Table of Contents Show
- What Are Hot Springs?
- How Long Can You Sit in Hot Springs?
- How Sanitary Are Hot Springs?
- How Many Hot Springs Are There in Wyoming?
- The Best Hot Springs in Wyoming
- Add Hot Springs Hunting to Your Wyoming Itinerary
If you’ve never soaked in hot springs in Wyoming, it’s time to try! This unique natural phenomenon occurs when radioactive elements below the Earth’s crust heat the groundwater.
It can be 45 degrees outside, and you can enjoy the warmth and refreshment of a 105-degree hot spring.
One way to bask in the country’s natural beauty is to visit a hot spring. You might think Arkansas has the only hot springs in America, but these natural wonders scatter across the United States. Let’s learn more about a few fantastic hot springs in Wyoming!
What Are Hot Springs?
Also called a geothermal spring or hydrothermal spring, a hot spring comes from geothermally heated groundwater. Deep in the Earth’s crust, hot rock heats the groundwater through the radioactive decay of naturally occurring radioactive elements.
Because of this chemical process, hot springs generally have large amounts of minerals, from silica to carbon dioxide and sulfur. This is why many people believe hot springs can heal ailing bodies.
How Long Can You Sit in Hot Springs?
Native American tribes have long thought that hot springs possess healing powers. Many of these people consider hot springs to be sacred spaces.
As white settlers started moving west, they would stop to relax their aching muscles in hot springs all across the country. Today, tourists and locals alike enjoy the healing properties of hot springs as well as enjoy relaxing in nature.
But even with their positive effects on your health, you don’t want to sit in a hot spring for hours. Treat a visit to a hot spring like you would a visit to a sauna or hot tub.
Soak for 10 or 15 minutes, and then get out to allow your body temperature to return to normal. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an entire day at a hot spring location. It means don’t sit in the hot spring for the whole day.
How Sanitary Are Hot Springs?
The hot springs that operate commercially need treatment. So they’re going to be safe and clean. However, this also takes away a bit from the rustic charm of natural hot springs.
If you visit a backcountry hot spring that doesn’t see many visitors, it could become stagnant, leading to sanitary issues. But all the hot springs on this list are regularly visited and should be safe and hygienic for public use.
How Many Hot Springs Are There in Wyoming?
There are numerous areas in Wyoming with hot springs that are accessible year-round. No matter what season it is, these hot springs in Wyoming are a refreshing, relaxing experience.
Can you imagine watching the snow fall during winter while soaking in a hot spring? It’s truly a magical experience!
There are over 100 hot springs in Wyoming, but many are in Yellowstone National Park. Some are accessible and open to the public, while others aren’t.
But even outside Yellowstone, tourists and locals can enjoy dozens of hot springs in Wyoming.
The Best Hot Springs in Wyoming
Here are some of the best hot springs in Wyoming. However, note their operating schedule and access in the off-season.
If you want to make a winter visit, admission to Granite Hot Springs is limited to snowmobile, dog sled, or cross-country skis. Let’s take a closer look at these seven locations!
Hot Springs State Park
Address: 220 Park St, Thermopolis, WY 82443
Price: $7-12 per vehicle
Although there is an entrance fee to the state park, Hot Springs State Park in Wyoming is a day-use park with free access to the mineral springs at the bathhouse. The bathhouse is open Monday-Saturday from 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and on Sundays from 12 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Open year-round, the park has more than six miles of trails and “The Swinging Bridge,” a suspension bridge. There is also a boat ramp and reservable group picnic shelters. If you’re an early riser, the staff at Hot Springs State Park feeds the park bison daily from 8-9 a.m. This event offers visitors a unique opportunity to view the park bison from their cars.
How to Visit: There’s a $7 per day/vehicle fee for Wyoming residents and a $12 per day/vehicle fee for non-residents. There are also annual permits for sale for $96 for day-use facilities. The parking lot offers convenient access to Hot Springs State Park and recreational opportunities.
Keep in Mind: Before you head off to Wyoming, you need to read these secrets on making camping reservations in Yellowstone!
Saratoga Resort and Spa
Address: 601 E. Pic Pike Rd, Saratoga, WY, 82331
Price: Access to amenities is free with a lodging reservation ($167-225/night)
If you’re looking for a unique hot springs experience in Wyoming, Saratoga Resort and Spa has it. Relax in private teepee-covered hot pools, which remain around 100 degrees to 112 degrees. Soak in a vast 70-foot-long mineral hot springs pool, which remains about 96 degrees to 98 degrees.
The full-service resort also offers western-style guest rooms and suites, a restaurant, a microbrewery and pub, a spa, a nine-hole golf course and pro shop, and a fitness center.
If you want to get out and explore the area, Saratoga Resort and Spa offers guided and unguided snowmobile tours and bikes, jeeps, ATVs, snowmobiles, cross-country skis, and snowshoe rentals.
How to Visit: Unlike other locations on this list, Saratoga Resort and Spa is not open to the public. Since only guests and members can access the amenities, you must make an overnight reservation. The rates range from $167 per night during the week in the off-season to $225 in the summer season. A resort membership costs around $700.
