British Columbia has a large number of hot springs, many of which are situated in some of the most scenic areas in the world. While most springs are often located in delightful undeveloped areas, often reached after a long hike up a mountain valley, some have been developed into international resort destinations. Either way, allow plenty of time to experience the wonders that await you in British Columbia.
Hot Springs on Vancouver Island
Hot Springs Cove
Hot Springs Cove is a splendid hot springs still enjoyable in its natural state, located in Maquinna Provincial Park in the remote northern end of Clayoquot Sound. The boiling spring water bubbles up from deep in the earth and cascades down a small cliff into a series of natural layered rock pools, cooled by the incoming Pacific Ocean surf. The spring water is very hot, and is clear with just a faint smell and taste of sulphur.
Ahousat Hot Springs
Tofino provides access to a second, cooler spring at Ahousat Hot Springs, located on the shores of Matilda Inlet in the Gibson Marine Provincial Park, on the south side of Flores Island. Ahousat Hot Springs is a natural warm spring, considered to be of therapeutic value, that bubbles up into a concrete tank. The spring water is clear and tasteless, with just a faint smell of sulphur, and has a maximum temperature of 25° C (77°F).
Hot Springs in the West Kootenays
Ainsworth Hot Springs
In the heart of the Kootenay wilderness is the community of Ainsworth Hot Springs. Set into the mountainside overlooking the vast expanse of Kootenay Lake and the Purcell Mountains is Ainsworth Hot Springs resort, which features three odourless pools, a 150-foot unique horseshoe-shaped cave, main lounging pool and stream-fed cold plunge. A highlight of the natural hot springs is the horseshoe cave, which offers an exhilarating experience.
Canyon Hot Springs
The Canyon Hot Springs are located in Albert Canyon in British Columbia’s spectacular Canadian Rocky Mountains east of Revelstoke, between Glacier and Mt. Revelstoke National Parks. Canyon Hot Springs resort is open in summer, from May to September. Whether you choose to soak in the 15,000-gallon hot pool or swim in the 60,000-gallon warm swimming pool, your visit is sure to be an exhilarating experience.
Halcyon Hot Springs
From Nakusp drive north on Hwy 23 to Halcyon Hot Springs, located on the shores of beautiful Arrow Lakes. Halcyon’s beneficial hot mineral waters have a unique combination of sodium, lithium, magnesium, calcium, and strontium, which can provide relief from arthritis, osteoporosis, and gout. Halcyon Hot Springs is surrounded by spectacular alpine peaks, crystal blue lakes, rivers and streams, an abundance of wildlife, and a magical legend.
Nakusp Hot Springs
Nakusp Hot Springs, located just outside the community of Nakusp, is a wonderful place to relax, kick back, and enjoy the soothing mineral waters of the naturally heated mineral springs. Although the Nakusp Hot Springs might lack some of the drama of the horseshoe-shaped tunnel at Ainsworth Hot Springs, they nonetheless provide an equally vivid hot-spring experience. The setting is a narrow canyon through which the Kuskanax River runs.
Hot Springs in the BC Rockies
Fairmont Hot Springs
The community of Fairmont Hot Springs is nestled in the Columbia River Valley, between the Canadian Rocky Mountains and the Purcell Mountain range, just outside Kootenay National Park. With two championship golf courses, spa facilities and the largest natural mineral hot pools in Canada that are a legendary attraction, Fairmont Hot Springs Resort attracts visitors from all over the world.
Lussier Hot Springs
The wilderness Lussier Hot Springs are located near the western boundary of Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park, within the Kootenay Range of the Rocky Mountains . Whiteswan forestry Road climbs steadily from Hwy 93/95, entering Lussier Gorge, where a maintained walking trail leads down to a set of four delightful rock pools alongside the Lussier River that are very popular during the summer months.
Radium Hot Springs
The village of Radium Hot Springs is little more than a support system for area vacation development; gas stations, a couple of cafes, and a string of motels that grow denser as one nears the hot springs at Radium Hot Springs. But people come here for more than the town that is located within the boundaries of Kootenay National Park, they come here for the natural hot springs, and Canada’s largest hot springs pool.
Ram Creek Hot Springs
The luke warm Ram Creek Hot Springs are clear and odourless, with an average temperature range from 30°C to 35°C (86°F to 95°F). The pools are not accessible by vehicle during the winter months. A snowmobile or cross-country skis are required. From Skookumchuk watch for the sign to Premier Lake. Head up Premier Lake Road and pass the turnoff to Premier Lake after 8 km. Continue travelling straight, now on the gravel Sheep Creek Road North. Following the main road for approximately 12 km, the road curves right and up the hill. There is room to park on the left hand side. You will see hot springs trickling towards the road, and a path up a slope to the springs, which are located in an ecological reserve. From Lussier Hot Springs you can reach Ram Creek Hot Springs by way of back roads in approximately 45 minutes.
