Our Day in Hot Springs Montana
After our amazing visit to Lava Hot Springs Idaho, I have been scoping out hot spring locations within a reasonable driving distance from our place in Bigfork. I was surprised to find that the town of Hot Springs is located only 70 miles southwest of us. After a few phone calls and an hour or so of googling, I mapped out our day in Hot Springs, Montana. We had a late start so we decided to skip our trips to the gym and head out after breakfast. Our late start was a result of our midnight donut making escapade, but I will save that for another blog post. When I entered Hot Springs into the GPS, we had the option of either going north or south around Flathead Lake. We decided to head south on the way there and return home the opposite way. The drive was a combination of rolling hills and stunning views of Flathead Lake with a snow capped mountain backdrop. As we got closer to Hot Springs, we passed through the town of Lonepine. We stopped so I could snap a few pictures of this barn and buy a few postcards at this cute little store.
Nine miles up the road, we arrived in Hot Springs. Our first stop was Camas Organic Market. This place was so cute and full of all sorts of goodies! We placed an order for a couple of sandwiches and picked out several delicious baked goods. After chatting a bit with the employees we found out that the head baker is a senior at Hot Springs High School. She won first place for her banana split cupcake in the 4H competition that was held this past summer. She loves the show “Chefs Table” and aspires to be on a similar show one day. I asked her what her plans are after high school and she said that she bought a van and plans on traveling around the country.
We decided to eat while we explored this adorable town. I found the Alameda’s Hot Spring Retreat online and gave them a call yesterday. Unfortunately they don’t allow non-guests to soak in their baths but they did say that I could take pictures of their grounds. It was built in the 1930’s and it sits in the middle of a town that was truly lost in time. The grounds are full of all organic gardens and fruit trees. The coolest part of the whole place is the 30 foot Geodesic Dome. It’s covered in a heavy stretched canvas over a metal frame. It has a wood-burning stove, a geothermal heated floor and a beautiful bay window. During pre-covid times it was used for yoga and other wellness type retreats.
I had a couple of hot springs on my list that were open to the public. The first one was the Symes Hot Springs and Hotel. We pulled into the parking lot and the pools were right there in front of us. So basically, the parking lot is your view when you are soaking. The place was not only packed but the place reminded me of a city pool that was built some time in the 70’s or 80’s. We decided to pass on the Symes Hot Springs. Our next stop was Big Medicine. I loved how the payment for the bath is completely on the honor system. There is a box there that you can put your $5 entry fee in. It was really cute but there was only room for six people maximum and there were already four or five people in it.
We were striking out and I was beginning to think that our bag full of baked goods was going to be the highlight of our day. There was one more place on my list, Wild Horse Hot Springs. When I looked it up online, their webpage showed that they were closed until further notice. Wild Horse is located a few miles out of the town of Hot Springs in the direction we were heading anyway, so Alex decided to give it a try. It was about a two mile drive up a gravel road and as we got closer the anticipation was building. To our surprise, they were open! Once again, we found our hidden “hot springs” gem. There were several mineral pools and all of them overlooked a little lake, complete with several ducks and swans. This place got an A+ from us and we highly recommend taking a trip out here if you are visiting the Flathead Lake area.