As much as I love roadside attractions, sometimes a road trip just needs a little variety. While driving through Montana, my friend and I decided to take a break from seeing muffler men and giant dinosaurs and instead spend an afternoon soaking in the sun at Chico Hot Springs Resort and Day Spa in Pray, Montana.
Chico Hot Springs is a natural hot spring that was turned in to a vacation resort in 1900. The property has restaurants, pools, bars, a hotel with a historic main lodge, log cabins, and a spa, along with opportunities for hiking, fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, river rafting, dog sledding and cross country skiing.
But the most popular attraction at Chico Hot Springs is, well, the hot springs! Located near Yellowstone National Park (around 30 miles north of the park) it’s a convenient tourist destination and well worth the visit. The natural hot springs are related to a deep fracture zone and the water is collected into two pools that clock in at around 96 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit. They are drained every night and scrubbed down to prevent having to use chemicals to keep them clean.
A pit stop at Chico Hot Springs is a welcome diversion from a Montana road trip. Stop in and take a soak in the open-air natural mineral hot springs pools to relax your muscles after being cramped in the car. Grab a local beer or a strawberry daiquiri (my personal favorite) from the saloon. And take in the breathtaking views of the Absaroka Mountains that surround the pool.
Chico has an on-site resort and lodging but day visitors can pay a small fee to visit like we did. I left thoroughly relaxed and ready to conquer the rest of my road trip!
Chico Hot Springs Resort and Day Spa
Address: 163 Chico Road, Pray, MT 59065
For Resort Guests
Hot Spring Hours: 7am – 11pm, daily
Hot Spring Cost: Admission Included in Lodging Fee
For Day Guests
Hot Spring Hours: 8am – 11pm, daily
Hot Spring Cost: Adults $8.50, Seniors 65+ and Kids 3-6 $3.50, Children 2 & under free (pay admission fee at the Front Desk before 11am or after 11am in the Saloon or Poolside Grille)
Changing rooms, shower stalls, and miniature lockers are available for your convenience.
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