Chico Hot Springs in Montana Near Pray, MT in the Paradise Valley

Why Chico Hot Springs is Our Favorite Place to Stay in Montana’s Paradise Valley

Chico Hot Springs Resort seen from above with views of the pool, historic main lodge, and spa.
Chico Hot Springs Resort

After hearing about how great Chico Hot Springs is from friends and family for literally years, I finally stayed there for a night. I immediately realized why it’s a Montana resort loved by locals and visitors alike.

Welcome to Chico sign above the lobby entrance for Chico Hot Springs, a popular Montana resort in Paradise Valley.
Front view of the inn

What makes Chico Hot Springs so special?

Aerial view of Chico Hot Springs with the sprawling paradise valley and mountain range in the distance.
Aerial photo of Chico Hot Springs

Well, for starters, it’s one of the only resorts located in the gorgeous Paradise Valley in between Livingston and the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park. It’s just 40 minutes north of Yellowstone.

Read More: Where to Stay Guide for Yellowstone National Park

Plus, Chico Hot Springs has some seriously neat and memorable accommodation options, like covered wagons and rooms in a National Historic Site.

The covered wagons made into cabins in Chico Hot Springs is a popular accommodation type at this unique Montana resort.
Covered Wagons “Camp” at Chico Hot Springs

Secondly, it’s located in Pray, MT. Pray is known for it geothermal hot springs. The resort is built around this hot spring, which feeds the resort’s huge thermally heated pool.

Woman smiling and holding up a drink in the sunshine dappled pool at Chico Hot Springs Resort in Paradise Valley Montana.
Enjoying Chico Hot Springs

And third, it’s just gorgeous there!

So much beauty surrounds Chico Hot Springs Resort.

The blue sky and white clouds are a perfect backdrop for the luxury cabins you can stay in at Chico Hot Springs.
Chico Luxury Cabins front view

It’s also steeped in history. The main lodge is on the National Registrar of Historic Places and features a number of antiques in the lobby and cool vintage decor throughout the lodge and adjacent dining room.

Read More: The Best Family Resorts in Montana

Historic fireplace in the Chico Hot Springs Lobby.
Lobby seating and fireplace

In addition to the gorgeous Montana views, Chico has some really neat accommodation options.

Accommodation Types at Chico Hot Springs

My husband and I stayed in one of the luxury cabins and I was so impressed with how spacious, clean, and comfortable it was — especially because for less than $300 per night in July, it felt like a steal.

Exterior of a luxury cabin at Chico Hot Springs Resort in front of a cow field.
Luxury Cabin
The bed and vaulted ceiling in a luxury cabin at Chico Hot Springs in Pray, Montana.
Luxury cabin
Enjoy a relaxing bath in the luxury bathrooms at Chico Hot Springs.
Chico Luxury Bathroom

The luxury cabins are situated on the north end of the property along a little peaceful strip of land dotted with greenery and bookended with hammocks.

The wooden chairs on the front porch of the cabins in Chico Hot Springs are perfect for a relaxing evening watching nature.
Luxury Cabin Front Porch

Behind the luxury cabins are pastures with cows grazing. They were fun to listen to on the front porch after dinner.

The relaxing front porch with its comfortable Adirondack chairs was another one of my favorite aspects of our cabin. It was a great spot to enjoy a morning coffee.

The luxury cabins were just a few minutes walk from the pool, bar and restaurants, and main lodge.

Chico Hot Spring’s Main Lodge

Peaceful outdoor courtyard by the historic main lodge at Chico Hot Springs.

The main lodge of Chico Hot Springs is the historic heart of the resort. I enjoyed wandering the halls and taking in the old-fashioned features.

The charm of the decor on the stairs of Chico Hot Springs is a must see on your next visit to Paradise Valley Montana.
Chico Lodge Stairs
The rustic decor has old West charm in Chico Hot Springs located in the Yellowstone Country region of Montana.
Chico Cabins Rustic Decor

The rooms have been updated, but retain some rustic charm. The main lodge rooms are of great value since most rooms do not have an ensuite and instead have shared bathrooms down the hallway.

Walking down a hallway in the historic Chico Inn with rooms on the side and the bathroom at the end of the hall.
Walking down a hallway in the historic inn with rooms on the side and the bathroom at the end of the hall.

The Main Lodge is connected to the reception area and the main restaurant. It is also right by the pool.

Want a hotel room type of stay at Chico Hot Springs close to the pool and common areas, but with a bit more of a modern vibe, like an ensuite bath? The Warren Wing or Lower Lodge next door to the Historic Main Lodge is your answer.

The Warren Wing shares the same white and green exterior as the Main Lodge, but you’ll find private rooms adjoined to rooms with charming country decor.

The Lower Lodge has a gorgeous wood beamed exterior, canopy beds, and suite options. Though just a bit farther than the Main Historic Lodge, the Lower Lodge is also an easy walk to the common area amenities like the pool and dining.

