Whether you’re taking a romantic weekend getaway, a family vacation, or a solo adventure trip, anyone can reap the benefits of the healing waters offered in Montana. If you’re going to be in the Missoula area, consider heading to one of these hot springs.
Some are rural and natural. Others are marked by luxury resorts. All have amazing views of the Big Sky state. These Montana hot springs offer something for every type of traveler.
Here are the closest hot springs to Missoula, MT, in order of milage:
Nimrod Warm Springs – 35 miles
Nimrod Warm Springs is a crystal-clear pool dropped right in between Mt. Baldy and Sliderock Mountain in Byrne. Located a half-mile walk along the road from parking and a few steps from a beautiful mountain stream, it combines both the convenience and isolation of rural Montana. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a freight train making its way across the horizon.
Nimrod is natural, undeveloped. You won’t find a spa or changing rooms here. If you need a restroom, you have your pick of rocks or bushes. Just make sure to leave nothing behind. In exchange, you’ll get a tranquil place to relax for a while with a view you’ll never forget.
There’s no admission fee or monitors. It’s you, nature, and the occasional critter. A small waterfall cascades down the rocks and feeds into it, lending an amazingly peaceful sound to the environment. Swimmers will love this pool as it’s large enough to do laps, and divers can jump off the rocks.
For the adventurous ones in your group, there is an underwater cave that can be reached with scuba gear, though be advised, that expertise is needed. After reaching the space, a permanent rope can be used to pull yourself up to the surface.
At 70-82℉, the pristine water can be a bit chilly depending on the time of year, so come prepared. It’s also worth noting that Nimrod is privately owned. While it’s open 24/7, year-round, and the owners welcome visitors, they ask that you respect the land.
Lolo Hot Springs Resort – 38 miles
Lolo Hot Springs Resort is a short drive from Missoula to the Montana-Idaho border. It was popular with Native Americans even before Lewis and Clark arrived in 1805. 80 years later, it became a landmark for explorers and trappers in the area.
Tucked away in another mountainous region, Lolo Hot Springs is now a full-fledged destination with enough going on to keep you busy for weeks. The highlight is the indoor and outdoor hot springs and pools. They’re huge, filled with warm mineral water, and set up like swimming pools. There are wonderful views of the surrounding land.
This is the kind of place you spend a few days, and you have your choice of sleeping arrangements. Both deluxe and economy cabins are heated and available for those who don’t want to rough it–all cabins come with two passes to the hot springs–but there are also year-round campsites and RV hookups.
Everything is pet-friendly and wifi-available, so you can bring Fido and any work you need to get done. The RV park as well as the entire venue can be reserved for special events, too!
No one will have to travel for food with an on-site restaurant and bar that offers three meals a day and live entertainment on Saturdays for part of the year. Those who like to play games with a beer can enjoy pool tables and gaming machines.
Guests who like to stay active can enjoy the great outdoors with a game of frisbee golf, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, hunting, and fishing, or even snowmobile rentals. There are over 500 miles of trails for snowmobile or trail rides. In the warmer months, overnighters can play volleyball and horseshoes and have a meal on the picnic tables or near a campfire.
Sleeping Child Hot Springs – 62 miles
Head south of Missoula to this 40-acre estate for a natural getaway with memories to last a lifetime. Sleeping Child Hot Springs is a 9-bedroom ledge that offers the seat of luxury to anyone who wants to book it. Corporate retreats, weddings, reunions, or good old-fashioned family vacations are all excellent excuses to get yourself to Montana.
Engulfed by the Bitterroot National Forest the five-story private rental space allows guests exclusive use of the facilities. That’s 25,000 square feet of space with three kitchens, laundry, 17 bathrooms, indoor fountains, a media room, 360 degrees of deck space, elevator access, a bar, a game room, a dance floor, and a grand piano. The solarium offers million-dollar views of the unpolluted Big Sky Country.
It’s six miles from the nearest neighbor and has gated access giving you complete privacy. The only people on the property beside you and your guests are the hosts who live in the caretaker’s quarters. A heated heliport is ready for any season, and a 1600-square-foot hanger or seven-car garage is available for whenever and however you choose to arrive.
