One of the benefits of living in Montana is that "hot springs season" lasts almost 12 months. I'd say there are reasonably 10 months of the year when it would be very pleasant to visit one of the many hot springs in our state.

What I like about hot springs in Montana, too, is that you can get a little bit of everything. Some will feel like a resort while others might feel you're roughing it a bit. You could probably make a personality quiz "What Your Favorite Montana Hot Springs Says About You" and have at least seven personality types.

So when I talk to other Montanas about my favorite hot springs in the state, the first thing the other person says is, "Huh, where's that?"

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That's why this is the best hot spring you've never heard of. It won't necessarily feel like a resort though it is considered an inn, spa, and retreat center, or like you're roughing it, though it is located in the Elkhorn Mountains. But it will definitely feel like you're having a Montana experience.

Credit: Eric Warren
Credit: Eric Warren

A Famous Past

In fact, you may have heard of the Boulder Hot Springs Inn, Spa and Retreat center because it was a "happening place" back in the day.

Boulder Hot Springs Inn and Spa is an historic landmark which once catered to Presidents, celebrities, and wealthy ranchers. It is reported that Teddy Roosevelt stayed here during his time in office while hunting in the area, that Warren Harding stayed here and FDR made a stop here after visiting associates in Butte.

Three presidents visited these hot springs, that's some pretty famous clientele.

What It's Like

You'll appreciate the way it feels like you're visiting distant relatives--it's homey and a bit personal. There are chickens on the property and some barn cats with character. You'll have the opportunity to soak in a co-ed outdoor pool, a co-ed indoor pool, or a women's-only pool. The property doesn't offer wifi and there are no TVs in the rooms. Honestly, it's one of the best "off-grid" experiences I've ever had.

Credit: Eric Warren
Credit: Eric Warren

If you'd like a break from the waters, you can explore the grounds, hike, or take day trips to any of the outdoor opportunities nearby. Boulder Hot Springs is about a 35-minute drive from Helena, Montana, about 51 minutes from the Helena National Forest, and an hour and 19 minutes from Canyon Ferry Lake.

To learn more or book a stay, visit their website.

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