British Columbia has a large number of hot springs, many of which are situated in the BC Rockies, 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. A circle tour of the BC Rockies region allows you to experience the hot wonders that await you in British Columbia.
From a starting point in Creston, in the southern Kootenays, head north on Highway 3A to Kootenay Bay, and cross Kootenay Lake by ferry to Balfour (crossing time 35 minutes). From Balfour the beautiful town of Nelson is well worth the side trip. Continue north on Highway 31 along the western shore of Kootenay Lake to Ainsworth Hot Springs.
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.
Continue north on Highways 31/31A through Kaslo to New Denver and on to the community of Nakusp, where two hot spring resorts are located:
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.
ore on Nakusp Hot Springs.
From Nakusp, continue north again on Highway 23 to Galena Bay, and a second ferry crossing, this time of Upper Arrow Lake to Shelter Bay. Back on the road again, Highway 23 brings you to the Trans-Canada Highway (Hwy 1) and the city of Revelstoke. After a visit in Revelstoke, travel eastbound on the Trans-Canada to Canyon Hot Springs, passing through Mount Revelstoke National Park.
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.
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.
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.
From Radium Hot Springs a visit to Kootenay National Park is a highlight of any trip to the area. From Fairmont, visitors have the option of visiting some of the undeveloped hot springs in the BC Rockies. Continue south on Highway 95/93 to south of Canal Flats, and turn east onto the Whiteswan Lake Road, which will take you to Lussier Hot Springs.
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.
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.