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We hope you brought your swimsuit, because when you’re tired from a long day of sightseeing, or when the kids have too much energy, one of the best ways to unwind is with a dip in one of the region’s many hot springs and pools.
Yellowstone’s Boiling River Swimming AreaNPS Jim Peaco
Open from autumn through winter, the Boiling River is in northern Yellowstone between Mammoth Hot Springs and the North Entrance. Go during the day. The Boiling River is closed once dark hits. The hotspot is closed during the springtime when the river rises and becomes dangerous. It often doesn’t open again until late-summer.
2021 UPDATE: The Boiling River is closed for 2021 because of health regulations related to COVID-19.
Yellowstone’s Firehole River Swimming AreaNPS/Jacob W Frank
Okay… this swimming area doesn’t really count as a “hot swim.” But, we thought some people might be confused by the name so we included it on our list. The temperature is similar to that of an unheated swimming pool. The beach is closed during winter and the high water in the spring. Inquire at the visitor centers for dates that swimming is allowed.
2021 UPDATE: The Firehole River swimming area is closed because of health regulations related to COVID-19.
Montana Hot Springs
Yellowstone Hot Springs, Gardiner, MontanaCourtesy Yellowstone Hot Springs
Swim in hot springs pools at the brand-new Yellowstone Hot Springs in Corwin Springs, Mont., 6 miles north of Gardiner off Hwy. 89. It offers 400 square feet of pools in a natural setting. Fresh mineral water is constantly flowing into the pools, so the water is always fresh and clean. yellowstonehotspringsmt.com
Chico Hot Springs Resort and Day Spa, Pray, MontanaPhoto by Alyssa Henry courtesy of Yellowstone Country Montana
Thirty- five miles north of Gardiner is Chico Hot Springs Resort and Spa in Pray, Mont. With two open-air mineral pools, plus incredible fine dining in the resort’s Dining Room, Chico makes for a great outing. It’s known for having one of the region’s best wine lists. www.chicohotsprings.com
Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, Fairmont, MontanaCourtesy Fairmont Hot Springs Resort
In Montana, head to Fairmont Hot Springs Resort for a day of swimming and sliding. Fairmont has two Olympic-size hot springs pools—one indoors and one outdoors—plus a 350-foot, five-story enclosed waterslide. It’s an exhilarating ride into Fairmont’s outdoor pool, and you’re guaranteed to make a splash. The 160°F, naturally heated water is cooled to temperatures ranging from 88°F to 104°F. www.fairmontmontana.com
Other Montana Hot Springs Pools
Find more hot springs and pools in these Montana cities: Hot Springs, Boulder, Bozeman, Corwin Springs, Polaris/Dillon and Jackson.Alameda Hot Springs in Hot Springs, Mont. www.alamedashotsprings.com Boulder Hot Springs in Boulder, Mont. www.boulderhotsprings.com Bozeman Hot Springs in Bozeman, Mont., www.bozemanhotsprings.co Corwin Hot Springs in Corwin Springs, Mont., 10 miles from Yellowstone Elkhorn Hot Springs in Polaris, Mont., www.elkhornhotsprings.com Jackson Hot Springs in Jackson, Mont., jacksonhotspringslodge.com
Wyoming Hot Springs
Hot Springs State Park, Thermopolis, WyomingSoak at Hot Springs State Park in Thermopolis east of Yellowstone Photo: Getty Images
As you travel through Wyoming, don’t miss the opportunity to swim in the “world’s largest mineral hot springs,“ or so locals say, located in Thermopolis, Wyoming. Greek for “hot city,” Thermopolis derives its name from the hot water that comes from Big Spring. The turquoise and green, mineral-laden spring issues forth 3.6 million gallons of water every day.
The water from this spring contains at least 27 different minerals, making it, some say, very healthy to drink. Hot Springs State Park, at the edge of town, is home to three pools, each offering different services. Don’t miss the 104°F therapeutic pool at the free State Bath House. wyoparks.wyo.gov/index.php/places-to-go/hot-springs
Hobo Hot Springs, Saratoga, WyomingGloria Wadzinski
Take a dip in Hobo Hot Springs in Saratoga. There, the Saratoga Hot Pool is free and open to the public 24 hours a day. The Saratoga Resort and Spa has a 70-foot outdoor pool and also five teepee-covered pools.
Granite Hot Springs, Jackson Hole, WyomingBridger Teton National Forest/Public Domain
Granite Hot Springs is a local favorite for relaxing and easing sore muscles from mountain adventures. It has a campground, swimming pool and soaking pool. Campgrounds are open mid-May through September. Hot springs are open for two seasons: summer (mid-May through October) and winter (early December through mid-April), but the road from US-191 to Granite Hot Springs is only accessible by snowmobile, dog sled tours, fat bikes and skis during the winter. Call (307) 690-6323 for more information and to confirm it is open. www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/btnf/recarea/?recid=71639
Idaho Hot Springs
Green Canyon Hot Springs, Newdale, Idaho
Enjoy a relaxing time at Green Canyon Hot Springs. It is a popular place for family reunions, church group gatherings, and vacationers. Take advantage of the pure thermally heated waters of the pool facilities. Water temperatures are a constant 96 degrees, while the outdoor hot pool is a toasty 105 degrees. (208) 458-4454, 2432 S. Canyon Creek Road, Newdale, Idaho 83436
Heise Hot Springs, Ririe, IdahoPhoto by Josh Myers courtesy Yellowstone Teton Territory
Soak in the 104-degree waters at Heise Hot Springs, which also has a summer pool with a diving board and a 350-foot water slide. If you’re with young kids, a second hot springs pool is shallower and cooler at 92 degrees. Break for lunch and warm up by the fire at Heise Pizza Parlour, known regionally for its amazing pizza pies. (208) 538-7312, 5116 East Heise Road, Ririe, Idaho 83443, www.heisehotsprings.net
Lava Hot Springs Foundation, Lava Hot Springs, IdahoLava Hot Springs Foundation
In the quaint town of Lava Hot Springs, soak in five outdoor pools heated by natural underground springs to 102- 112 degrees at Lava Hot Springs’ Foundation.
The bonus? The hot springs water does not have sulfur in it, so you won’t smell like rotten eggs after you soak. Even without the sulfur, the waters still has all the mineral content that’s reportedly good for healing and relaxing, says Birgitta Bright, tourism administrator of Visit Pocatello. (208) 776-5221; 430 E. Main, Lava Hot Springs, Idaho 83246, lavahotsprings.com
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