What to Know About Bozeman Hot Springs Before You Go
Bozeman Hot Springs is easily one of my favorite places to go when visiting my sister in Bozeman. She lives just a couple miles from this relaxing hot springs and fitness center.
I’m not the only one who loves it. Soaking at Bozeman Hot Springs is usually the main thing my kids want to do when we visit Bozeman. They get more excited about an outing to the hot springs than even going to the incredible Museum of the Rockies!
Though the pools are quite spectacular now with a certain rustic charm, Bozeman Hot Springs started as just a single, small pool that was enjoyed by locals in the late 1800s. Now it has 12 pools located both indoors and outside.
So what makes Bozeman Hot Springs so special?
Bozeman Hot Springs is easily one of the best things to do in Bozeman. It’s also one of my favorite hot springs.
One reason I find it special is because Bozeman Hot Springs doesn’t have a resort vibe like other popular soaking spots in Montana such as Chico Hot Springs and Quinn’s Hot Springs. This gives Bozeman Hot Springs more of a local feel.
It might not be a traditional hot springs resort, but Bozeman Hot Springs does have some lodging option, which we’ll get to later in the article.
The local natural elements are also on full display at Bozeman Hot Springs. Each night the pools are drained and refilled using underground thermal water. This water is believed to have healing properties. It’s also full of sulphur that helps keep it clean without chemicals, and will be the slightly eggy smell you’ll notice when you walk into the pool house.
You can soak in this special water in 12 different pools, inside or outside, during the day or after the sun sets. The pools range in temperatures from 59 degrees to 106 degrees.
The Outdoor Pools
The four outdoor pools at Yellowstone flow in a circular pattern.
With the exception of the coolest temp pool that is rectangle shaped (and also where the original pool was located) and hovers between 80-95 degrees (tip: it’s warmer where the water is cascading into the pool), all the pools outside are long and narrow.
The pools are all close enough that you can quickly walk from one pool to the next.
My kids and I enjoy making our way through all of the different hot spring pools during the day and doing “laps” so to speak. We start in the coolest one and make our way to the warmest.
At night, I usually direct my kids to the second coolest pool outside (which is still between 90 to 95 degrees) to avoid all the date night couples hanging out in the hottest pools. This pool is still pleasant even when the temperatures drop to the single digits, but isn’t as crowded so the kids can splash around a bit without annoying people.
INSIDER TIPS FOR WINTER: Bring a beanie to cover your head. Even in 100 degree weather, my ears and head get cold when it’s out of the water during the winter months.
Also, leave your towels by wherever you think you’ll be exiting the pools from if it’s cold outside. One winter evening, I got out of the pool in the back and realized my towel was up near the front door. That was a very shivery journey to go back and find it!
The Indoor Pools
My family mostly hangs out in the outdoor pools, but we usually spend a bit of time inside during each visit to Bozeman Hot Springs. My kids enjoy the larger (and usually more empty) indoor pool that’s warm, but not as hot as some of the outdoor ones we usually hang out in.
While they jump in the main indoor pool, I’ll go sit underneath the cascading water of the indoor hot tubs and let it massage my shoulders as I watch them play.
Also indoors is the cold plunge pool. This is an ideal place for it since I would NOT want to do the cold plunge in winter weather outside. Brrrr! The cold plunge is located in between the two hottest pools, which are more like oversized hot tubs. This is a nice setup since you can sit in the cold pool and then immediately transfer your body to the hot water.
And if you’re wondering why anyone is going to sit in the 57 degree cold pool, it’s supposed to be good for your circulation. It’s also fun watching people experience the frigid plunge.
(Last time I was there, a cute teenage couple were using it with the girl sitting there cool as a cucumber for several minutes and the boy obviously miserably shivering, but trying not to show it to impress the girl. Ha!)
Lockers and Changing Rooms at Bozeman Hot Springs
Changing rooms are located right after you get through the lobby and connect into the pools. There are bathrooms and shower stalls plus some benches next to a row of lockers.
Insider Tip: The lockers require two quarters. If you don’t have change, you can ask the front desk to add on $.50 to your total when purchasing your day passes and then they’ll give you back the quarters. The lockers use a key with a wriststrap you can wear in the pools.
Also, the lockers are one-time use, so if you forget something in it or want to add something to it, you’ll need more quarters. So I’d recommend putting valuables in the locker and bring a day bag with you for everything else that you can keep on a chair by the pools.
Food and Drink at Bozeman Hot Springs
Small snacks and ice cream are available for purchase. Bozeman Hot Springs also has a selection of bottled juices and sodas you can buy. There are no alcoholic drinks sold or permitted onsite.
Bozeman Hot Springs Fitness Center
In 2010, the fitness center was opened and now serves as one of the most modern fitness centers in Gallatin Valley. You can get a day pass that includes access to both the pools and the fitness center, which includes access to group classes and machines for weight training and cardio.
The Bozeman Hot Springs Campground
I mentioned Bozeman Hot Springs doesn’t have resort lodging. However, if you’re the camping type, there is a campground next to the facility that caters to RV and tent campers.
A row of rustic cabins are also onsite and available to stay in. The cabins are divided by side fences which help with privacy. These cabins come with bedding and towels, but bathrooms are not in the cabin. There are shared bathrooms with toilets, sinks, and showers for guests to use.
Visitors staying at Bozeman Hot Springs campground or cabins also get access to amenities like an included breakfast in the pavilion each morning, an arcade and game room, and even panning for gems. The last one is located in a unique building that mimics an old mine shaft and is open Wednesday through Sunday for guests.
Campground and cabin guests also have access to a gear and souvenir shop in case you forget anything for your explorations or want something to help you remember your trip by.
Where is Bozeman Hot Springs located?
Bozeman Hot Springs is located to the west of downtown Bozeman in the Four Corners neighborhood Its convenient to Big Sky since it’s right before you turn toward Gallatin Gateway and down to Big Sky.
Read More: Best Hot Springs in Montana