(Last Updated On: February 7, 2022)

rock formations at hot springs state park in wyoming Hot Springs State Park is a Wyoming state park located in Thermopolis, about 30 miles southwest of Worland, WY, and only 3 hours outside of Yellowstone National Park.

Unlike Yellowstone, visitors to this park are able to soak in the natural mineral waters and the historic bath house here attracts visitors all year round. The temperature is kept at an even 104F.

In 1896 a treaty was signed with the Shoshone and Arapaho tribes to ensure that everyone would have access to the springs. And in 1897 the first state park was established here and named The Big Horn Hot Springs State Reserve.

Thermopolis is Greek for ‘Hot City’ which makes sense since it’s home to many hot springs including the world’s largest, The Big Spring.

Hot Springs State Park is unique from the other state parks. It’s a full service day use park with comfort stations, trails, fishing, boat ramps and playgrounds. And there are many privately owned businesses here as well including hotels, water parks and mini golf. There’s even a dinosaur center here!

Activities

The hot springs and the bath house draw many visitors but once here they quickly realize how much more this park has to offer.

The grassy lawns, benches and picnic areas throughout the park offer the chance to rest, relax and take in the beautiful views. These views include extensive flower gardens and terraces made from the naturally forming travertine (from the flowing mineral hot springs).

This park has many activities too including a few that you might not think of when planning a visit. Here’s a closer look at what you can do at Hot springs State Park:

Swimming at Hot Springs State Park

The historic state bath house has free bathing year round. Don’t worry if you forget your swimsuit, you can rent swimsuits and towels here.

If you’re looking for something a little cooler (the bath house’s water temperature is a consistent 104F) then check out the swimming pools at Hellie’s TePee and Star Plunge. These are both privately owned facilities with indoor/outdoor pools, hot tubs and water slides.

Family Fun at Hot Springs State Park

In addition to the water parks there is also a 9 hole mini golf course, volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, playgrounds and a dinosaur center here. Hours of entertainment for the entire family!

The Dinosaur Center, located at 110 Carter Ranch Rd, was established as a place to preserve and educate and contains the largest and most unique fossil collection in the world. They feature a museum with exhibits, hands on displays and a large dig site perfect for your small explorers.

Boating at Hot Springs State Park

White water rafting and floating are the two most popular activities to do on the water here. You can raft on Wind River and BigHorn River. Or float, canoe, kayak or paddleboard on BigHorn River.

Rentals are available as well as group floats and rafting at many nearby locations.

Fishing at Hot Springs State Park

You’ll find many opportunities for fishing here, especially for trout, and fishing licenses are available locally. You can also take a fishing excursion or guided float to an ideal fishing spot.

You’ll find information and equipment rental at the same places where you rent boats and rafting equipment.

Hiking at Hot Springs State Park

There are 6.2 miles of trails throughout the park perfect for walking or hiking. Scenic overlooks allow for gorgeous views of the hot springs, rivers and many of the other natural features of the park.

You can walk over the top of BigHorn River on the Swinging Bridge, a suspension footbridge dating back to 1916.

Here are a couple of the most popular trails here:

  • Monument Hill Trail – a short easy trail that leads up to a high point where many years ago visitors cured by the hot springs would hike to and leave mementos. Now a pile of rocks marks where these monuments once existed.
  • T Hill – a moderate 3.4 mile trail with great views.
  • Water Tower Trail – a half mile moderate trail that starts below Smokey Row Cemetery and runs up by the old water tower.

Wildlife at Hot Springs State Park

Bison are a main feature of this park. There are some 24-27 adults and yearlings roaming throughout and this is the central herd for all of the Wyoming State Parks.

This Monarch of the Plains should only be viewed from the safety of your vehicle. The bison are fed off season by park rangers and that may be an optimal time to get a good look at these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

Lodging at Hot Springs State Park

Unlike the other state parks there are no campgrounds here but there are two privately owned hotels. Staying at either of these hotels provides convenient access to the park as well as all of the comforts of home plus much more.

Hot Springs Hotel and Spa (Days Inn) – 115 E Park Street

Features a restaurant and lounge (Safari Club), an athletic club and spa, meeting and banquet facilities and a Vapor Cave. Children under 17 stay for free and a complimentary continental breakfast is included with your stay.

Best Western Plus Plaza Hotel – 116 E Park Street

This historic hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been fully modernized for the comfort of its guests. The hotel is located next to Big Horn River and the Wyoming Dinosaur Museum.

A complimentary breakfast is included with your stay. Children under 16 stay for free and dogs are also allowed.

Park Location

Hot Springs State Park
220 Park Street
Thermopolis, WY 82443
Phone: 307.864.2176

Website
Park Brochure

Bath House Hours: Open year round Monday – Sunday 8-4
Park Hours: Open year round Daily 6am – 10pm

Map

Video

Here is a brief YouTube video highlighting several attractions at Hot Springs State Park: