The Saratoga Sun -

Reflecting on the Hot Pools

The ‘Hobo Pool’ has long been an important part of Saratoga’s history and culture


November 6, 2019

Editor’s Note: SMHS teacher McCreary reached out to the Saratoga Sun recently about publishing Knotwell’s essay about the Saratoga Hot Pools to contribute to local history.

The Sun was happy to afford the space to add to Saratoga’s history.

If you were to ever visit Saratoga Wyo., one place you should most definitely spend some time is the Saratoga Hot Pools, also known as the Hobo Pools.

These interesting pools are outdoor springs created by thermal seeps. There are three main sections accessible in this area. The North Platte River; the Not-So-Hot pool, which is generally around 100 degrees; and the actual Hot Pool, which ranges from 108-119 degrees.

Because the pools are heated geothermally there are lots of minerals in the water. That’s why they became so important. If you are stressed and need to relax, the minerals in the pools are the best solution. Also, if you’re a social butterfly, you can go and meet new people. These are just some of the many reasons why you should come and chill at the Saratoga Hot Pools.

Both the pools have a stairwell that leads down into the water. They are normally pretty slippery, so you need to be careful. Each pool has a ledge in the water, so you can sit and enjoy yourself. The actual Hot Pool has a section in it called the Lobster Pot. It is the hottest place there. It’s about 120 degrees and it’ll be fun to test your limits and see if you can handle it.

They are open to the public 24/7 and cost absolutely nothing. People from all over the world come and sit in the Hot Pools. That is why it is such a great social environment, but just because other people are there doesn’t mean you have to interact with them. You can relax and shut your eyes and nobody will bother you. 

Although the Hot Pools are very fun, there are some rules you have to follow. No alcohol, drugs, smoking, or tobacco is allowed, and absolutely no skinny dipping. You have to have a swimsuit or something covering your parts at all times. Even though there is no rule against intense horseplay, it is probably a good idea to be smart about your actions. In case any accidents do occur, there are surveillance cameras in use. These rules are there for your safety and for the respect of the Hot Pool’s history.

It is said that the Hot Pool possess a healing power. That is why Native Americans always bathed in them. These so called healing properties are caused by all the minerals in the water. They can help with arthritis and just make you feel better as a person. Since these waters are so special, more and more people started to come to see the magical healing the water will give them.

As the hot pools became more popular, our town decided to put a changing facility right by the pools themselves. These facilities have showers, sinks, lockers and a bathroom. After changing and you have been in the pools awhile, if you by chance get bored, there are always other options around the Hot Pools that you can most definitely do.

You must be thinking, ‘How do the pools get cleaned?’ Well, there are pipes that lead down to the river the water runoff goes through and proceeds out into the running water. The North Platte River is right next to the pools. Even though the river is not part of the Hot Pools, over time little sitting spots were made by the pipes. Sometimes, while sitting in the river, some spots are really hot or kind of cold. This is a good place for you if you don’t like hot water very much. A friendly reminder: you are always sharing the river with plenty of wildlife. It is expected that you leave the wildlife alone and try not to get hurt. The river is a neat spot to visit as well as the Hot Pools.

Whether you love interacting with people or want a nice quiet area to think, the Hobo Pools are a great idea. They are open to the public all day, everyday and have lots of options. Bring your family and have some fun. Native Americans enjoyed the Hot Pools and so should you. You’re always welcome and we’d love to see you down in Saratoga.


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