As the second largest city in Montana, Missoula combines decades of historical attraction and big-city amenities with the natural beauty of The Treasure State’s outdoor wonders. From touring Garnet Ghost Town and hiking Caras Park to exploring the city’s food and craft beer scene, an itinerary to Missoula is guaranteed to be packed with fun and exciting activities.
However, while there is always something new to see in the city, Missoula is also a destination that promises a quiet serenity and is only a short drive from many of the state’s most tranquil hot springs. These thermal pools offer diverse experiences as varied as Missoula’s in city attractions.
Whether you prefer to soak in a hot spring serviced by a full-fledge resort or a rustic pool tucked away in the idyllic countryside, these six hot springs near Missoula provide a quiet respite to escape the bustling city to enjoy the therapeutic properties of the region’s mineral waters. (Distance from Missoula city center in brackets).
The Top Hot Springs Near Missoula
1. Lolo Hot Springs (38 Miles)
Only a 45-minute drive from the city, Lolo Hot Springs is the closes thermal pool complex to Missoula and offers visitors a full-service resort featuring several onsite soaking opportunities and additional comfort amenities.
Frequent by local indigenous peoples for centuries, the Lolo Hot Springs was discovered by the western world in 1805 during the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Since then, the site has attracted settlers to the rugged region and continues to attract tourists from around the world.
Today there are two maintained pools on the resort, both of which feature natural mineral waters from the springs. The outdoor and indoor pools are open year-round and boast average water temperatures that range from 102 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit.
Additional services and amenities guests can expect to enjoy within the extensive resort complex include an 18-hole Frisbee golf course, a bar, restaurant, casino, several luxurious accommodations, camping options, and many fun outdoor activities.
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2. Nimrod Warm Springs (35 Miles)
Boasting year-round 70 degrees waters, the Nimrod Warm Springs misses the required temperature to be considered an official hot spring. Nevertheless, this primitive swimming hole offers visitors a unique thermal pool experience near Missoula and is ideal for visitors seeking a soak in a natural setting.
The Nimrod Hot Springs require a short 0.5-mile hike to access, but when visitors arrive at the spring, they are welcomed by picturesque views of the crystal clear, blue-hued waters fed by a natural spring source down a cascading rock wall. The idyllic spring setting is completed by rolling hills and pockets of tall trees surrounding the waters.
The Nimrod Hot Springs is a fantastic site for day-tripping from Missoula and require only a half-hour drive south of the city along the I-90.
3. Sleeping Child Hot Springs (62 Miles)
Occupying 40 acres of the Bitterroot National Forest, the Sleeping Child Hot Springs is one of Montana’s most unique hot springs and is less than an hour and a half drive south of Missoula. Unfortunately, the springs are no longer open to the public and instead are only available as part of a luxurious rental property.
Along with the historical hot springs, the property features a five-story lodge with nine bedrooms that can sleep up to 20 guests. As a result, it is a fantastic site for hosting group getaways, including corporate retreats, family vacations, and specialty events.
Visitors can soak in the spring’s natural mineral water in the large main pool or one of the two hot tubs on the property. The pool is maintained at about 100 degrees Fahrenheit, while the two hot tubs average 102 and 104 degrees.
Additional onsite amenities include three kitchens, a laundry facility, a dance floor, outdoor decks, and a picturesque fountain. Furthermore, the property also boasts a myriad of activities, including hiking, fishing, mountain biking, and a wide selection of yard games.
4. Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort (69 Miles)
Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort is an extensive thermal pool complex located about an hour north of Missoula in the Lolo National Forest. The opulent resort complex features several onsite amenities and one of the most surreal soaking experiences in Montana’s western reaches.
Frequented by indigenous peoples long before their discovery, Quinn’s hot springs were first visited by European settlers in the 19th century and quickly became a popular destination amongst the homesteaders in the region. Visitors today continue to soak in the spring’s therapeutic waters while enjoying the opulent comforts of the resort.
The property features five hot springs with a 100% natural flow from the spring’s source. Temperatures vary between the pools, with the coolest averaging 89 degrees Fahrenheit and the hottest at 106 degrees.
Additional onsite services and amenities include an extensive event venue, the Harwood house Restaurant, Quinn’s Tavern, and several accommodation options.
5. Symes Hot Springs Hotel & Mineral Baths (77 Miles)
A quaint resort boasting hot springs near Missoula, the Symes Hot Springs Hotel is a historical complex that boasts the traditional stylings of a grand resort hotel. Like many other springs on this list, the Symes Hot Springs have been known in the area for centuries by local native American tribes but were left hidden from the western world until the 19th century.
Today the hot spring hotel attracts guests from around the world who flock to the small community to soak in the region’s curative mineral waters. The hotel provides access to these spring waters in three unique pools that vary in temperature from 95 degrees Fahrenheit to 107 degrees.
Additional onsite services include several hotel rooms, cabins, camping options, an extensive spa facility offering massage treatments, and even an onsite restaurant and espresso bar.
6. Lost Trail Hot Spring Resort (88 Miles)
Tucked away slightly further than other hot springs near Missoula, the Lost Trail Hot Spring Resort is worth the hour-and-a-half drive to reach and boasts one of the most tranquil hot spring experiences in a beautiful natural setting.
Once a popular stopping site for trekkers along the Continental Divide Trail, the Lost trail hot Spring Resort continues to soothe weary bones and hiking muscles in its maintained natural hot spring pool and hot tubs.
The spring water averages 107 degrees Fahrenheit but is cooled before being filled into the pool or tubs. As a result, the pool averages about 96 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, while the tub averages around 105 degrees. Meanwhile, these waters are slightly cooler during the winter, at 92 degrees in the pool and 102 in the tubs.
Also available within the resort’s complex are an in-house restaurant, the Wood Fired Pizza Wagon, and several lodging options. Additionally, the resort is surrounded by the idyllic Bitterroot National Forest, making the complex a fantastic spot to base as you explore the majestic landscapes.