84 miles S of Cody; 130 miles NW of Casper; 218 miles E of Jackson
Steaming water cascades over pastel-colored terraces and down to the Bighorn River at Hot Springs State Park, one of the undiscovered treasures of Wyoming. Trumpeted as the largest hot springs in the world (it's not quite: New Zealand's Whakarewarewa rightfully claims that honor), the 134°F (57°C) water from the Big Spring supplies two indoor/outdoor pool facilities, two hotels, and a state-run soaking spa. The town of Thermopolis grew up around the hot springs after it was sold to the U.S. government by the tribes of the Wind River Indian Reservation in 1896. Developers dreamed of a health spa to rival Saratoga, but it never quite happened. What did happen is a small, peaceful town with a great place to soak or slide, a nearby canyon of exciting white water, and surrounding hills holding a trove of dinosaur bones and prehistoric petroglyphs.