Located just outside Yellowstone National Park‘s North Entrance, Gardiner is often considered a stepping stone into the region’s more breathtaking landscapes and natural attractions.
Along with providing a doorway into Yellowstone’s breathtaking environments, Gardiner is also surrounded by several fantastic Montana hot spring resorts and primitive thermal pools, perfect for unwinding and soothing worn muscles after a more arduous exploration of the national park.
From luxury thermal resorts to primitive hot spring pools, visitors can find blissful tranquillity at these six hot springs near Gardiner, MT. (Distance from Gardiner in brackets).
6 Great Hot Springs Near Gardiner, Montana
1. Boiling River Hot Springs, WY (3.8 Miles)
The closest hot springs near Gardiner, MT, is just over the state line in the Wyoming region of Yellowstone National Park. The Boiling River Hot Springs is located only 15 minutes from Gardiner and is one of only two geothermally heated watering holes in Yellowstone where swimming is permitted.
Despite being a primitive hot spring with no onsite amenities barring a single small bathroom, the Boiling River Hot Springs are relatively easy to access. From the parking lot, visitors follow a half-mile trail down to the river.
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Contrary to what the name may suggest, the Boiling River isn’t boiling and is safe for swimming throughout most of the year. This is because the water is sourced from the Mammoth Hot Springs, which mixes with the cooler Gardiner River to produce comfortable swimming conditions.
While a popular swimming hole, the Boiling River is still considered a primitive hot spring. It is crucial to remember that the water should only be entered between mid-summer and the fall, as increased water flow results in unsafe swimming conditions throughout the rest of the year.
2. Yellowstone Hot Springs, MT (7.8 Miles)
Located about 10 minutes north of Gardiner, the Yellowstone Hot Springs are the most accessible thermal pools for guests staying near Yellowstone’s northern entrance and offer guests a convenient soaking experience.
While the site has been a popular thermal pool destination for centuries, the complex that currently operates the hot springs was only opened in 2018, making it one of the newest hot springs near Gardiner, MT, boasting a historic setting with modern amenities.
The Yellowstone Hot Springs features three pools, with each offering some of the most breathtaking views of Big Sky Country. The complex’s large swimming pool features temperatures averaging 102 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year, while the nearby hot plunge maintains a slightly balmier 104 degrees.
The property also features a cold plunge pool, maintained between 60 and 65 degrees, for a cooling escape from the other watering holes’ elevated temperatures.
While the Yellowstone Hot Springs offer a fantastic day trip destination from Gardiner, the thermal pool complex also boasts an onsite campground and cabins for guests that prefer to spend the night by the healing waters.
3. Chico Hot Springs Resort & Day Spa, MT (34.5 Miles)
Opened in 1900, the Chico Hot Springs Resort & Day Spa has been one of Montana’s most popular tourist attractions for over a century. It serves as a fantastic day trip destination for Gardiner’s modern visitors.
Dating back to the state’s early homesteading era, the Chico Hot Spring provides an experience that combines the facility’s historical charms with its therapeutic mineral waters and calming onsite services and ambiance.
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Predating the resort, the Chico Hot Springs’ mineral pools have attracted soakers for over 150 years, dating back to the 1860s. Today’s visitors can still enjoy this same naturally soothing experience in two open-aired mineral pools averaging 96- and 103 degrees Fahrenheit.
While the complex’s mineral pools are the resort’s primary attraction, the Chico Hot Springs Resort also offers guests a unique exploration of the region’s countryside. From the resort’s property, guests can explore the Absaroka Mountains along the property’s hiking and riding trails before returning to soak in the soothing mineral spring.
4. Firehole River Swimming Area, WY (40 Miles)
Along with the Boiling River Hot Springs, the Firehole River Swimming Area is one of the two natural hot springs in Yellowstone National Park where visitors can submerge in the preservation’s geothermal waters.
Located 45 minutes from the park’s North Entrance in Gardiner, the Firehole River Swimming Area is found in one of the most picturesque corners of the region and offers breathtaking natural vistas to admire while floating in the warm waters.
Also, like the Boiling River Hot Springs, the Firehole River Swimming Area features a temporary open season. Unfortunately, this open season varies year to year depending on ice melt and water flow, and the site may even remain closed year-round if the swimming conditions are deemed unsafe.
Nevertheless, the Firehole Swimming Area typically opens between mid-summer and winter and is often one of Yellowstone’s most popular attractions. However, visitors should check before visiting the location to ensure they will be able to swim.
5. Bozeman Hot Springs Spa, MT (79 Miles)
Another historical hot spring resort that first opened in the late 19th century, the Bozeman Hot Springs, is located about an hour and a half from Gardiner. Still, it provides a memorable soaking experience in one of the state’s oldest commercial geothermal destinations.
While once reserved for only the area’s most affluent visitors, the Bozeman Hot Springs Spa is a fully-developed site and offers one of the most accessible mineral soaks in the state for the local population and international tourists alike.
The Bozeman Hot Springs features 12 outdoor and indoor pools, all constantly fed from a natural mineral spring, providing a clean and refreshing experience throughout the day. The pools range in temperatures from 57 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit to meet various bathing preferences.
Located in the breathtakingly beautiful Gallatin Valley, the Bozeman Hot Springs make for an excellent day trip from Gardiner. However, those looking to spend the night by the mineral waters while admiring breathtaking views of the landscapes can book a site at the property’s onsite campgrounds.
6. Norris Hot Springs, MT (106 Miles)
Located slightly further from Gardiner, the Norris Hot Springs require a two-hour drive to reach from the city but are well worth the extended journey to reach them. Nestled along Hot Spring Creek in Madison County, the Norris Hot Springs enjoy one of the most surreal settings in the state and offer visitors an enhanced feeling of isolated serenity.
Boasting 38,000 gallons of natural mineral waters, the Norris Hot Springs’ outdoor pool is fed by an artesian spring so pure that it has been nicknamed the Water of the Gods. The pool offers plenty of space for soaking and features temperatures averaging 106 degrees in the winter and 100 degrees in the summer.
As a fully-developed hot springs resort, the Norris Hot Springs also boasts many onsite amenities, including 13 seasonal campsites and a year-round restaurant serving a diverse menu that highlights locally sourced ingredients.
Despite requiring a long drive to reach, the Norris Hot Springs combines an isolated setting with onsite amenities that provide a soothing escape and an ideal day trip from Gardiner.