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The greater Jackson Hole valley is surrounded by thermal waters, but there are a few spots developed for you to enjoy the steaming hot mineral waters.
Located 10 miles down a snow-covered trail, Granite Hot Springs is nestled under peaks of the Gros Ventre mountain range and towering pine trees. The 110-degree pool was built in the 30s and is the perfect place to relax and refresh in a winter wonderland.
Where old meets new is Astoria Hot Springs, just 15 minutes south of town. Originally built in the 1960s as a family-run commercial resort and community pool, Astoria shut its doors in the 90s. The Astoria Park Conservancy was formed in 2018 and with the Trust for Public Land, campaigned to bring Astoria back to its former glory. Opened in the Fall of 2020 as a non-profit owned and donor-funded park, the new Astoria Hot Springs opened with five natural hot spring-fed pools along the scenic Snake River. Advanced reservations are required a soaking session, and capacity is capped at 35 people per session.
There are undeveloped hot springs around the valley that can be soaked in, like the popular Astoria springs adjacent to the Snake River and intimate “Hippie Dip” near Granite, but make sure to research the location of the pools and if you can legally and safely soak. The Polecat and Huckleberry Hot Springs in the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway used to be a popular place to hot pot, but a policy change prohibited public entry into geothermal features in National Parks. You are allowed in any creeks or pools not solely of thermal origin, like those warmed by the runoff from nearby hot springs, such as Polecat Creek itself. Also look for warnings like those at Huckleberry and Kelly Warm Springs that have detected the nefarious “Naegleria fowleri, “brain-eating amoebas” to ensure your safety.
In the winter months, the hot springs are accessible only via snowmobile, dog sled, skiing or fat biking, making it a fun off-day activity. There are guided snowmobile and dog sled tours that will lead you to the springs and include a soak before heading back or you can choose to rent your own equipment and make it a DIY adventure.
While each spring has different rules and procedures in place, there are a few things across the board each business is doing to keep you safe. Each vendor is limiting the amount of people allowed in a pool – 40 at Granite and 70 at Astoria. This may require you to wait until the pool clears out or only have an hour of soak time at Granite. Each facility is trying to limit the amount of time people spend inside so come ready to swim, bring everything you need and change quickly. Is all this still true? “We want people to be outside in the fresh air, but that can only happen if people are responsible,” said Linda Merigliano, resource manager at the Bridger-Teton National Forest. “This is what’s necessary to keep access open.”
Leading your own dog-sled team through a winding snow-covered forest is the experience of a lifetime....Learn More