Located on the doorstep of Yellowstone National Park, West Yellowstone often serves as a stepping stone to base an exploration of the world-famous park. It is surrounded by breathtaking natural vistas and attractions, including some of the world’s most famous hot springs.
While many of Yellowstone’s thermal water features are unsafe for swimming, there are several areas around the park where guests can submerge in the renowned mineral waters. From swimming holes in the national park to luxury resorts dotting the Montana countryside, visitors can discover soothing tranquility at these six hot springs near West Yellowstone. (Distance from West Yellowstone in brackets).
6 Hot Springs Near West Yellowstone, Montana
1. Firehole River Swimming Area (17 Miles)
Located only a short drive from the park’s entrance in West Yellowstone, the Firehole River is the most accessible hot spring near the small community and is one of the only two natural hot springs in Yellowstone National Park that boasts conditions safe for visitors to submerge in its mineral waters.
Along with its unique soaking opportunities, the Firehole River Swimming Area is also found in one of the most picturesque corners of the national park and features a soothing natural environment filled with breathtaking vistas to enjoy while floating along the tranquil river.
Unfortunately, the Firehole River isn’t open for swimming year-round, as annual ice melts can result in elevated water flow that results in unsafe soaking conditions. As a result, the Firehole River Swimming Area features a changing open season that varies year to year and is constantly being monitored for its safety.
The typical open season for the swimming area is between mid-summer and winter. However, the Firehole River may remain closed throughout the year if the safety requirements are not met for its opening, and visitors should check the status of the swimming area before visiting.
2. Boiling River Hot Springs (50 Miles)
While a little further than the Firehole River Swimming Area, the Boiling River Hot Springs is another accessible hot spring near West Yellowstone and the only other thermal pool in the national park that visitors can swim in.
Located close to the park’s North Entrance, the Boiling River Hot Springs requires a little over an hour and a half drive from West Yellowstone but provides one of the park’s most enjoyable experiences.
Despite what its name may suggest, the Boiling River is safe for swimming throughout most of the year. Formed through the mixing of the hot waters of the Mammoth Hot Springs and the cooler Gardiner River, the Boiling River Hot Springs provides a comfortable soaking experience and features moderate temperatures.
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As a primitive hot spring, the Boiling River only features basic onsite amenities, including a 0.5-mile trail and a rustic bathroom facility. Visitors should practice caution before submerging in its geothermal waters.
Like the Firehole River Swimming Area, the Boiling River Hot Springs features only a temporary open season., but is more reliable than Yellowstone’s other thermal pool. The Boiling River is typically open between mid-summer and the fall but is closed throughout the rest of the year due to increased water flow.
3. Yellowstone Hot Springs (62 Miles)
While located two hours from West Yellowstone, the Yellowstone Hot Springs is the next closest hot spring near the community. It provides visitors with a scenic drive through the park before arriving at their thermal destination.
While the Yellowstone Hot Springs have been frequented for centuries as a site of rejuvenation, the current complex that facilitates the thermal pools was only recently opened in 2018, making it one of the newest hot springs near West Yellowstone, boasting a historic setting with modern amenities.
The extensive hot spring complex boasts three mineral pools, each providing breathtaking views of Big Sky Country’s awe-inspiring landscapes. Of these mineral pools, two boast traditional hot spring temperatures of 102- and 104 degrees Fahrenheit, while the third pool is maintained at 60 to 65 degrees for a cooling respite.
The Yellowstone Hot Springs makes for a fantastic day trip from West Yellowstone. However, guests looking to spend the night on the property can book a site or cabin at the onsite campgrounds.
4. Bozeman Hot Springs (81 Miles)
Opened in the late 19th century, the Bozeman Hot Springs is one of Montana’s most historical thermal pool complexes and is only a two-hour scenic road trip from West Yellowstone. Combining its historical charms with the mineral water’s therapeutic properties, the Bozeman Hot Springs is a must-visit when traveling in the region.
While once an exclusive complex reserved for the area’s most affluent visitors, the Bozeman Hot Springs are a fully developed thermal pool complex and offers one of the most accessible mineral soaks for locals and international tourists alike.
The property features 12 outdoor and indoor pools ranging from 57 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit. The pools are constantly fed from a natural mineral spring, providing a clean and refreshing soak throughout the day.
Operating out of the picturesque Gallatin County, the Bozeman Hot Springs is great for day trips from West Yellowstone. However, the property does feature an onsite campground for guests that prefer to stay the night.
5. Norris Hot Springs (88 Miles)
Tucked away along Hot Spring Creek in Madison Country, the Norris Hot Springs are well worth the two-hour drive to access West Yellowstone and provide a surreal setting for enjoying an isolated soak in the complex’s world-renowned mineral waters.
Featuring a 38,000-gallon swimming pool, the Norris Hot Springs is sourced from an artesian spring with waters so pure that it has become known as the Water of the Gods. Guests can enjoy these pure waters in a spacious outdoor swimming pool maintained at 100 degrees in the summer and 106 degrees in the winter.
For added convenience, the Norris Hot Spring also boasts several onsite amenities throughout its resort complex, including 13 seasonal campsites and a year-round restaurant that engages locally sourced ingredients to produce various delicious dishes.
6. Chico Hot Springs Resort (88 Miles)
Offering another historical hot spring complex near West Yellowstone, the Chico Hot Springs has been one of Montana’s most popular tourist attractions since its doors first opened in 1900.
Hosting many of the region’s early homesteaders, the Chico Hot Springs continues to provide visitors with an experience that combines the complex’s historical charms with its modern amenities, allowing for a traditional exploration of the site’s mineral waters and intrepid landscapes.
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Even before the hot spring resort established itself in the area, the Chico Hot Springs was already a renowned destination thanks to its therapeutic mineral waters and were even known to have hosted daring visitors as early as the 1860s. Modern guests can still enjoy these same mineral waters in two open-aired pools, averaging between 94 and 103 degrees.
Over the century since its establishment, the Chico Hot Springs Resort has become a fully developed complex complete with several onsite amenities and attractions that allow a unique exploration of the surrounding countryside. From the resort, visitors can explore the Absaroka Mountains along a hiking or biking trail, making it one of the best hot springs near West Yellowstone.