Renova Hot Springs is a primitive thermal spring situated in a small tributary of the Jefferson River southeast of Whitehall, Montana. The area lies within a high level of geothermal activity and the well-known heated springs and geysers of nearby Yellowstone Park.
The pools of Renova Hot Springs consist of ancient rock dams placed above the springs to prevent the cold river water from inundating and diluting the hot mineral wells.
Consequently, depending upon the time of year and the water level of the Jefferson River, the temperature of the water in the pools off Renova Hot Springs fluctuate between 104- and 122 degrees Fahrenheit
The springs are in a very remote area. To get there, head east from Bozeman on Interstate 90. Take the interchange at Whitehall, drive south on Montana State Highway 55 to 10 miles south of Whitehall, and take the Waterloo turnoff.
Drive south on this road 1/2 mile, cross the Jefferson River, and proceed south approximately 2 miles to Point of Rocks Road.
Turn left and travel north about 3.5 miles. On the left, a small camping area, Potosi Creek Campground, will be located about 200 yards before the hot spring. A trailhead to the springs is at the southeast corner of the campground.
The hot springs lie on the Jefferson River amidst the verdant Jefferson Valley, surrounded by the Tobacco Root and Highland Mountains. The town of Whitehall is home to the acclaimed Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Murals.
Open Or Closed?
The tricky part of visiting Renova Hot Springs lies in whether the hot springs are open to the public or closed.
While the hot springs are in the Jefferson tributary river bed and therefore generally considered public land, the trail to the property from Point of Rocks Road to the eastern bank of the river is privately owned. And it is not a simple matter of asking permission, as the property is an old mining claim and has five owners.
The Madison County Sheriff’s office has declared that Renova Hot Springs is “off-limits” to the public, as did the Madison County Board of Health at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The Board of Health posted a sign to that effect on the trail leading to the springs.
A spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office said that the closure did not seem to discourage many soakers. However, the road embankment leading to the springs is hazardous, and the road access to the hot springs can be treacherous in wet- or winter weather.
Renova is a “clothing optional” hot spring. Peak times are in summer, with a second preferred season in winter. On the other hand, it is quite common to find yourself alone in these remote waters. No dogs in the hot springs.
Renova Hot Springs Details
- Address: 599-681 Point of Rocks Rd, Whitehall, MT 59759, USA
- Nearby Town: Whitehall, MT
- Season: All year, with road access limited in winter.
- Type: Primitive. Rural Road/Hike access
- Price: Free
- Clothing: Optional