The hot spring-fed pool is 30’x60’ and is flanked by two hot tubs and a sauna also heated by the thermal waters, all of which sit from 100 to 104℉. The entire property uses geothermal heating drawn from the springs on the acreage. At its source, the water is 130℉ and moves at 200 gallons per minute. A fire pit is also built into the patio for those cool mountain nights.
Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort – 69 miles
Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort is in Paradise, MT, and the name is indicative of the location. It’s a luxurious destination with a cozy rustic feel that perfectly sets the mood for relaxing in one of their five thermal pools.
The hot springs at Quinn’s sit anywhere between 100 and 106℉, and there is even a cold plunge pool at 55℉ for those doing a Scandinavian hot-cold circuit. Two new pools are treated with salt and kept 90-100℉ for those sensitive to high heat.
Choose between two beautiful lodges and over 25 canyon- and river-side cabins for your overnights. All of the cabins are nestled up close to the pine forests and offer incredible views from private porches.
For high-class dining at any meal of the day, the resort serves steak, seafood, and organic produce at the Harwood House Restaurant. For a more casual feel with 12 beers on tap and some quality pub food, Quinn’s Tavern is more your scene. Pool and gaming machines offer another kind of entertainment.
Whether you’re here on vacation or hosting an event, the staff has you covered. For the latter, a team of event planners can help work out the details. There is plenty of space for large gatherings if you need another reason to return.
Symes Hot Springs Hotel & Mineral Baths – 77 miles
The Symes Hot Springs Hotel & Mineral Baths will take you back to another time with its retro neon sign and historic building. 31 rooms, including a jacuzzi suite with a private mineral spa, offer respite in the main building while cabins and apartments are also available. Or reserve an RV hookup or campsite to enjoy the great outdoors.
Regardless of your lodging, all guests can de-stress in one of two outdoor thermal pools. One averages 106℉ and the other, 101℉. A small waterfall connects these two with a third, natural water lap pool.
The lap pool is 20’x40’ and five feet deep, so swimmers can do laps to their heart’s content. An analysis of the water that is used throughout the thermal spaces includes the following: silica, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, carbonate, and bicarbonate.
Inside, the “bath wing” offers four original clawfoot tubs for those who prefer private bathing sessions in a spa-like environment. Additionally, a two-person jetted tub and jacuzzi steam space can be reserved to soak in the mineral water. To really wash away the tension, add a Swedish massage.
Symes Hot Springs Hotel isn’t just for spa days and thermal soaks. You can unwind with an espresso or a good meal in the on-site restaurant and dance to live music on Friday and Saturday nights.
On top of everything else, guests can peruse the rooms of the art gallery, shop for antiques, and hunt down gifts for the ones they left at home without ever having to get in their car. Space is also available for weddings and other events.
Lost Trail Hot Springs Resort – 88 miles
Lost Trail Hot Springs Resort sells itself as, “Conveniently located in the middle of nowhere.” It’s an apt description for this partially dog-friendly destination tucked away in the Bitterroot Mountains at the base of the Lost Trail Pass.
A lot has changed over the years, and today, the resort has ten cabins–two of which have mineral water jacuzzis–a motel, a family reunion lodge, and an RV park.
If you want food, your best bet is to bring utensils and pick a cabin with appliances. Though currently closed, their famous Neapolitan and New York-style, wood-fired pizza is a real crowd-pleaser. People love it so much, that the owners take it on the road to sell at fairs and festivals.
At the center of everything are the pools. Outside, guests can enjoy a large spring-fed swimming pool with a surrounding deck and elevated terrace. It averages 95℉ and is 20 x 70 feet and 9 feet at its deepest.
One end gets as shallow as 10 inches for little ones who want to play in the water. It’s covered by a plastic dome in the colder months to keep the heat in. Indoors is an 8-person hot tub at 105-105℉ and a dry sauna.
Fairmont Hot Springs Resort – 108 miles
If you can’t find something for the whole family to enjoy here, you won’t find it anywhere. Aside from the Olympic-sized outdoor pool with a three-story waterslide, there is an 18-hole golf course, two soaking pools, sports courts, a playground, a spa, event space, and a petting zoo.
