Pun totally intended.
Several weeks ago, Pete and I decided to use our day off to take a trip to the Boiling River in Yellowstone National Park. Situated just inside the North Entrance to the park (which is in Gardiner, MT - about 1.5 hours from our house), the Boiling River is something that I had been hearing about all winter long. The Boiling River is a natural hot spring that runs into the Gardner River. This natural hot spring is unique because there isn't a steady temperature throughout the pool - the moving water makes it rather difficult to find that perfect spot. It is a fun challenge though!
Pete and I got to the river around 1pm, lunch and adult beverages in hand. There are two entrances to the "pools". One of which is much larger, and is where most people go to enjoy the natural hot tub. This entrance, however, is slightly difficult to maneuver. During the winter especially, you don't want to step foot in the water until the very end of the pool, because that is where the hot water hits, so you are forced to navigate your way across a blockade of slippery rocks! We managed to make our way over, and find a nice, warm spot to soak in for a while.
Eventually, we got hungry and decided to venture back to the other, smaller, pool. We ate lunch on benches, and luckily for us the teens occupying the small pool got up to leave so we took over their spot. It. Was. Perfect. Just the two of us, soaking in the nice small pool, enjoying the moon and sun in the clear blue sky. As we were bathing, we could watch buffalo, elk, and deer wander by on the hills beyond, and ducks bathing in the river nearby. The day was perfectly sunny and calm, and although it was chilly the combination of hot natural water and sun beaming down made for a warm and relaxing afternoon.
We stayed at the river for nearly 5 hours before deciding to make our way back home. By the time we got back, it was pitch black outside, and we were worn out (not to mention extremely sunburnt!). It was an afternoon well-spent, and a place that we won't soon forget. Hopefully there is another visit in the near future. If you are anywhere in the vicinity, I would highly recommend taking a trip to this spot. It doesn't get too crowded, and the scenery and wildlife on the way make it well worth it.
**The images below aren't my greatest work - I was definitely more focused on the prospect of sitting in a natural hot tub all afternoon than I was on taking quality photographs! Can you blame me?!**