Ridge Waters Waterpark: What to Know Before You Go

Let me weave the fascinating tale of Ridge Waters Waterpark — a refreshingly new addition that revitalizes the heart of Butte, Montana. Whether you’re a local Butte resident, a history enthusiast, or a family planning your next summer escapade, Ridge Waters offers a fascinating link between contemporary leisure and the town’s storied past.

As I guide you through the key features of Ridge Waters and reveal essential visitor information — from fees to locker availability and the waterpark’s operating hours — I invite you to discover this aquatic escape in the city of Butte.

So buckle up, we’re about to dive into this distinctive aquatic narrative that simultaneously celebrates Montana’s bathing appeal and the pulse of Butte’s rich history.

7 Key Takeaways on Ridge Waters Waterpark

  1. Ridge Waters Waterpark essentials include sunscreen, visiting early to avoid crowds, and packing light but strategically. It’s all about maximizing your fun in the sun.
  2. Ridge Waters Waterpark has a rich history rooted in Butte’s leisure evolution. It’s a nod to former recreational spots like Columbia Gardens, re-envisioned to meet modern needs.
  3. From signature slides to kid-friendly areas, Ridge Waters offers a variety of attractions to suit every age and interest, including locally funded amenities that support the community.
  4. The park offers split operating hours and a reasonable fee structure for everyone to enjoy. But it’s not just about fun – lifeguards and swim bands ensure safety and order.
  5. Ridge Waters stands out in Montana’s water park landscape but is also part of a varied ensemble, from indoor options like The Reef to outdoor parks like Big Sky Waterpark.
  6. As you ride, slide, and splash, know that you’re part of Butte’s storytelling legacy, breathing new life into a century-old vision of communal joy.
  7. Ridge Waters is more than just a water park; it’s a testament to Butte’s resilience and dedication to shared leisure, with a focus on supporting local sports and providing a space for everyone to enjoy. It’s a dive into Montana’s warmth, past and present.

Ridge Waters Waterpark: What to Know

People enjoy a large swimming pool with a water slide at Ridge Waters Waterpark.

Discover the thrills, spills, and family-friendly delights awaiting you at Ridge Waters Waterpark. From its inception six years after the closure of Butte’s iconic Corette Pool, Ridge Waters has become a refreshing haven in the heart of Montana.

Join us as we unravel the essentials and highlights of this splash zone, providing you with everything you need to make the most of your aquatic experience.

What to Prepare

Folded orange towels and a bottle of sunscreen on a poolside lounge at Ridge Waters Waterpark.

Before you zip down those water slides and dip into sun-soaked pools, there are a few things every visitor should know before heading out to Ridge Waters Waterpark. 

  • Sunscreen is Your Best Friend – I know, sounds like Mom nagging you, but lather it on, seriously. The Montana sun can be pretty intense and you’re going to be spending your day enjoying the rides and slides. Protect that skin! And remember to reapply.
  • The Earlier, the Better – Nobody likes to wait in line, right? To make the most of your visit, aim to get there as close to opening time as possible – trust me, the park is at its quietest then.
  • Pack Wisely – If like me, you tend to overpack for road trips, remember, less is more here. A towel, a change of clothes, flip flops, water shoes, and a sealable plastic bag for your phone and other valuables are all you need.
  • Food and Drink Offerings – Snack shacks and concessions are on-site, so you don’t have to worry about packing an elaborate picnic. Don’t forget to hydrate; you’re still in the Wild West after all.
  • Renting a Cabana – If you want to kick back in style, consider renting a cabana. It’s great for families or groups of friends and provides a designated place to relax when you’re not hitting the slides.
  • Know the Rules – Always a party pooper but for good reason, right? Every water park has its own rules and regulations, so before careening down a slide or playing in the pool, take a minute to know the dos and don’ts. They’re there for your safety.
  • Book in Advance – Just as you would for other attractions, consider booking your passes in advance. This could not only save you some cash but could also guarantee entry, particularly on busier days.

