Day Trip To The Most Beautiful Hot Springs In America This Winter


There’s nothing better than a hot springs adventure. However you get there: hiking, driving, snowmobiling… you just know that you have this incredible payoff waiting for you. Because soon you’ll be soaking in a sparkling, hot water pool with breath-taking vistas surrounding you. It’s an incredible feeling. One that I can’t get enough of. But then I’m biased. I’ve spent so much time chasing my favorite hot springs that I got married at one.

This a collection of some of the most beautiful hot springs in America (though there are many more that we couldn’t fit on this list). If you have a local hot springs that we totally missed, please, put it in the comment section. I can’t wait to visit them all.

Burgdorf Hot Springs

McCall, Idaho

Step back in time in this remote hot springs about 30 miles north of McCall, Idaho. It may only be a few hours from Boise, but Burgdorf feels like another world. During the winter months this ramshackle collection of cabins (surrounding the naturally heated pools) are inaccessible by car. You have to rent snowmobiles, pack a picnic lunch, and journey through the snow to reach them. As you carve a path through the ice, the chill settling over every tiny exposed part of your body, you can almost imagine making the trip by horse drawn carriage.

When I went to Burgdorf, we were the only ones there, and so we arrived to find (what felt like) our own personal, steamy pool. And the journey in the cold is totally worth it. You slip into the warm water, your muscles relax, and you float surrounded by a white, snowy forest. And for just a minute you forget what time you’re in.

Once you’re there, you can stay the night or make it a day trip. Just know that this is very remote (and there is no electricity!) so pack accordingly. Also, be careful with the snowmobiles, and go off path at your own risk. My husband will never outlive his “crash” (it was more like a very slow tip over”) when he decided to take us down a hill. You’ll pay handsomely for any damage to the snowmobiles no matter how minor. Worth it though, if only so that I can remind him about the time he nearly killed us in the woods for a cheap thrill (not that I’ve EVER done that…).

Strawberry Hot Springs

Steamboat Springs, Colorado

This large, lovely hot spring located just outside of Steamboat Springs is the perfect place to soak your sore muscles after a long day of skiing. Or (if you’re me) a long day of sitting in a hot tub drinking wine and waiting for everyone else to get back from skiing. Because as I keep telling people, skis are sticks of death, and it’s insanity to strap them to your feet to HURTLE DOWN A MOUNTAIN. IT’S A VERY UNSAFE AND TERRIFYING SPORT. But I digress. (Also, no one should listen to me. The other day someone tossed a candy bar to me and I screamed and ducked so…)

This beautiful spring is just remote enough that you feel removed from the busyness of the resort, but close enough that it’s an easy trip. I would highly recommend going at night (last entrance is at 9:30pm, so plan accordingly). The sky is filled with such a vast plethora of stars that as you sink into the warmness of the water, you’ll feel like you’re floating off into space.

Chico Hot Springs Resort

Pray, Montana

This is my favorite hot spring ever. Maybe I’m biased. It’s where my husband took me for our first date, and where we then returned 5 years later to get married. But it’s just such a wonderful place. It has everything, a big pool, a dive-y saloon, an incredible restaurant, and amazing lodgings!

Located just outside of Yellowstone and not far from Bozeman, Chico has a rich history. The first time it was written about was in 1865 but it was probably used by people long before that for its warm, healing waters. The hotel opened in 1900, and you can stay in the old section which is romantic and supposedly haunted! Or in one of the beautiful newer cabins. You can even rent a house to stay in with friends or family. They also have awesome trails for hiking all around the resort, and horses for riding. You’ll never want to leave (but you should leave to visit Yellowstone, of course).

Chinati Hot Springs

Ruidosa, Texas

It’s only 53 miles from Marfa, Texas to this kooky little hot springs retreat, but it will take you at least two and a half hours to reach it. The roads are bad, so I’d recommend 4-wheel drive, and also to follow the instructions on the website and NOT YOUR GPS. We tried to follow our GPS (even though the people at Chinati expressly tell you not to) and ended up just driving on an old riverbed. We nearly got stuck. And there are no people for many, many miles. You’ve been warned.

But don’t let that scare you off from journeying to this fantastic springs! When you arrive, after traversing remote Texas roads (the only other car we saw was one border patrol agent), you’ll find yourself in a little desert paradise. It’s a wonderful oasis in the middle of nowhere, but with comfortable cabins and cosy amenities. There’s an adorable little hot pool for the cool nights, and a cold pool to soak under the scorching sun of the day. Plus, it’s just gorgeous country down there. You’re practically in Mexico, and it makes you feel like you’re a cowboy from the wild west.

When you hike around you’ll even find the bean cans that the cowboys and ranchers left back in the ‘ol days.

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Quinn’s Hot Springs

Paradise, Montana

With six different temperature pools, you can choose exactly the perfect temperature for extreme relaxation at Quinn’s. It’s a friendly place, and you’ll find yourself soaking and chatting with strangers as you let all your frustrations and worries melt away. And it’s completely pretty scenery surrounded by mountains, trees, and wildlife. The occasional cute bear even comes down to visit. (Warning-Uproxx does not recommend hugging bears, even though they’re totally asking for it. I mean look at that wittle bear face!)

There’s also a great tavern and restaurant. So you can load up with a cocktail as you soak. For a more complete experience, rent one of the cabins surrounding the pools for a whole evening of hot springs fun.

Sykes Hotsprings

Big Sur, California

This beautiful little hot springs requires some work to get to it! It’s a 10.5 mile hike in, and it is strenuous, narrow path. There’s quite a bit of uphill climbing, and scrambling over rocks and logs. So be prepared with the right clothing and equipment. And you’ll want to bring camping gear as there is a campground nearby.

But after a beautiful (albeit exhausting) hike, the payoff is incredible! You get to soak in a perfect temperature (clothing optional!) pool. It is such an amazing trip, but it can get very crowded on weekends and holidays so if you don’t like crowds, try going on a weekday!

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Dunton Hot Springs

Dolores, Colorado

This resort is billed as an 1800’s ghost town with natural hot springs. And…. they had me at hello. This place looks amazing — from their original 1800’s cabins to their beautiful glamping set ups. It’s definitely on the expensive side. But with the glowing reviews it has, it’s worth the splurge.

They have everything you need for a romantic getaway, they’ll even pack you a picnic lunch to eat after a horseback ride through the mountains! And with both an outdoor and indoor hot spring (with a gorgeous wall of windows), you’ll feel pampered even as you enjoy all the benefits of the nature around you.

Travertine Hot Springs

Bridgeport, California

You don’t get a more spectacular setting than this gorgeous (and FREE) hot springs. But like all these popular and breath-taking places it can get really crowded here. So try to go on off days or just be prepared to get up close and personal with your (naked?) neighbor.

Bagby Hot Springs

Mount Hood National Forest, Oregon

This tree-filled hot springs in Oregon is absolutely gorgeous. As you walk up under the thick canopy you feel like you’re in a fairytale. Then you make it to the actual hot springs where you get to bathe in hollowed out trees! It doesn’t get more magical than that.

At this lovely park you can choose between bathing in a room by yourself (with a partial roof so you can still see the sky!) or in a communal experience. There’s no camping at the hot springs, but there is a site only a half mile away. And if you go when it’s snowing, a mist of snowflakes will swirl around you as you soak. It’s the perfect way to enjoy a winter wonderland from safe distance in your very own warm, hollowed out tree.