History of the Hot Springs
The healing waters of the area’s mineral springs attracted dinosaurs, prehistoric migratory people, Native American tribes, Western settlers, and now travelers visiting and crossing Wyoming. Native Americans believed the water contained therapeutic power.
At the center of all the activities in Hot Springs State Park is the Big Spring. The turquoise and green mineral laden spring issues 3.6 million gallons of water per day at a scorching 127 degrees. The water contains at least 27 different minerals and feeds all the attractions within the park.
In the early 19th century a sizable medical community formed in Thermopolis, centered around the hot springs and treating those visiting in hopes the water would restore their health. The Shoshone and Arapaho tribes gave Wyoming the hot springs in a treaty in 1896, with the provision it remain accessible to the general public without charge.
Come for the hot springs, but prepare to be enchanted by all that Hot Springs State Park has to offer. You don’t have to go to Yellowstone to see Bison. Wyoming’s state Bison Herd is located in the Hot Springs State Park. Hot water cascades down colorful Rainbow Terraces along the Big Horn River at a rate of 8,000 gallons per day. You can view it from the Swinging Bridge. Hot Springs State Park is a full-service park open for day use at no charge. There are boat docks and reserve-able picnic shelters within the park.