Venture to Montana to enjoy natural hot springs, clean air, pristine forests, sparse traffic, and skies that seem to go on forever. Look forward to relaxing in the warm waters of a spring and pampering yourself. After settling into your Montana vacation rental, head out and explore nearby small towns and attractions. Take a look at the five most noteworthy natural hot springs in Montana.

1. Boiling River, Yellowstone National Park

enjoying the hot springs along the shore
Source: Flickr/ilya_ktsn

Boiling River is a small geothermal river that flows into the Gardner River in Yellowstone National Park. Hot and cool water meet in several small stone pools, creating a natural hot tub for soaking. From the 45th Parallel Bridge, follow the trail on an easy half-mile hike along the river to the soaking area. As this is on public land, it’s free to use as long as you abide by the rules posted in the parking lot and at the bathing area. Take your kids along, and grab some towels, swimsuits, sandals, and sunscreen for a refreshing experience. Hardcore soakers visit the Boiling River soaking pools in the winter, and the area closes only in the spring when flooding washes over the natural hot tubs.

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2. Bozeman Hot Springs, Four Corners

Indoor swimming area
Source: Facebook/Bozeman Hot Springs

Bozeman Hot Springs began as a small pool in the late 19th century grew into a Four Corners, Montana vacation destination. This natural hot springs facility now operates 12 pools that vary in temperature between 59 to 106 F, and the site includes steam rooms and dry saunas. It’s located just minutes from Big Sky Resort, making it convenient for you to stop in for a hot soak after a day of skiing. At night, enjoy the fires blazing off the tops of outdoor walls, the huge lighted rocks, and three pools, including one for the little kids. Some evenings, live bands play in the outdoor pool area, adding to the wow factor. Amenities include daycare services that let you get right to your workout in the gym or enjoy your relaxing soak in one of the hot pools.

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3. Norris Hot Springs, Norris

soaking in Norris Hot Springs

Norris Hot Springs, also called “Water of the Gods,” consists of a series of thermal springs. A sprayer system circulates the 120 F spring water to cool the pool to comfortable soaking temperatures of below 100 F in summer and up to 106 F in winter. Staff members drain the water off each night, where it flows off to the local wetlands where it will eventually reach the Madison River. Amenities include live music and a restaurant that serves up burgers, salads, pizza, and desserts. Adults enjoy a variety of beers and wines. Locals, campers, travelers, and vacationers of all ages gather here to soak and play in a family-friendly atmosphere.

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4. Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs, Saco

Sleeping Buffalo indoor swimming area

Vacation rentals in Saco give you access to the only natural hot springs in the northern part of Montana. The 3,200-foot-deep well-producing water at 108 F makes this a class act on the prairie. The natural hot springs water has no added chemicals, and it flows continuously, refreshing the pools. Staff members clean all the pools every night and refill each one with natural hot springs water every day. Amenities include the main pool, a hot tub, a sauna, swimsuits to borrow, and free digital lockers in the locker room. The cold plunge just outside the sauna helps you cool down. The facility includes a gym to start off your visit with a bang. The food concessions feature pizza, snacks, and drinks. Feel free to take your children into the pools with you, and make sure the little ones wear swim diapers if they are not yet potty trained. Small pool toys for the main pool are acceptable.

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5. Boulder Hot Springs Inn and Spa, Boulder

view of Boulder Hot Springs Inn
Source: Facebook/Boulder Hot Springs Inn, Spa & Retreat Center

Nestled against Deerlodge National Forest, Boulder Hot Springs Inn and Spa lies just off I-15, about half-way between Butte and Helena. The site covers 300 acres of meadows and forest land amid breathtaking snow-capped mountains and scenic valleys. Enjoy the pure, fresh mountain air as you bask in the swimming pool, which uses the mineral water from the geothermal springs, tempered by natural well water. Watch for sightings of bears, moose, elks, antelopes, and foxes. Water from the natural hot springs also feeds the indoor plunges, mineral steam rooms, and showers, and it also heats the building. This healthy, healing, family-oriented spa chooses to support an atmosphere free of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. To condition the pool water, the facility uses only bromine, and never adds chlorine. For safety reasons, always accompany your children under age 12 to the pool. Two hot pools inside receive a continuous flow of fresh thermal spring and well water, which completely refreshes the water every four hours without the need for chemical additives. The bathhouse features dressing rooms, toilets, places to rest, and steam rooms. Additional spa services include a wide variety of massages and body treatments.

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