Days Inn Hot Springs State Park, Thermopolis Wyoming

Pulling up to the Days Inn Hot Springs State Park in the town of Thermopolis Wyoming, I was instantly reminded of family road trip motels of my childhood. This Days Inn certainly has a ‘slice of Americana’ feel with its traditional motel layout, aging exterior, and eclectic decor, and like all good American roadside motels, has a personality of its own. In the Days Inn Hot Springs State Park’s case, this personality is exhibited in its extensive collection of wall-mounted animal trophies and wildlife and hunting photographs adoring the walls. This theme is only furthered in the attached Safari Club restaurant, which celebrates the life and conquests of a local hunter.

days inn hot springs state park

The motel is within steps of Hot Springs State Park attractions, including the Star Plunge and Teepee pools. And yes, this fellow greets you near the lobby.  The motel even includes its own mineral hot springs’ fed jacuzzi in its outdoor courtyard (as well as a fresh water, chlorinated swimming pool), as well as private soaking tubs (for a fee) in its athletic center.

We had our share of hiccups at the Days Inn, including key cards that refused to work on particular doors and laundry facilities that were out of order (but not marked as such). This led to an unfortunate situation where we had washed (and soaking wet) clothing without access to a dryer. The motel staff remedied this problem, but needs to keep their facilities in working order (or offer warnings!).

Days Inn Thermopolis

The outdoor pool is adequate, though if you’re in Thermopolis, you’ll most likely be spending any swimming time in the large pool complexes in the state park. The athletic room features two racquetball courts–a happy surprise–and cardio exercise equipment plus weight systems, but to get there, guests must pass through a somewhat odd spa services area (where soaking mineral pools are available, as well as massage).

Rooms at the Days Inn are basic, and what you’d expect from a budget motel and no more. The one major perk after days on the road: the motel did have high-speed internet, which was most welcome. Otherwise, amenities are out-dated (we had trouble with our shower head) and the decor is uninspired, but if you want a truly authentic road trip motel experience in small-town America, this is it.

days inn hot springs state park

All this said, unless you’re a big game fan, or want your kids to experience this slice of Americana, we recommend camping in one of the beautiful campgrounds west of Thermopolis overlooking the Big Horn River if you need to stay the night, or to make the popular Hot Springs State Park an extended day trip or pit stop en route to Cody or Yellowstone National Park without a night’s stay in town. After a few hours in the state park pools, you’re only 1.5 hours from Cody, Wyoming.

Date last visited:

June 2013

Distance from the interstate:

Right off Highway 20.

Room rates:

At the time of our visit, the room rate for a standard double room was $115.

Dining:

We ate dinner at the Safari Club, which was friendly but overpriced for the portion size. If you have anyone sensitive to animal rights in your party, you may want to skip this restaurant, as big game is displayed in mounted heads and hides everywhere, but if you do go, it’s worth reading the insert in your menu which gives an explanation for the decor. Food offerings range from steaks to seafood and pasta dishes, and a kids’ menu is available. Also in Thermopolis is a fun ‘frosty’ fast-food option called Dairyland which serves your standard (delicious) greasy food fare, plus soft-serve ice cream, shakes, and sundaes. There’s a miniature golf spot right next door.

Days Inn Hot Springs State Park

Directions:

The Days Inn is located 115 E. Park in Thermopolis. Follow signs to Hot Springs State Park.

About the author

Amy Whitley AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly as a family travel expert at Go Green Travel Green and Practical Travel Gear, and contributes to Outdoors NW as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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