Yellowstone Hot Springs coming to Corwin Springs

Friday, May 25, 2018
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An artist’s rendering of the Yellowstone Hot Spring currently under construction in Corwin Springs. Image courtesy of Yellowstone Hot Springs

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From left, Martine Griffiths, project manager for the Yellowstone Hot Springs, Valerie McBride, president of Church Universal and Triumphant, and Susie Shimmin, general manager for the hot springs project, are photographed at the new hot springs pools in Corwin Springs Thursday. Enterprise photo by Nate Howard

A new public hot spring facility owned by the Royal Teton Ranch is under construction in Corwin Springs and plans to open later this summer.

Yellowstone Hot Springs, which is about 6 miles north of Gardiner, is just off U.S. Highway 89 South in Corwin Springs. The facility, which is on the banks of the Yellowstone River, is set to open Aug. 15.

Yellowstone Hot Springs is a for-profit corporation owned by the nonprofit Royal Teton Ranch. The Royal Teton Ranch, which is across the Yellowstone River from the facility, is the international headquarters of the Church Universal and Triumphant.

The facility, the closest hot spring to Yellowstone National Park, will have a 3,750-square-foot pool, with an average temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit. A hot plunge will be 104 degrees, while a cold plunge will be 70 degrees.

The facility will also have a Kneipp Walk, which is a shallow pool designed for wading in alternating hot and cold water, which is supposed to improve blood circulation.

The facility will pipe hot water from the LaDuke Hot Springs, which puts hot water into the Yellowstone about one and a half miles south of the facility on Highway 89. 

Yellowstone Hot Springs General Manager Susie Shimmin said the facility will not share resources or employees with the church.

“This is a separate organization,” Shimmin said. “It operates separately and independently of the church.”


History of Corwin Springs

The Yellowstone Hot Springs is the latest in a long line of hot spring facilities near Corwin Springs.

In 1899, French-Canadian immigrant Julius LaDuke opened the LaDuke Hot Springs Resort, a series of riverbank hot tubs, on land he had staked with a mining claim.

Ten years later, Dr. Frank Corwin constructed the Corwin Springs Hotel, which had a 50-by-80-foot enclosed swimming pool with hot water from the LaDuke hot springs. Corwin designed it to attract “medical tourists.” However, the hotel burned down in 1916. The pool and stone fireplaces are all that remain of the facility.

A dude ranch was located at the facility from April 1922 until the 1940s. The Royal Teton Ranch acquired the land in the 1980s.

Before the construction of the Yellowstone Hot Springs, the ranch had a small foot wash with the waters located on a deck overlooking the Yellowstone.

“This is where history meets the modern world, and we bring it together,” said Project Manager Martine Griffiths.

Once construction work began, animals flocked to the site, Shimmin said. The workers had to wait for bison to move from where the pools are currently located. 

“We’ve never had so many herds of elk and bison up here,” said Valerie McBride, president of the Church Universal and Triumphant. “I think they were wondering, ‘What are you doing?’”

From the facility, visitors will likely be able to see eagles, bison, elk and big horned sheep, as well as the Yellowstone River and mountains.

“This is the most wonderful place to be,” Griffiths said.


Future plans

The facility will have coffee, tea, sandwiches and other refreshments, but no alcohol at this point, Shimmin said.

But this is just the first phase of many, Shimmin said. Future phases could include lodging and facilities for events including plays and live music.

“Stay tuned,” Shimmin said.

For now, the Lighthouse Restaurant, owned by the ranch, is located across the highway from the facility.

When asked if they plan to compete with Chico Hot Springs, Shimmin said she thinks it will benefit both hot springs.

“We hope that the people who go to Chico will come here and people who come here will go to Chico,” Shimmin said.

Instead, the facility plans to help stimulate the local economy, Shimmin said, and help build up Corwin Springs.


Prices, hours

When it opens in August, Yellowstone Hot Springs will have a soft opening for locals before having a grand opening.

Entry prices are still being discussed, Shimmin said, but locals, school children and veterans will likely have a discount.

During peak season — which runs from May 15 to Oct. 15 — the facility will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Off-peak season hours aren’t yet determined.

The facility listed a phone number of 833-YSPRING (833-977-7464).