A little preparation can go a long way in ensuring a fantastic day at Ridge Waters Waterpark. With these pointers in mind, you’re all set to make a splash and soak up the Montana sun.


A playground with a swing set in Butte's Stodden Park, home of Ridge Waters Waterpark.
source: facebook.com

Stodden Park is a well-known park in Butte, Montana, and it was the site chosen for the construction of Ridge Waters Waterpark. It was Montana’s first and only amusement park, a haven for children and families seeking refuge from the polluted air caused by mining activities.

Back around the turn of the 20th century, the park was known as Columbia Gardens. It was the brainchild of Butte’s wealthiest industrialists, designed to entertain the hardworking miners.

For decades, Stodden Park stood as a beloved leisure destination, featuring the iconic Corette Pool. Unfortunately, the pool deteriorated over time and had to be shuttered in 2005. The closure of Columbia Gardens left a noticeable void in the community.

But a new vision, which came to be known as Ridge Waters Waterpark, arose six years later, aiming to fill the gap with the creation of a modern waterpark. Today, the legacy of Stodden Park lives on as a place of leisure and recreation for the people of Butte, a testament to the resilience and adaptability of the community.

Key Features

Water slides of different colors and shapes, including tubular slides, lead to a clear pool at Montana's Ridge Water's Waterpark.

I recently visited the waterpark in Stodden Park, and I was blown away by the variety of attractions they have to offer. Here are the poolside pointers you need to know:

  • Montana’s Longest Lazy River – As a self-proclaimed lazy river aficionado, I can assure you it’s the pièce de résistance of this waterpark. No, seriously, don’t miss it.
  • Zero-Depth Entry Pool – Perfect for toddlers, it’s like an entire lakeshore but safer and with…non-lake water.
  • Climbing Wall and Gusher Jet Slides – Beat the heat while showing off your biceps. Bonus points if you manage to scale the climbing wall without getting drenched.
  • Carousel-Themed Toddler Slide – Because let’s face it, who doesn’t love a good carousel?
  • Ground Sprays and Interactive Water Table – “Building” sandcastles was so 2010; it’s all about innovative water tables today.
  • 28-Foot-Tall Play Structure – There, daredevil kids can take on racer slides, water cannons, and a gigantic dumping bucket.
  • 15-Foot Climbing Wall with Diving Platform – Impress your friends or just show off your best Baywatch impression.
  • Major Slides – Two 23-foot-high water slides offer that perfect mix of exhilaration and quick submersion.
  • Changing Rooms & Locally Funded Lockers – This is where you support local high school softball teams when they’re not at the diamond.
  • Outside Lockers – You get additional space around the park, so bring your locks for added convenience.

Now that you’re in on this waterpark’s biggest secrets and not-so-hidden gems, go ahead, and make a splash.

Hours and Fees

12 pm – 3 pmMorning Splash
4 pm – 7 pmSunset Waves

Ridge Waters Waterpark, Montana’s latest aquatic Joyland, offers a divergence from the conventional 9-5 routine with split operating hours to please everyone’s water-drenched whims. The park opens its watery doors in two sessions, the Morning Spalsh and Sunset Waves.

While these distributed dunks are what you usually dive into, the park occasionally caters to early birds with a lap swimming session from 9 am to 11 am.

As for the treasure you part with to make your watery dreams come true, you’ll be glad to know that Ridge Waters doesn’t break the bank. The pricing structure is as follows:

  • Free – For kids aged 2 years or younger
  • Just $4.00 – For youths (3-17 years) and visitors above 60
  • A Cool $6.00 – Adults ready to dive in

To ensure your water adventures are as safe as they are fun, the park offers ample lifeguard coverage during peak hours. But if you want to take the plunge into the deeper pool, you’ll need to pass a basic swim test.

Variety is the spice of life, and knowing your way around this watery funland’s schedule can supercharge your visit. Whether you’re a lap swimmer or a sunset slider, Ridge Waters has just the ticket to make your splashy dreams come true.