Rooms in the lodge at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort are comfortable and spacious. Home cooks will be pleased with the fully-equipped kitchens available in some of the rooms.
For those who don’t want to cook, satisfy your cravings at one of three dining facilities on the property: The Springwater Cafe, Waters Edge Dining Room, and Whiskey Joe’s Lounge. Each offers different environments and delicacies. Several snack bars are also scattered throughout the property.
A large indoor pool with thermal water is a nice alternative for the especially cold days of winter. With snow-capped mountains in every direction and entertainment for all ages, the Fairmont is a great place to spend some real time.
Broadwater Hot Springs & Fitness – 109 miles
A popular day spot is Broadwater Hot Springs & Fitness, a 25,000-square-foot hot springs, and gym facility, the latter of which offers group classes. Surround yourself with low hills, pines, and the benefits of wide-open space as you work to become a healthier, less stressed version of yourself. It’s located in a town of just over 6,000 people.
The three outdoor pools and two hot tubs are fed with hot mineral water from the springs and are comfortable year-round. The Rec Pool (89-93℉) is a typical 25’x70’ swimming pool and goes from a shallow three feet up to 10 feet deep! This is the pool reserved for toys, games, and anything but basic soaking activities.
The Springs Pool (97-102℉) is a 30’x70’ freeform lined with in-water benches specifically for casual bathers who want to sit back and relax. The Soaker Pool (97-102℉) is similar to the former with the addition of a waterfall and limited depth of 3-4.5 feet.
Both hot tubs are kept at 101-104℉. To accommodate those wishing to do hot-cold circuits, cold plunge pools are also available and kept at 60-70℉.
It wouldn’t be a Montana hot spring without a sauna and steam rooms, and Broadwater delivers. If you find yourself so inclined, you can even reserve an event room, a tent, or an outdoor patio for special events to continue the good times.
Hungry guests can grab a bite just steps away. The Springs Taproom & Grille offers a classy rustic vibe with elevated pub food you also can take poolside.
Boulder Hot Springs Inn – 147 miles
At about 2.5 hours away, Boulder Hot Springs is a bit of a long drive from Missoula, but it’s worth the trip. It’s perched on the edge of a beautiful pond that reflects the big sky sunsets right back at guests who spend their evenings here. 300 acres of wetlands, forests, and meadows fill the land with wildlife for everyone to enjoy.
The Inn backs up to Deerlodge National Forest giving guests the occasional glimpse of deer, fox, elk, coyotes, antelope, moose, and bears. B&B and budget rooms both offer magnificent views, though the latter does not include breakfast or a private bathroom. All overnight stays include access to the pools.
Noting their focus on health and healing, Boulder Hot Springs Inn has a strict drug, alcohol, and smoke-free environment policy on all parts of the property. They also have been recognized for their strong sustainability focus.
Whether you’re relaxing or swimming laps, there is a place for you to enjoy the natural hot springs mineral water here. Active swimmers or those seeking some family fun can have fun in the outdoor swimming pool (96-100℉) with a typical shallow end and deep end separated by a rope.
It’s handicap-accessible and uses bromine to maintain cleanliness instead of chlorine. There’s plenty of deck space for sunbathing, and the heated sidewalk makes the walk to the bathhouse during winter much easier.
Indoor plunges, kept 103-106℉, are separated by gender and have a continuous flow of water, completely refilling every four hours. The women’s area also includes a cold plunge set under 70℉. All plunges are cleaned every night. Steam rooms and showers are fed by the hot spring water that is used to heat the building.
As you might expect with a B&B, homemade meals are served in-house. You can expect healthy, gourmet dishes incorporating a lot of organic and local food. Holiday buffets are particularly memorable.
Montana is filled with spectacular natural landscapes and opportunities to get outside. If you find yourself based in Missoula on your next trip, you might want to consider a side trip to one of these fine pools and more modernized establishments. It’s worth every minute in the car, and you’ll go home relaxed with memories–and pictures–to last a lifetime.
If you happen to be heading southeast from town, consider one of the hot springs near Bozeman. This Rocky Mountain town lies 3 hours from Missoula.