Norris Hot Springs: Things to Know Before Your Trip

If you’re reading this, you’ve likely been harboring the same thought as many others: “What makes Norris Hot Springs so special?” Just a stone’s throw away from the scenic town of Norris, Montana, this hidden gem continuously entices visitors with its mineral-rich waters, live music, and timeless setting. 

Are you a local looking for a quick, rejuvenating escapade, or a traveler seeking an off-the-beaten-path prairie adventure? Buckle in as we prepare to immerse in Montana’s best-kept secret, Norris Hot Springs.

Captivated by the allure of its mineral-rich pools and immersed in the authentic old-west live music experience, we’re poised to delve into the narrative and attractions that render this wooden springs destination truly enchanting.

So, come along as we explore Norris Hot Springs and other watery paradises that Montana has to offer. The question now isn’t simply “What makes Norris Hot Springs so special,” but “When can we visit next?” Let’s jump right in to find the answers.

7 Key Takeaways on Norris Hot Springs

  1. Norris Hot Springs, also known as “The Water of the Gods,” is a geothermal pool in Montana renowned for its mineral-rich water and live music, making it a unique and eco-friendly relaxation destination.
  2. Originally built by miners in the 1860s, Norris Hot Springs offers an undraped wooden springs experience that marries its geothermal magic with the Old West ambiance, often accompanied by uninvited but adorable wildlife guests.
  3. As the primary attraction, the “bucket” pool offers a consistent temperature year-round, and live acoustic music sessions enhance the experience. Other amenities include clean changing rooms, dining options, and even RV and tent sites for accommodation.
  4. Offering an open invitation from Thursday to Sunday, Norris Hot Springs’ admission prices are reasonable, with additional discounts for children and seniors.
  5. Located in Norris, Montana, the hot springs are conveniently situated for day trips to nearby destinations like Bozeman, Ennis, and Helena, providing a diverse range of activities and experiences.
  6. Montana’s hot springs offer a variety of experiences, from the luxurious Chico Hot Springs to the completely natural Quinn’s Hot Springs, catering to different tastes and preferences.
  7. Norris Hot Springs is a magical blend of old and new – a modern spa experience deeply rooted in history and therapeutic traditions, offering not just hot soaking but an opportunity to connect with nature,

About Norris Hot Springs

The Norris Hot Springs pool, enclosed by a fence, offers a view of distant grassy hillsides.

Norris Hot Springs. Often referred to as Montana’s best-kept secret, this natural geothermal pool offers visitors a one-of-a-kind experience. For both locals in need of a brief getaway and travelers in search of relaxation, Norris Hot Springs allures with its inviting mineral-rich waters, live music, and environmentally-conscious atmosphere.


Norris Hot Springs, featuring its spring pool and dome building, during a historic cold winter in Montana

Norris Hot Springs isn’t just a unique pool; it’s a historical wooden springs experience. Its healing waters have been soothing visitors since the early 1900s. Originally constructed by miners in the 1860s, it transformed into a spa destination after the 1890s. The geothermal magic behind the warm waters is referred to as the “Water of the Gods.”

At Norris Hot Springs, you can enjoy local culture while experiencing the unique setting in its entirety. Renowned for its live music, soaking in this pool feels like a journey back to the Old West, accompanied by a fitting soundtrack.

Surrounded by a natural wetland that’s home to local wildlife, visitors may even be treated to an unexpected but charming show by some adorable uninvited guests.

Features and Amenities

Norris Hot Springs in Montana, featuring its 'Mother Pool' and onsite cafe and saloon

At Norris Hot Springs, also known as the “Water of the Gods,” the focal points are the expansive ‘The Bucket’ pool and the bubbling ‘Water of the Gods’ experience. Here are additional attractions to pique your interest.

  • The Bucket – As I like to call it, the ‘Mother Pool.’ This is Norris’s main pool, measuring a jaw-dropping 30′ x 40′, holding about 38,000 gallons. The temperature is maintained at a toasty 100°F in summers and an extra-cozy 106°F in winters, with a depth perfect for a casual 4-foot dip.
  • Water of the Gods – This experience is unique and unforgettable. It’s all about bubbles; clean, hot mineral water bubbling up from the belly of the Earth at a sizzling 120°F! The best part? It fills a historic wooden pool emptied nightly via 1880s gate valves and cooled for your comfort using movies-like sprayers and jets.
  • Extended Soaking & Acoustic Music – If you’re not feeling like a dive, try relaxing on the ledges surrounding the pool. And if live acoustic music under the vast Montana sky sounds like your idea of a great time, make sure to visit on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 7 p.m. 
  • Unraveling Nature – The natural wetlands that surround the pool are maintained using green building practices and provide a haven for local wildlife, including the stunning Sandhill Cranes, adorable baby deer, and vibrant red-winged blackbirds.
  • Amenities – Restrooms are clean and tidy, yet unheated. And while the facility is kid-friendly, it doesn’t stop adults from sipping on drinks around the pool. Most action happens on weekends.
  • Sustenance & Dining – Hungry after all that soaking? The onsite cafe and saloon offer a delectable array of organic meals and refreshing drinks. From taco salads and organic pizzas to the finest smoked trout and treats like homemade ice cream, sourced right here from the onsite gardens, farms, and ranches, there’s something to satisfy every taste bud. For the health-conscious, there’s even an herb iced tea on offer.
  • Where to Stay – For a truly immersive experience, consider booking online reservations for RV and tent sites with scenic views and direct pool access. The geodesic dome where live music continues in winter also has a stage floor that’s warmed by circulated hot spring water.
  • Dining with a Flair – The 50 Mile Grill & Snack Bar and the No Loose Dogs Saloon, heated with radiant warmth from the hot springs, offer comfortable seating and a tantalizing variety of dishes. Think Montana grass-fed beef and bison to grilled veggies, hearty soups, and salads. Wash it down with herb-infused iced teas, local and organic microbrews, or some fine wines.