Lower Lodge building seen from the luxury cabins at Chico Hot Springs.
View of the Lower Lodge from our cabin.

We’ll get to swimming and dining in a minute, but first, let’s talk about one of my favorite accommodation options at Chico Hot Springs: the covered wagons.

Glamping in Covered Wagons at Chico Hot Springs

Enjoy a blast from the old west past in the Chico Hot Springs Camp Conestoga cabins.
Chico Camp Conestoga

I would love to go back to Chico Hot Springs and stay in one of its covered wagon glamping-style cabins with my kids. They (and me!) would get such a kick out of it.

The covered wagon lodging area in Chico Hot Springs is a rustic way to get back to nature in Paradise Valley and is one of the most unique places to stay in Montana.
Covered Wagon Lodging

The covered wagons at Chico Hot Springs feature a queen bed and a bunk bed. Outside the wagon are private seating areas.

Most of the covered wagons are situated at the top of the resort, overlooking the main amenities below.

These unique wagon accommodations share a luxurious bathhouse with multiple bathrooms that have a toilet, shower, vanity, and changing area.

Exterior of shared bathhouse with four separate bathrooms in Camp Conestoga.
Chico Outdoor Bathrooms
Large, clean shared bathroom for Camp Conestoga guests.
Chico Bathroom interior

Camp Conestoga also has a lovely firepit area in the common area of the camp with ample seating and views of the resort and mountains.

The fire pit area in Camp Conestoga overlooking the Paradise Valley.
Fire pit area

Pic: Covered Wagons View

Covered wagon accommodation with patio chairs at the base of the entrance.
Covered Wagon in Chico Hot Springs

Chico Hot Springs also has a covered wagon with a private bathhouse and bonfire area referred to as the Cowboy Camp. It is located separate from Camp Conestoga.

Cowboy Camp is a covered wagon with a bit more privacy at Chico Hot Springs.
Cowboy Camp

The Cowboy Camp wagon lot is located lower down the road and is closer to the townhomes and rustic cabins.

Townhomes and Cabin

In addition to the luxury cabins I mentioned earlier, Chico Hot Springs has a row of Rustic Cabins that are smaller and easier on your budget.

Exterior of Chico Budget Cabins with parking spots right in front.
Chico Budget Cabins

Traveling with a large group? Rent one of the houses or chalets that can fit up to 12 people.

The resort chalets in Chico Hot Springs like Chalet 601 can sleep larger groups.
Resort Chalet
Larger cabins with gorgeous views on the property of Chico Hot Springs Resort.
Larger Accommodations

In addition to cabins, cottages, and houses, there are motel-style townhomes overlooking the resort called the Fisherman’s Lodge. These offer updated interiors and parking right outside your door with a grassy area and chairs in back.

Fisherman's Lodge Motel at Chico Hot Springs seen from above (to the right).
Fisherman’s Lodge Motel seen from above (to the right).

The houses, cottages, covered wagons, and rustic cabins are all located up the mountain road above the resort so are a longer walk to the main lodge and pool. You’ll also find a cool converted train caboose up there that can sleep two people. The Fisherman’s Lodge is on the lower end, but also has a bit of a stroll.

You can also just drive down and park by reception if you’re staying in this area or up in one of the covered wagons.

The Pool at Chico Hot Springs

A view of the resort pool with the word Chico on the back wall.
Chico Hot Springs Pool

Chico Hot Springs has one large rectangle pool divided into two potions, a large area, and a small area. The large area is heated at a low temperature, but it’s still hot! As the name suggests, this is after all a pool naturally filled and heated by nearby hot springs.

Read More: Best Hot Springs in Montana

Bird's eye view of the Chico Hot Springs resort pool. The Day Spa is on the hill above the pool.
Bird’s eye view of the pool at Chico Hot Springs. The Day Spa is on the hill above the pool.

Because of the constant stream of water entering and exiting the pool from the spring, the pool is able to be chlorine-free.

A cool dip in the Chico Hot Springs pool is the perfect way to spend a day in Paradise Valley Montana.
Chico Pool

Right next to the pool is a causal diner-style restaurant called the Poolside Grille.

After a relaxing swim at the Chico Pool, enjoy a snack at their grill area.
Chico Pool and Grille
Dine on fabulous food at the Poolside Grille at Chico Hot Springs.
View of the pool from the Poolside Grille

You can also order ice cream and snacks to go.

Grab some tasty food to go at the Poolside Grille at Chico Hot Springs.
Chico Grill To Go
Enjoying a creamy ice cream cone by the Chico pool.
Ice Cream Cone

The pool is also adjacent to Chico Saloon. There’s a window where you can order a drink right from the pool area. You can see that service window and the entrance to Chico Saloon from the pool in the picture below.

Get poolside service when you stay at Chico Hot Springs in Paradise Valley Montana.
Pool service

You’ll need to show your ID the first time you order so you can get your wristband stamped and then you don’t need to worry about carrying your ID around the resort with you and can also charge your drinks to your room.

