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Wyoming State Parks

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USA Parks
Northwest Region
Hot Springs State Park
Hot Springs State Park © DrGBB / CC BY 2.0
Hot Springs State Park © Thad Roan - Bridgepix / CC BY 2.0
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220 Park Street
Thermopolis, Wyoming   82443
(lat:43.6505 lon:-108.2049) map location

Phone: 307-864-2176
Over colorful terraces along the Big Horn River at Thermopolis flows water from mineral hot springs, over 18,000 gallons every 24 hours at a constant temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit. The park has a free Bath House where the water is maintained at 104 degrees for theraputic bathing. Attendants are available to assist you with your needs. The Bath House hours are: Monday - Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Sundays noon to 5:30 p.m. The Bath House is closed on holidays and during the winter and open on holidays during the summer, noon to 5:30 p.m. Hot Springs has 6.2 miles of ADA accessible trail and hiking trail. It is a full-service park with restrooms, Volksmarch trail, fishing and a couple of boat docks and a group picnic shelter that can be reserved.
History of the Area
The terraces were known and used for years by Indians, who believed that the waters were beneficial to health and that they could have a warrior invincible in battle. Chief Washakie of the Shoshone tribe, who built a personal bath house there, and Chief Sharp Nose of the Arapaho tribe sold the hot springs to the United States in 1896 with the provision that a portion should be forever reserved for the use and benefit of the public. Today nothing is left of Washakie's bath house, although a small marker may be found at the site. At Thermopolis each year in early August the presentation of the springs to the white man is re-enacted in the "Gift of the Waters Pageant." When the United States released a one-square mile tract of land to the state in 1897 to establish Big Horn Hot Springs State Reserve, the Reserve became the first of Wyoming state parks. Big Horn Hot Springs still flows over the Rainbow Terraces, but significant additions have been made to the park, including the Wyoming Pioneer Home and the Gottsche Rehabilitation Center where the infirm-both young and old-have the advantage of healing waters. The Plaza Hotel-constructed in 1914, and the Holiday Inn-built more recently, accommodate park visitors, and each establishment owns its own hot mineral water swimming pools are also open to the public. A winding, concrete walkway atop the terraces of sulphurous pools provides a view of algae and mineral formations on the bluffs overlooking the Big Horn River.
On the Bighorn River, by the Terraces, is a newly constructed boat ramp. The sister to this ramp is located at the mouth of the Wind River Canyon to the south of Thermopolis. These two ramps were built by the Wyoming Game & Fish Department with the needs of physically impaired persons in mind. These fit well with the many other facilities in the state park that are also designed for physically impaired individuals. While the terrace ramp will be used primarily for removing boats from the water, there is still lots of water below the terrace area that can be floated and/or fished.

Hot Springs State Park is

State Park Group Picnic Shelters. There are three large group picnic shelters in the park available by reservation. These are very popular and usually heavily used. Contact park headquarters as soon as you can to reserve a shelter for your event and also inquire if you group needs a park liquor permit.
Area Attractions
Bison (Buffalo) Viewing : The Hot Springs State Bison Herd is the central herd for the Wyoming State Parks. In addition to those at Hot Springs Park, bison are also located at Bear River State Park. The herds vary in size depending on the graze available and the needs within the state herd system.

The Hot Springs State Park herd averages more than 20 animals at the present time. The herd is free roaming within the boundaries of the pasture for the majority of the year. During the months of May and June the herd is confined to the Corral Area to aid the rejuvenation of the pasture. Edible plants are allowed to develop to the proper seed producing stage prior to allowing the animals free graze.

During the late fall and winter months, the park bison are fed a daily supplement to insure good health. This feeding usually occurs at 8:30 a.m. And offers the off-season visitor the unique opportunity to view the "Monarch of the Plains," up close. Please remember that bison should be viewed ONLY while you remain in your vehicle.

The Swinging Bridge : The suspension foot bridge across the Bighorn River is commonly called "The Swinging Bridge." It is presently under reconstruction as rust became a major concern and large portions will have to be entirely replaced. The Wyoming and the North Dakota National Guard are completing the removal and replacement work with the cooperative efforts of the Wyoming Transportation Department, Hot Springs State Park, Hot Springs County, the local Historical Society and many other interested individuals. The structure was removed in July 1991 and was replaced during 1992. The bridge offers a unique vantage point from which to view the Bighorn River and Mineral Terrace.

The State Bath House : In 1896 a treaty was signed with the Shoshone and the Arapaho which gave the public use of the largest mineral hot springs in the world. The hot springs was known as having "healing water." There is no fee for using the Bath House; however, there is a nominal charge for rental of towels and swimsuits. The hot mineral water is maintained at 104 degrees Fahrenheit to provide the safest healing water possible. A time limit of 30 minutes is set for the soaking time for safety reasons. Attendants are available to assist you with your needs. The Bath House hours are: Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m. To 5:30 p.m.; Sundays noon to 5:30 p.m. The Bath House is closed on holidays during the winter and open on holidays during the summer, noon to 5:30.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
September 1 Total Solar Eclipse in awesome park by Froukje Brouwer
park review stars; one to five What a treat to enjoy a total solar eclipse in a place like this. Beautiful flowers, very enjoyable hot springs in the bathhouse, interesting hikes. And the dinosaur museum close by is definitively worth a visit.
May 31
park review stars; one to five The dressing rooms at TeePee Pools have been remodeled and are nice now.
February 23
park review stars; one to five The park itself is kept in great condition! The TeePee pool is yet not so good the facility is unclean, mold in the showers the locker rooms need to be redone! The out side pool is cleaned only once a week and the second week it just plain stinks! Something needs to be done to rectify the problems! Why was the lease extended only to have the same problems as in the past?
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