodations? Chico has plenty of lodging options, from quaint and cozy hotel rooms to private cabins, and even a selection of custom-built luxury covered wagons if glamping suits your fancy.
Broadwater Hot Springs
Just 10 minutes from downtown Helena on the way toward MacDonald Pass, Broadwater Hot Springs & Fitness has a holistic selection of therapeutic spa experiences, plus an expansive gym, and a taproom serving up food and drinks on-site. Honestly, what more could you ask for?
Broadwater closely monitors the temperatures and mineral contents of their pools to ensure that you're getting the best soaking water around. Their water specifically has a low sulphur content, so it doesn't have the off-putting smell associated with many natural hot springs.