220 North Park Street
Thermopolis, WY 82443
Where is Hot Springs State Park
Located along the Bighorn River in Hot Springs County, this outdoor paradise is a “must-see” stop for all visitors of Northern Wyoming. Directly off of US-20 you can easily discover the park entrance. Thermopolis, Wyoming, is the most nearby city. This quirky, small town of 3,000, situated at the northern end of Wind River Canyon where the Wind River becomes the Bighorn River, is well worth the visit. Combine it with your day at the park and you will no doubt have an enjoyable getaway.
How Big Is Hot Springs State Park
This 1,109-acre park, hot springs-fed swimming area, bison preserve, and outdoor paradise is a “must-see” stop in Northern Wyoming. With more than 8,000 gallons of mineral water flowing over the terrace every 24 hours at a constant temperature of 135° Fahrenheit, there is plenty of free bathing opportunity for all to enjoy. The free bath house has water that is maintained at 104 degrees. Hot Springs also has 6.2 miles of hiking trails and plenty of trout fishing in the Bighorn River.
Hot Springs State Park Weather
Hot Springs US State Park is open year-round from 6am-10pm. No matter the weather or season, visitors can enjoy all the park has to offer. Fall and winter can be quite cold. Even the free roaming park bison need a little extra assistance finding food to graze. Because of this, park rangers feed them daily in cold months at 8:30am. This offers a great opportunity for visitors to see the bison up close in the off-season. During the months of May and June the herd is confined to the Corral Area to aid the rejuvenation of the pasture. Of course, it will always be warm in the hot springs no matter the weather, so always bring your swimsuit and jump right in.
When did Hot Springs become a State Park
In 1896, a treaty was signed with the Shoshone and the Arapaho which allowed the public use of the largest mineral hot springs in the world. It was mandated that a portion of the springs should be forever reserved for the use and benefit of the public. In 1897 the U.S. released a one-square mile tract of land to Wyoming to establish as their first state park.
Things to Do at Hot Springs State Park
There is more to do than just soak in the hot springs during your Wyoming holiday. Below, List of Parks highlights the opportunities offered for your much-anticipated outdoor escape.
Two ramps are available within the park, along the Bighorn river, for launching or removing your boats after a long day of trout fishing. There is plenty of water above and below the terrace area for floating and fishing. A state fishing license is required.
Three large picnic shelters are available for reservation. They are very popular and heavily used so book a space to enjoy your day as soon as you can. If you plan on drinking alcohol, make sure to purchase a park liquor license.
Wyoming’s state bison herd is located within the park. Public roads loop through the two large pastures so you can get an up-close view. At 8:30 each morning, park rangers feed the bison during the late fall and winter months. Arrive early for a unique viewing treat.
At the center of the activities are the free, soaking baths. The hot mineral water is maintained at 104° Fahrenheit to provide the safest healing water possible. Soaking time limit is 30 minutes. Bath House hours are: Monday-Saturday, 8am-5:30pm; Sundays noon to 5:30pm.
Naturally formed and vibrant, these colored terraces are created from the minerals of the hot springs water, algae and plankton. Take a stroll along the paved walkways and enjoy the views that resemble small, breath-taking waterfalls flowing off into the Bighorn River.
Suspended high above the rushing Bighorn River, the swinging, suspension bridge offers a unique view of the river, summer flower gardens and Rainbow Terrace. Make sure to bring your camera as you take the thrilling walk across the river. The views are spectacular!
Hot Springs State Park has 6.2 miles of universally ADA accessible trails and hiking trails. Each trail is labeled “easy.” Enjoy a nice stroll in the Wyoming outdoors while viewing the beauty of the Rainbow Terrace and Bighorn River.
When to go to Hot Springs State Park
Hot Springs State Park is open year-round to visitors. You will find plenty of trails, wide open skies and warm, therapeutic baths for your pleasure. Visitors can choose to come for a quick 30-minute soak or a long day of lounging near the river with friends and family. This is not an overnight camping park. It is open daily from 6am-10pm. Entrance to the park and bath is free to all visitors. Bath House hours are Monday-Saturday, 8am-5:30pm; Sundays noon to 5:30pm. You may also choose to visit two of the hot spring baths located just outside of the park: Hellie’s Teepee Spa and Water Park and The Star Plunge Water Park. There is a fee to enter these private-owned pools.
Must-Haves to Bring to Hot Springs
Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall, there are some items you must pack in with you for your day in the Colorado mountains. Every backpack should include the following items.
A Hot Springs adventure begins at 4,363 feet. If you are not used to altitude, do not forget your water. Water, water, water is the main thing suggested by our National Park Visitors Guide that you need to best make it through any hike or to restore yourself after a warm, mineral bath.
Being outside in the wide-open skies of Wyoming, and at a higher altitude, makes sunscreen and sunglasses a must. Keep yourself protected so you can enjoy a full day in the great outdoors. You definitely don’t want to have to leave early.
Pack a protein bar or your favorite snack for hiking the trails or to meet your cravings after a soak in the hot springs. There are no food or drinks available for purchase inside the park.
Don’t forget your swimsuit, flip flops and towel! These are your essentials for a great day at the park. Towels can be rented for a nominal fee at the Bath House, but there are no suits or shoes for purchase at the park.
Get the best views of the bison with binoculars that will bring them up close and personal. The views from the bridge are captivating. You will be able to see for miles down the river. Make sure to use your camera and capture all the unforgettable moments.
Where to stay near Hot Springs State Park
No overnight stay is available inside the park. In nearby Thermopolis, visitors can book a stay at the Days Inn or Best Western hotels for approximately $100 per night, depending upon the season. There are also smaller motels and Airbnb available for booking.
Food nearby Hot Springs State Park
Located just outside of the park entrance in Thermopolis are a wide variety of local restaurants. There are no restaurants located inside of Hot Springs State Park. Popular restaurants include: The Black Bear Cafe, The One-Eyed Buffalo and Las Fuentas Mexican Restaurant.
Airports near Hot Springs
The nearest airport to Hot Springs is Worland Municipal Airport. This airport is 34 miles north of the center of Thermopolis, Wyoming on Interstate 20. Another major airport is Riverton Regional Airport which is 60 miles south from Thermopolis. Private planes may travel through the Hot Springs County Airport.