Symes Hot Springs, Montana

At the base of the Cabinet Mountains lie hot springs with therapeutic water, the Symes Hot Springs. Three spring-fed mineral pools await anyone who wants to take a dip or soak while enjoying the scenic rolling hills and the farmlands.

The healing waters are located at the front of a rustic, age-old hotel. A visit here is a nostalgic step to the heyday. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by vintage furnishings, old-school hospitality, and Spanish-style architecture. Modern distractions like TVs and telephones have no place.

Not that you’ll miss modernity. The mineral pools will soothe you day-long. It was a favorite for Native Americans who enjoyed its curative mineral waters. That said, the mineral waters aren’t for everyone because of their sulfur odor. The rotten egg smell might overwhelm some people.

Image: John Calnan

Symes Hot Springs Facilities

Three outdoor pools are present in the Symes, the hot pool, lower pool, and swimming pool.

The hot pool has an average temperature of 107 degrees Fahrenheit, while the lower pool’s average temperature is 101 degrees Fahrenheit. The swimming pool with a temperature of 95 degrees is the coolest. A 280-foot deep geothermal well supplies mineral-rich water to the hot pools.

The 20’ x 40’ 5’ swimming pool carries natural water. It’s an ideal soaking spot for visitors who can’t stomach the sulfur odors in mineral waters.

Pools are included in hotel rooms for those who wish to spend extended time in the Symes, while day passes cater to those who want to day-soak in the mineral waters. Clothing isn’t optional at these pools.

The bath wing houses four private clawfoot tubs. You can also rent a two-person jetted tub and a jacuzzi. Massage therapy is plenty. The day SPA offers therapeutic jetted baths, Swedish massage, WATSU in a mineral pool, hot rock therapy, and exfoliation services.

This storied place has 31 rooms, 9 cabins, and 7 convenience apartments. It has a restaurant where visitors can grab breakfast, lunch, and dinner. On the menu are various foods, ranging from scrambled eggs to steak. The espresso bar offers smoothies, expresso beans, Italian sodas, brownies, cookies, and biscotti.

Robes, swim diapers, and towels are available at an extra cost. Pets are banned around the pools, while an adult must accompany children under 14.

Located in a one-horse town, Symes Hot Springs is a bit is off-the-beaten-path. Expect low crowds during weekdays, but weekends do attract getaway enthusiasts. Both reservations and walk-ins are permitted. Reservations are only processed from Monday to Wednesday.

The mineral pools see less traffic from 7-10 AM.

The water is cleanest on Wednesdays since pool cleaning occurs on Tuesday nights. Cleaning is done via pressure washing without any chemicals.

Symes Hot Spring doesn’t offer a grand, fancy setting. Instead, it’s earthly, low-key, and offers bare bone amenities. Its excellent hot pools might suit visitors who don’t mind interacting and sharing a pool with others.

The biggest challenge is the rotten egg smell that emanates from the hot plunges. However, the sulfur odor is to be expected in any hot spring with a high mineral concentration.

symes hot springs
Image: symeshotsprings

Symes Hot Spring Stats

  • Size: 20-foot by 40-foot
  • Depth: 5 feet
  • Average temperature: 95°F, 101°F, 107°F
  • Season: Year-round
  • Price: Day soaking – adults $10, children $5.50
  • Website:
  • Address: 209 Wall Street, Hot Springs, Montana 59845
  • Nearest town: Missoula

Getting There

Symes Hot Springs sits on Highway 28 between Plains and Elmo. Departing from Missoula, take Highway 93 to 200. From there, head west on 200 to Perma, then take a right turn on 382 to 28. The distance from Missoula is about 70 miles and shouldn’t take more than 2 hours when using a car.

Departing from Glacier, take 93, then bear west to 28. Continue on 28 until you arrive at Symes Hot Springs. This route is approximately 77 miles and should take about 2 hours by car.

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