Other Water Parks in Montana

Adults and kids enjoying the smaller pool at Ridge Waters Waterpark.
source: facebook.com

Montana is home to some incredible water parks, each offering a unique and thrilling experience.

  1. The Reef Indoor Water Park – Located in Billings, stands as Montana’s largest indoor water park. It showcases six waterslides, a wave pool, and a play structure, along with an impressive 55,000-gallon wave pool.
  2. Big Sky Waterpark – Positioned in Columbia Falls, the park claims the title of Montana’s largest outdoor water park. With ten diverse slides, a whirlpool, a mini-golf, an arcade, and bumper cars, it guarantees an exciting outdoor water adventure.
  3. Splash Montana – Situated in Playfair Park, Missoula, offers a variety of attractions, including three thrilling three-story waterslides, a swimmer-friendly zero-depth entry, spray features, and a dedicated kiddie pool.
  4. Woodland Water Park – Found in Woodland Park, Kalispell, boasts features such as a 6-lane lap pool, a lazy river, two water slides, and a zero-depth entry activity pool catering to younger children, ensuring a family-friendly aquatic environment.
  5. Electric City Waterpark – In Great Falls, Montana, offers a diverse range of attractions, including the RipTide Slide, Lazy River, Power Tower Plunge, swimming pool, Squirt Zone children’s water play area, and the Kersplash Climbing Wall, creating a multifaceted water park experience for all.

Ridge Waters Waterpark Final Thoughts

A boy slides down a giant water slide at Ridge Waters Waterpark using a yellow plastic float.

As I wandered through the heart of Butte, Montana, I stumbled upon the emergence of Ridge Waters Waterpark at Stodden Park — a refreshing haven indeed.

This 14,000-square-foot aquatic paradise stands as a testament to the community’s commitment to revitalizing the historic space, once home to Columbia Gardens.

Five years ago, the decision was made to replace the dormant Corette Pool, and the completion of Ridge Waters in 2018 showcases a dedication to restoring joy and leisure to the Butte community.

But Ridge Waters Water Park is more than just a destination; it celebrates Stodden Park’s rich history and pays homage to the visionaries behind Columbia Gardens.

This aquatic paradise features Montana’s longest lazy river, gusher jet slides, and a variety of attractions for all age groups, emphasizing Butte’s resilience and commitment to community well-being.

The amenities and activities offered, including locally funded lockers, changing rooms, and serene spaces away from the water, illustrate a holistic approach to recreation.

As the sun sets on Stodden Park, Ridge Waters Waterpark stands tall, symbolizing a harmonious blend of history, community spirit, and aquatic exhilaration.

Ridge Waters Waterpark FAQs

1. What Is the Largest Waterpark in Montana?

Big Sky Water Park holds the title of Montana’s most extensive water park, celebrated for its vast array of attractions. This water park is distinguished as a top-tier destination for aquatic entertainment within the state, offering a diverse range of experiences.

2. Is There an Indoor Pool in Montana?

Montana features indoor pools, with the Reef Indoor Water Park in Billings standing out as a prominent example. Recognized as the state’s largest indoor water park, it boasts attractions like waterslides, a wave pool, and an interactive playhouse catering to

3. What Waterpark Is the Closest to Glacier National Park?

The Woodland Water Park in Kalispell, Montana, is likely the nearest water park to Glacier National Park. Positioned in Kalispell, the largest city in the Flathead Valley and the gateway to Glacier National Park, Woodland Water Park provides a convenient aquatic escape for visitors in the region.

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Written by:

Elizabeth Hawley
Hey, fellow travelers! I'm Elizabeth Hawley, stepping into the world in the hues of fall. For me, Montana is more than just a state; it's a muse. The golden aspen trees and russet landscapes in the fall have always fueled my creativity. Co-founding PocketMontana.com was a no-brainer, blending my love for art, photography, and Montana's ever-changing palette.

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