Reach both ends of the temperature spectrum with Montana's Hot Springs and Winter Sports
A typical winter day in Montana can take you from steep’n’deep ski terrain during the day to the warm waters of a natural hot springs at night. In fact, there are few things better than a day spent exploring the snow-covered countryside and an evening spent in any one of the state’s natural hot springs. It’s so fantastic in fact, we thought we better put together a punchlist for those looking to reach both ends of the temperature spectrum.
1. Elkhorn Hot Springs + Snowmobiling
Make the Montana backcountry your winter playground with a snowmobile ride. Located deep in Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, the largest national forest in Montana, Miner Lake Snowmobile Trail offers miles of ungroomed trails. Shred through the untouched powder along the frozen waters of Lower Miner Lakes and in the shadows of the sweeping mountains.
Then warm up at Elkhorn Hot Springs, located near the excellent ski slopes of Maverick Mountain. Nestled in the beautiful Pioneer Mountains, this family-owned resort offers a variety of comfortable accommodations, including 11 rustic cabins and a bed and breakfast style lodge. In addition to two outdoor hot springs and a Grecian sauna, visitors can enjoy a delicious meal at the resort’s in-house restaurant.
2. Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort + Fat-Tire Biking through Missoula
Named a gold level bike-friendly city by the Bicycle Friendly America program, Missoula offers more than 20 miles of bike lanes and a number of scenic nature trails. Rent a fat-tire bike at Open Road Bicycles & Nordic Equipment and take to the trail, gliding along frozen rivers, ponderosa pines, and blankets of untouched snow.
After a day on the trail, take a short drive to Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort. In operation since 1885, this local landmark proudly displays its historical legacy. At 106 degrees, the outdoor hot mineral springs will keep you warm no matter how cold it is outside.
3. Broadwater Hot Springs & Fitness + Cross-Country Skiing
Cross-country skiing is a great way to combine a healthy workout with scenic views. MacDonald Pass Cross Country Ski Trails are a collection of four connected trail loops near the Continental Divide, complete with beautiful aspens and granite cliffs. Then head on over to Broadwater Hot Springs & Fitness, a hot springs resort located 10 minutes from downtown Helena to warm the bones back up.
4. White Sulphur Hot Springs + Downhill Skiing at Montana’s Showdown
Spend some time on the slopes this winter at Showdown; Montana’s oldest ski area. For 81 years Showdown has provided world-class skiing for all ages and skill levels. Grab a pair of skis, hit the slopes, and make some good quality turns. After a day of on the snow, head inside for a beer beside the fire.
Once your properly liberated, enjoy the rejuvenating waters at White Sulphur Hot Springs, which combines comfortable accommodations with small-town charm. Beautiful murals depicting Montana’s history overlook the outdoor hot springs pools, making for a cool backdrop as day slides into night.
5. Bozeman Hot Springs + Dog Sledding
Dog sledding is truly a one-of-a-kind adventure, taking you along backcountry trails running along majestic mountains and alpines blanketed in snow. Spirits of the North Sled Dog Adventures lets you feel the thrill of driving a team of energetic and excited sled dogs through the beautiful Moonlight Basin. Prepare for a wild ride as this canine-powered sled glides through the snow at up to fifteen miles per hour.
Built in 1879, The Bozeman Hot Springs offers more than 100 years of relaxation and deep heated rejuvenation. Once heralded as a cure-all for a variety of ailments, these naturally heated hot springs, ranging from 59 to 106 degrees, energize swimmers in soothing and therapeutic waters. For those looking for the full spa experience, visitors can choose from nine different hot springs pools, dry and wet saunas, and a full fitness facility.
6. Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs + Ice Fishing on Fort Peck Reservoir
Fort Peck Reservoir in northeast Montana is an ice fishing hotspot for the region. Fishing enthusiasts can catch a variety of walleye, sauger, pike, and trout ranging from 12 to 25 pounds. Bring patience and your best winter gear, because you’ll have to brave the cold to catch your next trophy-sized fish.
After, trade the ice for the soothing waters of hot springs. Dating back to the 1920s as a gathering spot for local cowboys, Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs is the only natural hot springs destination in eastern Montana. Along with the main hot springs pool, visitors can enjoy a variety of accommodations, including a hot tub, sauna, and fitness center.