Nestled in the mountains near Jackson Hole, lies a magical place where steam rises from water even when the air temperature plummets to below zero. Rays of sunshine filter through the steam. The pool is surrounded by pine trees covered in billowy snow. In the winter, these springs are reachable only by a 10 mile journey on snowmobile, cross country ski, or dogsled through beautiful pine-covered mountains.
Our family embarked this adventure a week ago on New Years Eve. My brothers and sisters and most of their children took snowmobiles and bundled up for the ride.
We braved the below zero temperatures as we rode the groomed trail from the parking lot to the springs. Along the trail we saw several dog sleds and beautiful mountain scenery.
When we got to the springs there is a small indoor locker room where we changed into our swimming suits and left our snow clothes. Next, we tiptoed across the icy deck and climb into the soothing warmth of the pool, where our hair froze in frosty curls.
After the soak, there are a couple picnic tables at the springs, where we ate lunches that we packed. I brought a little stove and enjoyed a hot meal. It is an unforgettable adventure.
To get to Granite Hot Springs:
About an hour drive from Flat Creek Inn in Jackson Hole, Granite Hot Springs is tucked away in the Gros Ventre Mountains, just under 7,000 feet above sea level. Follow US-191 12 miles south from Hoback Junction until you reach the Granite Hot Springs gravel and dirt road. Shortly after you get on this road, you’ll find a parking lot and a groomed trail. Granite Hot Springs is 10 miles down this trail.
The Granite Hot Springs pool is open 10-8 in the summer and 10-6 in the winter. It closes for about a month in both the spring and fall. Entry is $6 per adult and $4 per child. Make sure to call ahead: 307-690-6323
We rented snowmobiles in the following locations:
Snow clothes that work great on the ski slopes may not be sufficient for this adventure, as the temperature for us was -20 plus wind chill from the snowmobile ride. But don’t let this stop you! As the Norwegians say, there is no bad weather, only bad clothing! At the Jackson rental location, you can rent snow clothes made for snowmobiling. Especially valuable are balaclavas (covers your whole face except eyes), and helmet and goggle meant for snowmobiling (other goggles can easily fog up and then freeze, blinding the driver of the snowmobile). Also make sure you have good snow boots, and no way that wind can get in between your sleeves and gloves.
I highly recommend this adventure! It is a great item to put on your bucket list.