Where to Eat and Drink at Chico Hot Springs

That seems a good segue for where to eat and drink!

The dining room is known for gourmet, locally inspired entrees. Many of the ingredients used are sourced right from the resort’s onsite garden.

I loved my gorgonzola steak entree and the appetizers were also delicious. Being in such a popular resort and being so close to Yellowstone National Park means this is a popular place to eat so advance reservations are highly recommended.

The appetizers are delicious and a must try when eating in the Chico Dining Room.
chico appetizers

Chico Dining Room also has an impressive drink menu with a massive wine list.

A bottle and glass of Brunello di Montalcino in the Dining Room at Chico Hot Springs

You can even rent out the wine cellar for an extra special multi-course Chef’s Tasting dinner with sommelier-picked wine pairings.

The wine cellar in Chico Hot Springs has many different varieties for you to choose from plus a table in the middle for tasting menu and wine pairing experiences.
Chico Wine Cellar
Sit a spell and relax in the lounge at Chico Hot Springs in Paradise Valley, Montana.
Chico Restaurant Lounge in the back of the restaurant where you can get a drink before or after dinner.

Back by the pool, you can get burgers, sandwiches, and other laid-back grub in the aforementioned Poolside Grille.

The food is delicious at the Chico Poolside Grill in Chico Hot Springs.
Chico Poolside Grill

For drinks or casual evening eats, Chico Saloon will be calling your name. This historic bar is located a short stroll from the lobby and is right by the pool.

The gorgeous mountain view at the Chico Hot Springs in Paradise Valley Montana is a beautiful sight to see.
Chico Saloon and Mountain view

The Saloon is the hang-out spot in the evenings. It has a fun vibe with various baseball caps hung from the ceiling. It also hosts live music on weekend nights during the summer season.

Grab a refreshing drink or dinner at the Chico Saloon with its barrel tables and live edge wood counter bar in Paradise Valley, Montana.
Chico Saloon
Can you count all the hats hanging up in the Chico Hot Springs Saloon?
Chico Saloon Hats

Other Things to Do at Chico Hot Springs

You’ll have a hard time getting bored at Chico Hot Springs! The resort has its own stable with horses waiting to escort riders around local trails. The stable is located across from the Lower Lodge.

Watching a trail rider leave the stable from our cabin’s front porch.
Off they go for a trail ride!

We would have loved joining in for a horseback ride, but we were short on time so saved that for our next stop at Triple Creek Ranch in Darby.

I loved walking past the horses on our way from our cabin to the main lodge; just watch out for horse poop so you don’t step in it!

Go for a horseback ride at the stables in Chico Hot Springs in Paradise Valley Montana.
Horse stable

Next to the stable is a little outdoor recreation shop where you can sign up for rafting or fishing excursions and purchase any gear you may need.

Chico Horse Barn and a sign advertising Yellowstone Park Trips.
Yellowstone Park Trips

Read More: Best Things to Do in Yellowstone National Park

If you want to pamper yourself beyond thermal waters, head to the onsite spa where you can get massages, wrap treatments, facials, and more.

Grab a gift or memento from your stay at Chico Hot Springs in one of their resort shops or get a cup of coffee at the cafe.
Chico Resort Shops

Fancy some shopping? Chico Hot Springs has a great gift shop with some fun apparel and home goods. There’s also an espresso bar inside the gift shop.

Can You Get Day Passes for Chico Hot Springs?

The sunlit pool at Chico Hot Springs under a bright blue sky in Montana.
Swimming in Chico Pool

Yes, day passes for the pool are $10 with a $5 discount for ages 3-6 and 65+. Children age 2 and younger are free. Day passes can be purchased at the front desk or the cafe by the pool. You’ll get a wristband to wear for your day there. Occasionally day passes are not available for a specific day so I recommend calling first before arriving.

But if you have some extra time after a day in Yellowstone or looking for a fun day trip from Bozeman or Livingston, it’s worth checking out if there are passes available and/or to get a bite to eat in the saloon.

Book Early for Chico Hot Springs

The vintage piano in the historic lobby of Chico Hot Springs is sure to bring back memories of the olden days.
Vintage Piano in the historic lobby at Chico Hot Springs

If you have your heart set on a specific type of accommodation at Chico Hot Springs, book early. We booked our luxury cabin about ten months in advance and the covered wagons and some of the main lodge rooms were already all sold out. The girl at reception said reservations open three years in advance and covered wagons sometimes are booked that early!

I truly loved my stay at Chico Hot Springs. But don’t just take my word for it. Check out more reviews for the property on TripAdvisor.

Ready to book? Find your perfect accommodation at Chico Hot Springs and get ready for an unforgettable Montana getaway in Paradise Valley.

Read More:
Where to Go for a Girls Weekend in Montana
Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Montana
Top Scenic Drives in Montana

Relax in the wooden swings at Chico Hot Springs in Paradise Valley, Montana.
Swing at Chico Hot Spring

Similar Posts