Montana is full of places to explore. Wherever you find yourself in Montana, chances are you are not far from an adventure. Even though Montana is such a large state, just about everywhere you turn you can find a good day-trip adventure.

There are some nearby natural hot springs locations that you may have forgotten.

I can still remember my first trip to Jerry Johnson Hot Springs on Highway 12. It was not far past Lolo Hot Springs. Just a dozen miles over the Idaho state line. A group of my friends decided to spontaneously make the trip on a Friday night. When I was told there was a short hike involved, I started to wonder if nighttime was the right time to go. With plenty of headlamps and flashlights, we managed to get hiking with no problem. After a short walk, we discovered the first of three natural hot springs pools. Turns out we were not the only ones bathing under the cover of darkness. So we made our way to another natural pool. The water temperature was perfect. If you managed to get cold, you would simply sit closer to the "vent" that the geothermic water was coming from. It was worth every step of the short hike.

(NOTE: We were young and dumb and did not notice the hot springs were day use only. In fact, anyone caught visiting the springs at night can receive a huge fine. Stick to the day trip..)

According to Ultimate Hotsprings Guide:

You can drive up to the hot springs parking lot on a paved road (MP 152).  The trailhead parking lot is called Warm Springs   ​After parking, cross highway 12 and the pack bridge over the Lochsa River.  This is an easy and fun hike.  Take a right to follow Warm Springs Trail #49 south along the creek for about one mile.


Little did I know, another great place to soak in a natural hot spring was just a few more miles down Highway 12.

Weir Hot Springs is just a few miles past Jerry Johnson Hot Springs. In fact, it is 75 miles or a little over an hour and a half drive from Missoula.

According to Ultimate Hotsprings Guide:

You can drive up to the parking area.  Weir Creek Hot Springs is a 0.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Elk City, Idaho that features hot springs. The trail moderate and an easy hike.


Granted these hot springs are located in Idaho. But, for many of us here in western Montana, these hot springs are more accessible than they are for many residents of Idaho. Short drives, coupled with short hikes make these the perfect spots for Missoulians to have some fun day trip adventures.

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