Originally the Hot Springs were included in the Shoshone Indian Reservation Treaty of 1868. In the years following the Hot Springs gained the reputation as having "Health Giving Properties", and eventually the U.S. Congress requested to set aside this area for a "National Park or Reservation". In 1896, upon authority from Congress, the Indian Commissoner sent James McLaughlin to negotiate a treaty for the purchase of the Hot Springs. An agreement was secured where by approximately 10 square miles of the reservation was ceded to the United States Government for the sum of $60,000. Among those that participated in the treaty signing were the Shoshone Chief Washakie and the Arapahoe Chief Sharp Nose.
Most of the water for the Hot Springs originates from an underground flow from the Owl Creek Mountains, west of this location. Precipitation in the form of rainfall enters the porous rock layer of the Owl Creek Mountains and eventually filters downward through various underground formations to the Hot Springs. The heat and chemicals in the water are derived from the rock and subterranean volcanic gases of the earth. The Big Horn Hot Springs is the largest of the springs and flows approximately at 3,6000,000 gallons per day and has a temperature of 135 degrees fahrenheit. To the west, one
can see the terraces which were created over thousands of years from mineral deposits. This mineral deposition is chiefly made of lime and gypsum layers known as travertine. The coloring of the travertine is due to the many species of algae that thrive in the warm waters of the Hot Springs.
Click on the marker image to view the Chemical Analysis of the Hot Springs water