Soaking in the serene pools of Yellowstone Hot Springs, you’d never know you were just eight miles from Yellowstone’s North Entrance in Gardiner, Mont. Opened in March 2019, the hot springs are tucked off the highway just 100 feet from the Yellowstone River. Here, you’ll feel worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the park. One-hundred-and-fifty-degree water is pumped a mile and a half from the hot springs to feed five pools, a 105-degree hot plunge, a 98-degree warm pool, a 68-degree cold plunge and two Kneipp pools to rejuvenate the whole body.
Kneipp pools, while popular in Europe, are rarely found here in the U.S. Two parallel, shallow pools – one hot and one cold – are lined with river rocks. When you walk through the pools, the rocks and the 40-degree temperature differences can invoke feelings of rejuvenation.
While Yellowstone Hot Springs is the newest hot springs destination in Montana, the rejuvenating waters are not a new discovery. In 1899 miner Julius LaDuke stumbled upon the springs while mining the banks of the Yellowstone River. He capitalized on the discovery and built a series of hot tubs in the riverbank, Yellowstone’s first “commercial” hot springs. While LaDuke’s resort is long gone, the same water feeds the Yellowstone Hot Springs pools today.
No chemicals are needed to keep the pools sparkling clean. The hot springs’ flow-through system moves 70,000 gallons of water through the pools every eight hours.
“You could soak in the early afternoon and then come back after dinner and be immersed in totally different water,” says sales and marketing director Norman Millman.
Bring your binoculars during the day to spot wildlife like elk, bighorn sheep, bison, bald eagles and the occasional bear or wolf that wander nearby and soak in the 360-degree mountain views. At night, the hot springs becomes the most magical place to stargaze. No music, alcohol or smoking are allowed and intentionally designed private alcoves in the pools allow you to truly relax and enjoy the natural surroundings. The pools draw guests from all over the world; you never know who you might meet.
You can also book camping and lodging through Yellowstone Hot Springs. Stay across the street in an RV-friendly campground that can accommodate rigs up to 40 feet in length in certain sites. All sites have electric and there are a few sites with full-service hookups. There’s a newly remodeled shower house and coin-op laundry facility on-site as well. Or, stay in one of four cabins with its own private bathroom.
Yellowstone Hot Springs is open Tuesday through Sunday in the summer from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Wednesday – Sunday in the winter from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Private rentals are available on Tuesdays in the winter. For more information visit yellowstonehotspringsmt.com.