Dewar Creek Hot Springs
The Dewar Creek Hot Springs are undeveloped, and the spring water is too hot to bathe in. From Marysville, south of Kimberley on Highway 95A, drive 38.1 km west on St. Mary Lake Forestry Road. The turnoff to Dewar Creek Road is 500 metres beyond the prominent White Creek bridge. Avoid the left turn onto the signed West Fork St. Mary River Road. Turn right (north) on to Dewar Creek Road, continue 22.7 km to the end of the road and park in a large cleared area. Hike approximately 9 km on the forested Dewar Creek Trail, an outfitters horse trail that can be muddy and indistinct in places. This is a day hike, and the trail can be difficult to follow as it forges the creek numerous times and overlaps game trails at several places.
Buhl Creek Hot Springs
Buhl Creek Hot Springs are worth a visit in late summer when the water is warmest and if you don’t mind a long but scenic drive over logging roads to get there (off Skookumchuck Forest Road). These small, creekside hot springs are found in their natural state, with clear and tasteless water. Good swimming in Skookumchuk Creek adds to the visit.
Octopus Creek Hot Springs
Octopus Creek flows into Lower Arrow Lake. The Octopus Creek (Nakusp) recreation site is located at the mouth of the creek in a crescent bay and is boat access only due to private land issues. Hikers can hike up Octopus Creek searching for the natural hot springs. These hot springs are very secluded. Experienced map and compass skills, hiking and bushwacking up the creek are required to find them – located south of Applegrove. Round trip will take about 6 hours.
Hot Springs in Greater Vancouver & Coast Mountain Region
Harrison Hot Springs
The Harrison Hot Springs form the centrepiece of a luxury hotel resort. The pools at the resort are for hotel guests only, but there is a public pool one block east of the hotel. The large, wonderfully warm public soaking pool has cooled hot spring water pumped into it. The mineral rich hot springs at Harrison were originally used by the Salish Coast Natives who arrived by canoe to benefit from the rejuvenating waters.
Meager Creek Hot Springs
Visitors seeking to rejuvenate their soul should venture out to Meager Creek Hot Spring, tucked away in the Coast Mountains near Pemberton, northwest of Vancouver. The Japanese-style hot spring, in a natural outdoor setting, offers a change room and two natural rock baths. The spring has a nominal entrance fee.
Skookumchuck Hot Springs/St. Agnes Well Hot Springs
Skookumchuck Hot Springs, also known as St. Agnes Well Hot Springs, are set in beautiful natural surroundings next to the Lillooet River, southeast of Pemberton and Lillooet Lake. There is a private campground, shelters, and soaking tubs available to the public.
Hot Springs in Northern BC and Queen Charlotte Islands
Hotspring Island (Gandla’kin) is one of the more popular destinations in the Queen Charlotte Islands. Hotspring Island is located off the east coast of Moresby Island in the kayaking playground of Gwaii Haanas National Park, and is accessible only by kayak, boat or floatplane. Nothing is more idyllic than relaxing in a hot spring or hot pool on Hotspring Island and watching a pod of orcas (killer whales) swim by.
Liard Hot Springs
One of the best stops on the entire Alaska Highway is the fabulous Liard River Hot Springs, located in the Liard River Hotsprings Provincial Park north of Muncho Lake. Relaxation seeps into your body as you ease into the second largest hot spring in Canada. There are two hot springs at Liard, with water temperatures ranging from 42°-52° C (107°-126°F). The nearest is the Alpha pool, and half a mile beyond that the solitude of Beta pool.
Mount Layton Hot Springs
Mount Layton Hot Springs is reputed to be the second largest hot spring in North America and the third largest in the world. There are four therapeutic pools and waterslides. The Main Pool has a large swimming area, a diving pool, and a roped off wading pool for the younger guests. Relief from rheumatism, arthritis, and skin ailments may be provided by a soak in the therapeutic mineral water in the Hot Tub pool.
Iskut River Hot Springs
Extremely hot water weeps out of a rocky embankment on the west bank of the Iskut River. Several springs are present but no pools are available for bathing. The Iskut River Hot Springs, in the traditional territory of the Tahltan First Nation, are protected by the Iskut River Hot Springs Provincial Park. The small 4-hectare park is located approximately 100 km south of the community of Iskut, 15 km northeast of Bob Quinn and 6 km west of the Stewart Cassiar Highway 37. Access to the park is very limited. Foot access is difficult and there is no developed trail. Helicopter and boat access are possible.
Hot Springs in the Cariboo, Chilcotin & Coastal BC Region
Eucott Bay Hot Springs
Boaters can visit Eucott Bay Hot Springs, at the head of Eucott Bay near Ocean Falls in Dean Channel. Amongst the largest and best-known on the coast, these hot springs don’t have a sulphur smell – just really clear hot water that soothes the soul. The Eucott Bay Hot Springs are popular with boaters, as Eucott Bay offers good anchorage and shelter for small craft.