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Mont. Resort Set To Reopen After 5-Year Hiatus

A man relaxes next to the hot springs plunges at Wild Horse Hot Springs. The resort is reopening after a five-year closure.

Editor’s Note: This story was published in the Missoula Current and was written by David Reese. 

Red-winged blackbirds sing from the cattails and a pair of tepees can be seen in the distance, across the rolling farmland.

Here at Wild Horse Hot Springs, the resort is coming back to life after a five-year hiatus and will reopen this weekend with new plunges, RV hookups and camping.

Construction workers are refinishing the dilapidated and peeling concrete on several 8-by-6-foot hot-water plunges that once were in rooms at the resort just outside of Hot Springs, Mont.

The plunges are supplied by three large wells that will eventually feed many more thermal attractions, according to John Porterfield, a Missoula businessman and partner in Wild Horse Hot Springs.

The resort sits on about 10 acres on a low bluff overlooking farmland green from spring’s excesses. It’s an idyllic country setting.

Porterfield and property owner Denny Larson see a thriving business opportunity here, with plenty of artesian hot water to provide many more springs and plunges than were available at Wild Horse’s earlier rendition.

Along the bluff will be individual cabins and tepees. A large soaking plunge is planned for a ravine in the center of the property.

The springs never really closed after earlier management let the place go. Locals would — and still do — drive out Camp Aqua Road and help themselves to a soak.

Last Sunday, about 20 people showed up to soak — free of charge. That, of course, will change once the resort reopens its doors.

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