Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Thermopolis, Wyoming

A great place worth stopping by is Thermopolis if you are headed into or out of Yellowstone from the east.  This little town is in many of the guidebooks and has the 'World's Largest Mineral Hot Spring'.  The spring is now part of Hot Springs State Park.  A treaty was signed with the Indians in 1896 that secured 10 square miles to the US government for $60,000 (paid in cash, cattle, bacon, sugar and coffee) to be used for a National Reserve or Park and homesteads.
An older area of the spring - this is NOT where the water for the pools comes out
This is where the hot water comes to the surface, notice the pipes in the lower left

Part of the treaty states that the Indians would always have access to the healing waters of the hot spring at no charge.  For this reason - ANYONE can soak in the hot springs healing mineral waters at the state park bath house for FREE!   There is an indoor and an outdoor soaking pool, also locker rooms and you can rent a towel for $1 and a bathing suit for $1 too if you need one!  There are 2 other pools in this area that charge admission (commercial ventures) and they have water slides, hot tubs, steam caves and more.

The spring puts out just under 1.8 million gallons of water a day.  The water averages 127-129 degrees at the surface.  Hot mineral water is piped from the spring to cool it and fill the soaking pools.  The pools are totally drained every 2 days for cleaning - no chemicals are added to the water.
The state indoor pool (building with brown roof) and outdoor pool at right

There is a drive through a bison reserve on the grounds that is also free of charge.

Interesting formations from ancient springs

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