Weekend in Saratoga, Wyoming

When we first moved to Wyoming, a gentleman who purchased something from us on Facebook Marketplace offered me a rundown of all his favorite spots across the state. He said he and his father enjoyed hunting near Saratoga, and they always ended their long days with a soak in the local hot spring and a steak dinner at the Hotel Wolf.

That sounded like a prime lineup to me so I was thrilled to learn that the state’s biggest skijoring competition was also held in Saratoga! We headed over last weekend, primarily to watch the Saratoga Skijoring Races, but made a winter weekend of it so we could check out a few other recommended spots in town.

Things to Do in Saratoga, Wyoming

Saratoga “Hobo” Hot Springs

My sole natural hot spring experience was visiting the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. With memories of the communal changing areas and relaxing hot water in mind, I was ready to take on the hot pools in Saratoga.

This 24/7 hot spring is free to the public and has some changing areas with toilets and showers as well as lockers. There are three pools – a small one off to one side and a main one in front of the changing rooms with a mini ‘lobster pot’ pool inside.

It was cold out and snow had accumulated around the hot springs and on the steps leading into them. The bottoms of the pools had a dark sand and large rocks as well as a slightly slippery algae that made the final stairs into the pools a little slick!

We didn’t know what we were doing so we started in the main pool. A couple boys explained that the smaller pool was actually the coolest so we quickly relocated so we could try them by increasing warmth. The temperatures vary – I assumed based on what’s happening underground as well as with the nearby river that converges with this area – but the day of our visit the small pool was 100.4 degrees, the main pool was 107 degrees, and the lobster pot was 116 degrees!

The small pool was a bit overcrowded and where most families with children were congregating so we didn’t stay long. We enjoyed the main pool but it did quickly get very hot. Another guy had to help his teenager – who was getting dizzy and nauseous – back to the changing rooms, and we certainly didn’t want to be in that predicament. We decided to save the lobster pot for next time!

Snowy Mountain Brewery

We had lunch at Snowy Mountain Brewery at the Hot Springs Resort. Unfortunately the service was terrible and the food (at least the portion of what we ordered that actually made it to our table before we left) was just ok.

While I can’t in good conscious recommend eating here based on our experience, I will encourage you to check out the brewery if you’re just interested in a drink. We each ordered a sampler and were impressed with the IPA and blonde.

Bonus: The wallpaper in the nearby women’s restroom!

Hotel Wolf

I really enjoyed our stay at the Hotel Wolf. This 1893 hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and features a saloon, lounge and restaurant on the first floor and rooms on the 1.5 floors above.

Brian reserved us a room with a story. Our Room #9 had a plaque noting it’s the ‘Joe Pickett Room,’ named after the fictional Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett who spends a few nights in this room in C.J. Box’s novel The Disappeared. Brian downloaded the book from the library so we can learn more!

After cleaning up from our hot spring visit, we stopped in the saloon for an aperitif and then had great service during our dinner reservation in the restaurant. Our prime rib and steak dinners came with an old-school salad bar so we enjoyed telling tales of the last time we experienced one of those. It was packed all evening, not just because of the influx of skijoring visitors. This spot is clearly a hallmark of downtown.


I am still getting used to all of the wildlife in Wyoming, and our drive around Saratoga was no exception. We saw elk, mule deer and pronghorn around the skijoring competition area and as we drove in and out of town.

We headed for home Sunday morning after grabbing coffee and croissants, and as we were approaching I-80 we came across several herds of pronghorn. They got skittish as we slowed down the car but I snapped a couple photos out the window just in time.

We didn’t get to everything on my list, but Brian’s interested in making a motorcycle trip out of a southern loop that comes into town via northern Colorado and Encampment this summer. During that visit, maybe we’ll check out the Saratoga Museum and Brush Creek ranch experience.

If you have other recommendations, please let me know – I think we’ll be headed back to Saratoga soon!

One thought on “Weekend in Saratoga, Wyoming

  1. Pingback: Cross-Country Skiing in Frisco, Colorado – Heather's Compass

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