Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs Resort Montana Soaking
Photo By Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs Resort

• The first resort was built under President Roosevelt's New Deal program

Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs is the only soaking spot along Montana's northern tier. This developed resort sits 20 miles southeast of the small city of Malta and provides access to geothermal artesian water and various outdoor adventures.

The spring was discovered in 1924 when a wildcat oil driller struck a high-pressure mix of natural gas and geothermal water.

He abandoned the well, and the locals started using the newfound water source for bathing.

In 1927, the local rancher Elbert Davison built a soaking tub at the spring for his son, who suffered from polio. His son's condition improved significantly, and word spread about the healing power of mineral water.

Since gas was also escaping from the well, locals often set it on fire. The flame would keep burning until strong winds put it out.

Later on, the American Legion requested federal funding to shut off the gas without stopping water flow. They were successful, and under President Roosevelt's New Deal, the first resort was built. You can still see the original stonework of the building from the 1900s era.

Nowadays, you can enjoy the hot mineral water just like the Montana cowboys did during the "Saturday night bath" nearly 100 years ago.

You can stay right at the resort or visit it during the day.

Geothermal Water & Soaking

Geothermal water comes from the 3,200 feet deep well at 108° F (42° C) degrees and is piped into 2 indoor pools.

The 26 ft x 8 ft soaking pool is 106° F (41° C) while the swimming pool is 60 ft x 50 ft with a temperature of 90° F (32° C).

All pools are flow-through with a 900 gallons a minute flow rate, so no chemicals are used.

The resort also has a dry sauna.

This is a family-friendly resort, so the bath suits are required here.

Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs Resort Montana Soaking
Photo By Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs Resort

Beyond Hot Springs: Other Adventures

The resort offers no dining except the snack bar. However, nearby Malta has dining and other services.

Also, you can book the resort for birthdays or other events.

Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge, Nelson State Recreation Area, and other nearby parks are great places to go for a hike and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.

Nelson Reservoir and other lakes in the area are fantastic fishing spots. During winter, you can even book ice-fishing castles!

Camping & Lodging

You can rent a cozy cabin or a bright, comfortable suite at the Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs.

Alternatively, you can stay at the campground with RV and tent spots.

Also, Malta has more accommodations to choose from.

Affordable short and long-term rentals near Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs

Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs | Facts

Location: 20 miles southwest of Missoula • Western Montana • USA
Open: Year-round
Development: Swimming pool, soaking pool, sauna
Clothing: Mandatory
Amenities & Services: Cabins, suites, campground, snack bar

Hiking distance: Short
Road access: Any vehicle
Day-use fees: Yes

Elevation: 2,200 ft (670 m)

Water T° (source):108° F (42° C)
Water T° (soaking tub): 106° F (41° C)
Water T° (swimming pool): 90° F (32° C)
Odor: None
Chemical used: None

Directions to Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs

From Malta,

  • Take US-2 East/North 1st Street East for 17.8 miles
  • Turn left onto State Hwy 243 and follow it for 1.4 miles
  • Slight right at Cree Drive.

Phone: 406-527-3320

Address: 669 Buffalo Terrace, Saco, MT 59261

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *