This area sits on a huge thermal pocket, giving Yellowstone its unique ecosystem, but also offering a great recreation activity of hot springs soaking. Site-see the area with a relaxing thermal soak to start or end each day!
Lewis and Clark Caverns, Virginia City and Norris Hot Springs
Spend a couple nights in Bozeman. On the first day you can head to the Lewis and Clark Caverns and Virginia City for a look at Montana’s gold mining history and an amazing guided journey underground. On the way back to Bozeman stop at Norris Hot Springs for a relaxing soak. This place is a wooden pool with natural hot springs water and has been deemed the “Water of the Gods”. If you hit it on a weekend night, live music will be playing poolside. You can also try out some yummy snacks made from local foods and enjoy a microbrew in the pool. Norris Hot Springs Summary- rustic, wholesome, and soothing. After the soak, head back towards Four Corners and swing into the Corner Club for some Montana style wings, beer and pool. Or if you have kids, head home and put them to bed!!! Bozeman has a lot of hotels so pick the trusty chain of your choice.
Zip lining and Rafting on the Gallatin River and Bozeman Hot Springs
Drive up the Gallatin Canyon for an exciting day of rafting and zip lining- the ZIP N DIP Package! Soar across the Gallatin River like a bird, then raft down it! The Gallatin Canyon is flowing with gorgeous limestone cliffs and Douglas Fir mountain sides. The river is crisp and clean, bubbling with snowmelt. A great day to just enjoy the outdoors! On the way back towards Bozeman you can swing into Bozeman Hot Springs for another nice soak. This has cement and ceramic pools (like your regular community pool), but has natural hot springs water flowing in and out. It has multiple pools at varied temperatures, indoors and outdoors as well as a sauna and steam room.
Bozeman Hot Springs Summary
Family friendly, convenient, and lots of options. Head back to Bozeman for dinner. Pizza Campania has yummy fire-oven pizza or try some Asian at Sweet Chile.
Hike or Fish in Paradise Valley and Chico Hot Springs
Move your home-base to Chico Hot Springs. Getting there will take you over the Bozeman Pass and into the gorgeous Paradise Valley. Large mountains and the Yellowstone River dominate the landscape. Enjoy a hike in the area like Mill Creek or up Pine Creek. A nice mountain waterfall is a good mellow destination about a mile in on Pine Creek Trail. Or go for the gold and reach the mountain Pine Lake after a more strenuous 7 mile journey. The Yellowstone River also offers world-class fly fishing. Find that Brad Pitt in you and cast a line! After a nice day of activity head to Chico and get checked into your room or cabin. Go for a soak, then, enjoy a 5-star meal at the Chico Restaurant. You will be dropping a pretty penny for this one, but it is TOTALLY worth it. If you just can’t squeeze it in the budget, no biggie, you can eat at the bar or the poolside grill instead (both on site). Play some shuffleboard, soak again, and do some county dancing to finish out the night.
Chico Hot Springs Summary
Fun, family friendly, Montana-experience
See Yellowstone Parks Geysers and the Boiling River
Chico has a great buffet breakfast, then head to Yellowstone Park for the day. You will drive south on highway 89 to Gardiner and through the north entrance of the Park. Star off with a walk around the Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces. Then, head to Norris Geyser Basin. Most of the sites here require some walking to get to, but are worth the effort. There are other more easily accessible sightseeing options as you travel south to Old Faithful. Get out and walk if you like, or make some stops to simply enjoy the sights. Midway Geyser Basin is a beautiful one, as well as many of the others in the area. If you find the time, make your way to West Thumb Geyser basin right on the shore of Yellowstone Lake. Although you are not allowed to soak in any of these pools, you will want to bring a camera and prepare to be amazed at all the different features hot water can create in the wild! When you ve had enough, head back towards the North Entrance and stop for a soak at Boiling River, just 2.5 miles inside the North
Entrance of Yellowstone Park. You’ll want your water shoes/sandals and a towel for this one. It’s about 1/3 of a mile walk out to the hot springs area.
Boiling River Hot Springs Summary
Natural, authentic, and relaxing. Return to Gardiner for dinner at the Yellowstone Pizza Company with a rooftop deck overlooking the Park. Then, head back to Chico for the night.
Horseback Ride and Raft the Yellowstone River
Wake up for a morning soak in the fresh water (don’t worry, you can bring your coffee with you!). The pool is quiet in the mornings and mountain air is crisp.
Chico Morning Soak Summary
Relaxing, rejuvenating, and quiet. Head back south towards Gardiner to finish of your trip with a Paddle and Saddle Package. Get a little bow-legged with a nice ride through wild flower fields. Enjoy a quiet day in a more natural Montana setting. After the ride, eat a home style BBQ lunch, then head down to Montana Whitewater to finish the vaca’ off with a fun splashy raft trip down the historic Yellowstone River. Whew & memories, good times, and hot springs galore!