Soak in the warm waters of the Snake River Valley.
The Snake River Valley may claim Avanyu and other posh spas that coddle the visitors who come to play on the area’s steep slopes. But 24 miles south, on national forest land, lies a more natural place to relax. Granite Hot Springs, spruced up in 1933 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, is a hot spring–fed concrete swimming pool at 7,000 feet, surrounded by Wyoming’s Gros Ventre Mountains.
Last summer’s big wildfires here spared the wood deck and changing rooms around the pool, where the spring water floods in at a steamy 112 degrees. To get here, click into cross-country skis or rev up a snowmobile for the 10-mile trek down a groomed trail. Or for an exceptional jaunt, hop a dogsled (call 800-554-7388 or go to www.jhsleddog.com ). Don’t forget a swimsuit under all that winter gear, and bring lunch, a towel, and a warm hat.
Soak in the pool, catching snowflakes with your tongue, or dive into nearby Granite Creek Falls Hot Springs, then cool off on rocks by a 20-foot waterfall. It’s so cheap—a day pass is $6—you’ll save cash for another day of skiing. (307) 734-7400, www.granitehotsprings.net .
Photography by Ron Matous
This article was first published in November 2007. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.