For those seeking music, pool time, delicious food, or a mix of everything, Norris Hot Springs always lives up to expectations. Its variety of experiences allows you to unwind and be enveloped by the natural warmth and charm of Montana.

Hours and Prices

Norris Hot Springs Hours of Operation:

SeasonOpen year-round
Public Pool and Cafe Hours10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Thursday to Sunday
Reservations (Public Pool and Cafe)Not required
Private SoakingAvailable on Mondays and Wednesdays with reservations
ClosureClosed on Tuesdays for cleaning

Worried about the damage it might do to your wallet? Understood. Here’s the pricing scoop:

Children (under 12)$3
Payment MethodsAmerican Express, Cash, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Additional DiscountsAvailable for children and senior citizens
Walk-insReservations not required

For more detailed information you can visit Norris Hot Springs’ official website.

Location and Directions

Water of the Gods at Norris Hot Springs sits on the south side of Highway 84, just a half mile east of Route 287 in the charming town of Norris, Montana.

Proximity to Various Locations:

  1. Bozeman (33 miles west) – Norris Hot Springs is approximately 33 miles (53 km) west of Bozeman.
  2. West Yellowstone (88 miles north) – It is about 88 miles (equivalent to 142 km) north of West Yellowstone.
  3. Ennis (15 miles north) – The springs are located just 15 miles (24 km) north of Ennis.
  4. Butte (60 miles southeast) – Norris Hot Springs is around 60 miles (97 km) southeast of Butte.
  5. Helena (72 miles south) – Lastly, it is about 72 miles (116 km) south of Helena in the Madison River Valley.

Montana’s vast landscape can be impressive, but ensuring that your GPS is updated is always a good idea, especially if you’re planning to hit more than one location in a single day.

Other Hot Springs in Montana

Montana isn’t just home to Norris Hot Springs, it also boasts an array of hot spots for visitors who are keen on dipping into soothing mineral-rich waters. Here are a few other top-notch hot springs in the Treasure State:

  1. Chico Hot Springs – Located in Paradise Valley, Montana, is renowned for its natural thermal pools surrounded by picturesque mountains. It’s a popular destination for travelers near Yellowstone National Park, offering lodging, dining, and relaxation amenities.
  2. Nimord Hot Springs – This is a natural thermal spring renowned for its soothing mineral-rich waters, nestled in a tranquil wilderness setting in the heart of the Rocky Mountains.
  3. Quinn’s Hot Springs – An outdoor retreat perfect for nature enthusiasts, boasts six pools filled with hot mineral spring water free from chemicals. The Glacier Lodge offers luxurious accommodation options, including private cabins and rooms.
  4. Elkhorn Hot Springs – Nestled in the Pioneer Mountains, provides primitive yet charming facilities, including two natural outdoor hot spring pools and a Grecian/Wet sauna.
  5. Lolo Hot Springs – Located in the heart of the Bitterroot Mountains, is a popular resort offering hot spring pools, accommodation, dining, and various outdoor recreational activities for guests to partake in.
  6. Symes Hot Springs – Symes Hot Springs is renowned for its mineral waters and is considered one of the world’s best, making it a hidden gem worth exploring for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation.

Each of these hot springs has its unique vibe and offers different experiences, from the more luxurious to the completely natural. If you seek a tranquil mountain ambiance or a spot to unwind after a day of hiking, Montana’s hot springs cater to your needs.

Norris Hot Springs Final Thoughts

Norris Hot Springs, featuring its geodesic dome and mother pool, during a rainy day

Nestled in the heart of Montana, Norris Hot Springs holds a special place in my heart as a quintessential destination seamlessly blending history, nature, and relaxation. Once a miner’s bathing spot, it has evolved into a beloved retreat exuding rustic charm and rejuvenation.

At the heart of Norris Hot Springs are its therapeutic waters, sourced from the legendary “Water of the Gods.” I love immersing myself in these rejuvenating waters while being serenaded by live music and savoring organic cuisine.

Surrounded by natural wetlands and teeming wildlife, Norris Hot Springs offers me a serene setting for a tranquil escape amidst breathtaking scenery. Whether I’m soaking in the main pool, indulging in locally sourced delights, or exploring nearby attractions, there’s always something new and exciting to experience.

I invite travelers of all interests to come and experience Norris Hot Springs. It promises a holistic retreat in the heart of Montana, offering a cherished opportunity to unwind and rejuvenate amidst its natural beauty.

Norris Hot Springs FAQs

1. Is Norris Hot Springs Open Year-Round?

Yes, Norris Hot Springs is open year-round, allowing visitors to enjoy its therapeutic waters, live music, and organic cuisine regardless of the season.

2. Who Owns Norris Hot Springs?

Holly Heinzmann, the proprietor of Norris Hot Springs, has revamped the atmosphere of the venue from its traditional rustic vibe to a modern and eco-conscious setting.

Known for her dedication to expanding the business and her exemplary environmental stewardship, Heinzmann has implemented initiatives such as utilizing solar panels to energize the kitchen and organizing yearly tree-planting activities.

3. Does Norris Hot Springs Have WiFi?

Yes, Norris Hot Springs does have WiFi available in the area.

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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 was a no-brainer, blending my love for art, photography, and Montana's ever-changing palette.

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