A multitude of multicolored hot springs and geothermal features spill out over into the Bighorn River.

The deep anticline underlying Thermopolis, Wyoming has resulted in an abundance of hot springs, some of which flow directly into the Bighorn River and creating a wide variety of multi-colored pools and bubbling creeks. Most of the features are contained within the aptly named, Hot Springs State Park, which in addition to having for-pay soaking pools contain several excellent hiking trails.

The Terrace Walk around the "smoking waters" rainbow pools is .6 mile trail of elevated boardwalk that goes over the hot springs water as it spills into the Bighorn River. It is an easy trail, but in the winter and morning has some of the best views in the entire park including "steam tornados" if the conditions are right. You can also take a large suspension bridge across the Bighorn River.

Getting to Thermopolis, Wyoming is the biggest challenge, as it is about 3.5 hours east of Jackson, 4.5 hours from Laramie, and 3 hours from Sheridan. That said, it is a worthy side trip particularly if you are planning on going to Yellowstone or the Grand Tetons and are coming from the East.

Note: the average temperate of the hot springs are 130 degrees Fahrenheit, well above the point to scald and kill. If you are looking to soak, go into the official, designated soaking pools.

Pack List

  • Walking Shoes
  • Season-appropriate attire
  • Sunscreen
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RT Distance 0.6 Miles
Elevation Gain 10 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Hot Springs
Picnic Area


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