Take a dip in southwestern Montana’s natural hot springs
Natural hot springs abound in Southwest Montana, tucked conveniently between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. What better way to end a trip to Yellowstone’s geothermal geysers or Glacier’s famed Going-to-the-Sun Road than a soak in one of the region’s many natural hot springs?
Norris Hot Springs (http://www.norrishotsprings.com) is a true eco-travel gem. Located about an hour and half drive from West Yellowstone and just a few short miles from the Madison River with its wealth of fly-fishing and hiking opportunities, Norris’ eclectic waters are a favorite among the outdoor and nature-loving locals in the area. Weekly bluegrass bands and bison burgers from a local buffalo rancher round out the colorful, relaxing experience.
Elkhorn Hot Springs (http://www.elkhornhotsprings.com) and Jackson Hot Springs (http://www.jacksonhotsprings.com) are two additional natural hot-water wonders. Both offer lodging facilities on-site that speak to rustic Montana, including “Wild West” cabins and lodges. One of the most pristine and important wildlife refuges protecting waterfowl and migratory birds lies a short drive to the south from both resorts: Red Rock Lake National Wildlife Refuge (http://www.fws.gov/redrocks). The refuge boasts the largest wetland complex in the Greater Yellowstone Region, and trumpeter swans, peregrine falcons, eagles and sandhill cranes are just a few of the species who call the lakes home for portions of the year.
Additionally, both Jackson and Elkhorn Hot Springs offer myriad hiking opportunities right outside their doors in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. Elkhorn is also home to the old Elkhorn Mine and Ghost Town—relics of the area’s mining past. Jackson is located near the Big Hole River, offering some of the finest trout water in the state.
Southwest Montana, formerly known as Gold West Country, is a large swath of mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes and hearty communities smack dab in between Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks. Southwest Montana offers a sampling of all of Montana’s lightly-tread amenities, including mega-mountains, lunker trout, budding melting pots for art and culture in Butte and Helena, remote yet luxurious escapes, and a slice of the Wild West through the numerous and well-preserved ghost towns in its mineral-rich hills. http://goldwest.visitmt.com
Tags: Big Hole River, Elkhorn Hot Springs, Jackson Hot Springs, Madison River, Montana hot springs, Norris Hot Springs, Red Rocks Lake