GARDINER – For the first time in 25 years, Montana has a new hot spring.
Yellowstone Hot Springs is 10 minutes from Yellowstone National Park. The hot springs had an exclusive opening on Wednesday for the Gardiner community and will have a grand opening on March 8.
Hot springs are very popular across the Treasure State, but the water at Yellowstone Hot Springs is what is making the experience different.
“It’s a flow-through pool and it actually comes from a source about two miles up towards Gardiner and it’s from Laduke Hot Springs. The water comes in at about 140 degrees, and we mix it with the cold water and then it goes through,” Marketing and Customer Relations Manager Martine Griffiths said.
“It’s about 70,000 gallons per hour that go through, and then its discharged straight into the Yellowstone River and we’re not using any chemicals, so very little chemicals so it’s all really, really clean. The minerals that are coming through are absolutely extraordinary and people will get to feel the benefit of that,” Griffiths said.
The hot springs facility is located at the Royal Teton Ranch, home to Church Universal and Triumphant. Back in the 1980s, the church leader urged followers to prepare for the end of the world by building underground bunkers.
When the leader died in 2009, church membership fell.
Now that the public is able to experience the pools, it’s a dream come true for the management team after obstacles including the severe winter weather caused a delay in the opening. Opening a hot spring is no easy job, but the sense of community has made it just a little easier.
“I can’t speak highly enough, particularly about the Gardiner community and what they’ve done, how they’ve supported us through everything,” General Manager Susie Shimmin said. “Whenever you meet a challenge or anything would happen and I would go into Gardiner, or Martine would go into Gardiner, and we would say to them, this is our challenge or whatever it may be happening, they would say you can do this, we’re behind you, we support you and it has really been extraordinary.”
“The other hot springs both Chico and Bozeman have been really supportive of us. They’ve given us information, we haven’t had to reinvent the wheel in some cases through their support,” added Shimmin.
Story by Emma Hamilton, MTN News