There are few better ways to beat winter’s chill then by soaking in a hot springs, and Montana has lots of great options for doing just that.
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Chico Hot Springs, Pray (Nearby Hotels)
Chico Hot Springs Resort is located less than an hour southeast of Bozeman. It offers a relaxed atmosphere for soaking in the soothing warm waters and is also a popular spot for sipping wine and enjoying fine cuisine. The main lodge dates to 1900, when it was a bathing site for miners in the area, and today, it’s managed to retain much of its rustic Western charm, though it boasts modern amenities like a spa that offers a variety of massage therapies and all sorts of indulgent treatments. The Dining Room features an acclaimed menu with dishes that include produce straight from the property’s garden, as well as fresh, flown-in seafood. Go for an afternoon, a day, or spend the night, with a wide range of accommodation options available too.
Norris Hot Springs, Norris (Nearby Hotels)
Norris Hot Springs hosts the “Water of the Gods,” a series of artesian springs that are used to fill its 38,000-gallon pool with hot mineral waters. Although it’s initially 120 degrees Fahrenheit, a sprayer system creates the ideal soak by circulating the water and cooling it to a comfortable temperature below 100 degrees in the summer, and to around 106 in the winter. While it doesn’t offer accommodation, it is a fun casual option with live poolside music, food and beverages.
Lolo Hot Springs Resort, Lolo (Nearby Hotels)
Lolo Hot Springs Resort sits in the heart of the Lolo National Forest, just under 40 miles from Missoula. It not only features natural hot springs pools with temperatures that range from 102 to 106 degrees, but it offers a variety of accommodations, including a campground with tent sites, an RV Park with electric hookups, and cozy cabins. There’s also a restaurant and casino, a gallery, volleyball nets, horseshoe pits and live entertainment, along with the opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, fishing and crystal hunting.
Spa Hot Springs Motel & Clinic, White Sulphur Springs (Nearby Hotels)
The Flathead, Blackfeet and Crow Indians originally used the mineral waters at Spa Hot Springs Motel to cure chest infections, arthritis and other health conditions. As the tribes were at war, in order to soak, they had to call a truce first, and today, this is still thought of as a place of peace. It’s the ideal place to enjoy relaxing, with two outdoor pools and one indoor pool, and it’s especially magical in the winter, floating in the water as the snow gently falls all around you. The motel itself offers basic, clean rooms, and there are a number of dining options nearby.
Fairmont Hot Springs, Anaconda (Nearby Hotels)
Fairmont is an ideal spot for families with young children, though adults looking for peace and tranquility may want to go elsewhere. This resort features four hot springs pools, two soaking tubs, a 350-water side, and a children’s playground. There’s also a spa, an 18-hole golf course with the 5th hole considered one of the most challenging in the entire state. It hosts a number of dining options as well, including The Springwater Cafe, The Waters Edge Dining Room, Whiskey Joe’s Lounge, and several snack bars. You can spend the night too, with over 150 rooms at the lodge, all of which include 24-hour access to the hot springs pools.
Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort, Paradise (Nearby Hotels)
Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort is literally in Paradise, the town that is, tucked between the mountains and a river. It boasts six hot springs pools for soaking and swimming, a historic lodge and cabins for overnight stays, a casino, a tavern and a fine dining restaurant, the Harwood House which specializes in super slow roasted Prime Rib, aged center cut steaks and seafood. The three soaking pools range in temperature from 100 to 106 degrees, while the swimming pools typically range from 88 to 95 degrees. For the especially daring, there’s a polar plunge which ranges from 55 to 60 degrees.
Symes Hot Springs Hotel, Hot Springs (Nearby Hotels)
Of course, the small town of Hot Springs also has a hot springs pool for soaking. In fact, it was named after the Big Medicine hot mineral springs discovered by Northwest Native American tribes. Located about two hours northwest of Missoula, this facility prides itself on being an old-fashioned hot spring spa, and has been in operation since 1928. It’s considered one of the last remaining “grand resort hotels,” with its rooms featuring vintage furnishings. The 31 rooms include a Jacuzzi Suite that boasts a jetted mineral spa, 15 cabins and convenience apartments. It hosts both hot and cold outdoor pools, an espresso stand, gift shop, massage therapies, a restaurant and live music on weekends.
Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs & Resort, Saco (Nearby Hotels)
Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs offers the only hot springs in the state’s northern region, located in the tiny town of Saco, home to a population of less than 200 inhabitants. It’s been attracting bathers from throughout the state as well as North Dakota and Saskatchewan, Canada since the 1920s. The springs were discovered when an oil rigger was testing for oil, and at 3,100 feet, struck a gushing well of hot water instead, flowing with 500 pounds per square inch. Drilling was abandoned and the well was allowed to flow for a number of years to provide cowboys and others with a hot bath. Today, the water still comes from this artesian well, bringing some 900 gallons that contain beneficial minerals every minute.
The resort also features cabins and a campground for overnight stays as well as food and drink options.