hot springs wyoming

Astoria Hot Springs: Free Mineral Hot Springs in Wyoming

Astoria Hot Springs is a mineral hot spring located along the Snake River in Hoback, Wyoming near Jackson Hole. There is a paid hot spring resort and a free natural hot spring on opposite sides of the Snake River which provides options for both the tourists and the dirt baggers and hippies. 

Astoria Hot Springs Park vs. Free Astoria Mineral Hot Spring (natural)

The Astoria Hot Springs Park offers a resort-like experience and pampering retreat while the nearby wild Astoria Free Hot Spring presents a more rustic and authentic experience for nature lovers. The park boasts upscale amenities such as food, drinks, clean and maintained pools, ADA-accessible pools, showers, and changing rooms; while the free mineral hot spring offers a chance to immerse oneself in the untouched beauty of wild nature. 

Both options provide an opportunity to unwind and rejuvenate in natural mineral hot springs for relaxation as well as cold-plunge options, but let’s dive into the free hot spring because we all like free.

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When is the best time to visit the hot springs?

Winter is typically the best time to visit hot springs for obvious reasons – the cooler temps outside makes for a more pleasant soak in hot water. Getting in and out of the hot spring can be more challenging because of the extreme winter temps outside but it’s always worth it.

However, anytime that the temperature is cooler outside will be a good time to dip into some hot springs, including sunrise and evenings all year round.

In the winter, there should be more pools to soak in as the water levels may submerge some of those pools in the Spring and Summer. 

I actually visited this free natural hot spring by Astoria Hot Springs in the middle of the summer for sunrise on July 31, 2023, and the temps were perfect. There were only two rock pools but only one was actually warm, and in the winter I know there can be at least four pools. Luckily, we had it all to ourselves the entire time. Summer storms are common in the area and the storm clouds above us definitely made early morning temps cool enough to soak in.

How hot is Astoria Hot Spring?

The source of the hot spring comes from out of the ground and there are certain hot spots where you can feel the spring seep through. It’s more along the edge of the pool with a hot spot in the middle-ish. It is scolding hot if you touch the source up close directly but because the openings were so small, the rock pool we soaked in had inconsistent temperatures with the cold river seeping into it as well.

The pool was perfect temps for this time of year – I’d guess 100-104 degrees depending on how much cold water is flowing in.

The half-open rock pool in front of the one we soaked in that was closer along the river was not hot at all, but not freezing cold like the river temps – I bet this would be a nice cool pool in the middle of a hot day though, but definitely not a hot spring in the middle of summer.

Also, note that the pools were all shallow but can seat many people.

What to Pack for a Hot Spring

  • Swimsuit (optional)
  • Towel – The Matador Nanodry is my favorite towel for traveling. It’s full-size, lightweight, quick-dry, and packable – click here to shop.
  • Sandals – make sure it has good soles for traction around wet rocks. I recently tried Teva sandals and am in love with them – click here to shop.
  • Water – stating the obvious, but do not forget to hydrate! Soaking in a hot spring will dehydrate you so drink plenty of water during and after – click here for water bottles.

Hot Springs Etiquette

Some things to keep in mind when visiting free natural hot springs in the wild are:

  • Follow any rules or regulations that are posted
  • Respect other visitors by keeping noise levels down and don’t blast music
  • Respect privacy – don’t stare, it’s intrusive. Most natural and free hot springs are clothing optional so be aware you may see nude bathers
  • Some hot springs are small in size so be mindful of your soak time to allow others to enjoy the experience as well – sharing is caring
  • Pack out all trash with you – leave no trace
  • Good hygiene – shower beforehand if you can. Don’t use soaps in the mineral hot springs
  • Be aware of slippery rocks

How to get to Astoria Hot Springs

Astoria mineral hot spring is only 18 miles (25 mins) south of Jackson, WY, and conveniently located off of US-89. Coming from Jackson, you will turn left onto a dirt road that is intended for boat/ kayak docking – this is just before W Johnny Counts Rd (where the ridge bridge is to cross to Astoria Hot Springs Park).

Once you turn onto this dirt road, the trailhead down to the hot spring is directly ahead of you before the road curves right and down to the dock area/ river access.

You can park your car along this curve or drive down to the large parking area and walk up (there’s an outhouse there). In the winter, this road may be covered in snow so you’ll have to park off of the main freeway.

The walk down to the hot spring is a very short 3-minute walk on a dirt trail. It does go downhill a little so be mindful of ice and snow if you go in the winter. As you are walking down, you will see the hot spring rock pools right in front of you!

Other Hot Springs in Wyoming

Granite Hot Spring is only a short drive away but in the winter, you cannot access it by car.

granite falls and hot springs in wyoming

Saratoga Hobo Hot Spring (aka Saratoga Bath House) is a few hours further but if you are making the drive to or from Colorado, this detour is definitely worth it.

saratoga hobo hot springs wyoming

Things to do near Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Places to stay in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

  • Cache House is a cool hostel-style accommodation! You can book a queen-size bunk bed that sleeps two if you do not want to get a whole room. There are lockers for your belongings, blackout drapes for each bunk, and free wifi. There’s a shared lobby, kitchen, and access to showers.
    *Highly recommended for solo or budgeted travelers*
  • Snake River Cabin Village – these small, simple individual cabins offer a cozy cabin-getaway feel without dropping off into the mountains. They are in a prime location if you’re looking to just be near the hot springs without being in the hustle and bustle of Jackson. It’s located at the junction for Hoback and Jackson so it’s a quick jaunt to either. It’s fully furnished and along the river with outdoor space – click here to book your cabin on Snake River
  • Flat Creek Inn is a standard budget-friendly, roadside motel located on the outskirts of town in a nature reserve. There is a market on-site for convenience. It uses 100% renewable energy, has free wifi, free parking, an in-room refrigerator, a microwave, and clean rooms with a friendly staff. During certain months, you might even see elk outside the property!
  • Disperse camping – there are some free camping options just a couple of miles down on S Fall Creek Rd but it’s very mosquito-y in the summer. I’m not sure how road conditions are in the winter.

Summer and Fall Hike in Jackson Hole You Might Like

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