Address: Two blocks East of 1st Street, Saratoga, WY (walk behind the municipal pool)
The Hobo Pool in Saratoga is free and open 24/7/365. Adjacent to the Platte River is two natural ponds, one they call the “Not So Hot Pool” and the other “The Hobo Pool.” The “Not So Hot Poot” has rightly earned its name because of its cooler water temperature of 100 degrees.
The Hobo Pool maintains a cozy 106-119 degrees. Most tourists don’t even know about the Hobo Pool because of its location behind Saratoga’s municipal pool. Locals who visit this hidden gem have access to nearby showers and dressing rooms. For visitors who want to support the upkeep of this free, public spot, there is a donation box on the side of the dressing room.
How to Visit: The Hobo Pool hides behind the municipal pool. It’s convenient to access but easy to miss if you don’t know where to look. You might also want to enjoy the waters of the city pool. If so, there are fees for anyone over the age of four. Although the Hobo Pool is open throughout the year, the pool is only open until Labor Day weekend.
Granite Hot Springs
Address: 34 miles outside Jackson, off Granite Road
Price: $8/adult, $5/child
This waterfall-led soaking and swimming pool is in a beautiful location among spruce, fir, and pine trees in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Guests can enjoy relaxing in warm 104-degree water year-round in the soaking pool.
The hours of access to Granite Hot Springs in Wyoming change throughout the year, so it’s crucial to either call or check online before you visit. The December to early April season operates from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. until mid-February. Then guests get an extra hour until May.
A third change occurs during the summer of May through October when they provide additional hours until 7 p.m. Finally, after Labor Day, it closes an hour earlier, at 6 p.m. Granite Hot Springs closes in October and reopens in December.
How to Visit: They permit access in December only with snowmobiles, skis, or snowshoes. Iditarod Sled Dog Tours offers excursions to the area from Jackson Hole if you’d like an exciting adventure. In-season, Granite Hot Springs is easy to find off Highway 189.
Turn left onto Granite Creek Road, which turns into Granite Road. After driving about eight miles on this long, bumpy dirt road, you’ll find the hot springs on your right.
Boiling River Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park
Address: N Entrance Rd, Gardiner, MT 59030 (2.9 miles south of the park’s North Entrance)
Price: National Park entrance fee is required, but free parking is on-site
When most tourists visit Yellowstone National Park, the first destinations are Old Faithful and Grand Prismatic Spring. But in Yellowstone’s Mammoth Hot Springs site, boardwalks provide easy access to the geothermal terrace system of the Boiling River swim area.
These hot springs mix hot and cold temperatures as the natural hot springs enter the Gardner River. Discharging about 500 gallons of hot water per minute, the Mammoth Hot Springs maintains a temperature of around 140 degrees.
How to Visit: Access to Mammoth Hot Springs is in your park admission fee. From the parking lot between the North Entrance and Mammoth Hot Springs, you’ll walk about a half-mile along the Gardner River to a designated soaking/swimming area at the Boiling River.
Astoria Hot Springs Park
Address: 25 Johnny Counts Road, Jackson, WY 83001
Price: Local adults are $14, local children are $10, non-resident adults are $18, non-resident children are $14, and memberships start at $250/year
Astoria Hot Springs in Wyoming has five artificial soaking pools. Four are mineral-rich hot springs, and one is a children’s pool. They control each at different temperatures but fill them with natural thermal waters.
The park is open year-round but closes on Tuesdays. Seasonal hours are usually from 9 a.m. to sunset, while winter hours operate during three separate sessions: 9-11 a.m., 12-2 p.m., and 3-5 p.m. Members of the Astoria Park Conservancy get first access to reservations. Other guests can make reservations on the 15th of the month before visiting.
How to Visit: Astoria Hot Springs Park is 20 minutes south of Jackson, past Hoback Junction on Highway 89. You’ll cross the historic red bridge at Snake River and turn onto West Johnny Counts Road.
Address: 115 Big Springs Drive, Thermopolis, WY 82443 (in Hot Springs State Park)
Price: $15.50/adults, $7/children, $12.50/seniors. Season tickets start at $125
The only hot springs water park in Wyoming on the list, Star Plunge is fun for the whole family. While other hot springs are excellent locations to relax and rejuvenate, Star Plunge is where the kids can run, laugh, and let out some energy.
When you visit Star Plunge, you have access to an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, water slides, hot tubs, a fitness room, a game room, a snack bar, and more. It’s open year-round.
How to Visit: Star Plunge is in Hot Springs State Park. Once you’re on Buffalo Street, continue straight onto Big Springs Drive, where you’ll find Star Plunge.
Keep in Mind: When it comes to Wyoming National Parks, make sure to plan your time wisely to make the most out of your trip!
Add Hot Springs Hunting to Your Wyoming Itinerary
Wyoming is a state full of natural beauty. From towering pines and spouting geysers to rugged plains, the Equality State has almost 100,000 square miles of land to explore.
Since it’s the least populous state in the country, for the most part, you should enjoy it without massive crowds.
These hot springs in Wyoming offer visitors a chance to enjoy nature in a unique environment. Some of the places are free! So the next time you venture to the Mountain West, get away from the stressors of the daily routine and relax with nature.
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