I love Canada but it’s winter and I’m not going to lie when I say that sometimes I wish I lived somewhere a bit warmer. That being said, I know that without colder temperatures I wouldn’t be able to enjoy hot springs and hot tubs as much as I do. It’s a winter ritual for us to spend the day skiing, hiking and adventuring in the mountains and returning for a hot soak in the evenings. Ahhh… I’m relaxed just thinking about it…
I’m such a fanatic that on our recent trip to Whistler, BC, we just decided to skip the activities altogether on one day and spend the entire day pampering ourselves. It’s pretty much all we did and now we think we’ve got the best places for you to soak your aching muscles and cold feet all figured out .
1) Keyhole Hot Springs
November 2023 UPDATE: Keyhole Hot Springs now has seasonal closures due to habitualized aggressive bears in the area. The hot springs are now closed between April 1st to November 15th every year. Check the BC sites and trails website for updates. Be careful in winter as it’s a long logging road that isn’t ploughed.
About a 2 hour drive from Whistler, this place is more than worth the drive if you like natural hot springs as much as I do.
Because of the remoteness of the location you kind of expect to be the only ones out there but this is far from the case. With the growing popularity of national parks and spotlight from social media, this place can get PACKED.
We figured setting off from Squamish at 5am would get us there before anyone else, but we forgot that you can drive in and spend the night at the camp site! Next time, we’ll definitely be camping to beat the crowds. We found ourselves arriving at 8am, only to have to share the 3 pools with a rather large group of about 10-12 people.
They were all really friendly and great company, but it was far from relaxing. If peace and quiet is your motive, it’s not likely that you’ll find it at Keyhole hot springs, but if it’s adventure you’re after, this is for you! You might even hear the occasional rumble of avalanches in the distance as you sit and soak!
It’s still one of the most stunning places we’ve ever seen though, and a big one to tick off the bucket list.
How to get to Keyhole Hot Springs
To reach Keyhole Hot Springs, head to Pemberton, and then take the Pemberton Meadows Road until you hit a junction with Hurley Pass Road. Turn right onto Hurley Pass Road and then drive 6km until you hit a fork in the road. Take the left fork onto Upper Lillooet Forest Service Road for 42km.
Keyhole Hot Springs GPS co-ordinates: 50.668131,-123.460576
Park at the road, and walk the trail along the river until you reach the hotsprings.
The area is very geothermally active, and is also susceptible to earthquakes. Several years ago, an earthquake caused the biggest landslide in Canadian history, leading to a huge flood in the river. The area is seriously remote, so make sure people know where you’re going and that you bring everything you need if you happen to hit road closures.
What to pack for Keyhole Hot Springs
Definitely make sure you pack bear spray, because this area is known for aggressive grizzly bears (hence the hot springs now being closed between April and November).
Also, if you’re visiting in winter, make sure you have equipment to get yourself out of trouble; a shovel, winter layers, perhaps even a warm sleeping bag or blanket etc.
I would also recommend driving this road in a 4×4, and not attempting this in winter in a 2wd car. A GPS device would be a great idea to bring along as well!
In terms of clothing, winter hiking clothes will be helpful for reaching the hot springs, as well as a bathing suit and a towel (of course!).
2) The Spa at Nita Lake Lodge
Talk about a luxurious experience! The Spa at Nita Lake Lodge has two outdoor hot tubs with gorgeous mountain views, a sauna, and a room full of plush couches and hot tea where you can literally lounge for hours in your comfy bathrobes or wait for your massage appointment.
A certain someone in our group (ahem.. Rob) wrapped himself up in blankets and literally passed out on the couch for about an hour.. To be honest though, if you’re in need a midday nap, there aren’t many better spots to have one!
Nita’s literally the perfect spot to come after a long day of skiing as it’s located minutes from Whistler Blackcomb (you can literally watch the skiers from the hot tub).
Not only that – check out the Aura restaurant in the lobby of the hotel afterwards if you want some truly delicious food. I would highly recommend the scallops and the steak.
3) Scandinave Spa Whistler
Scandinave Spa is ENORMOUS and the pool options are plentiful. While it can get busy with other skiers looking for an après soak, it’s definitely something to experience while you’re in Whistler. There are several different temperature pools to hop between, and an abundance of spa treatments. The one deterrent for us… the price. At $65/person it’s definitely a one-in-a-while type of splurge.
Find your own Hot Springs!
If you’re like us and you’re obsessed with finding hot springs; heading out to Whistler can be a great little adventure – make sure if you’re heading out in winter you have winter tires, and are up for some pretty dodgy rural conditions though!
There are a few more secret hot springs near Whistler, and we encourage you to do your own investigating to track them down! We’ll definitely be heading out again soon to check a few more spots off our list!
Check our other recent post on Natural Hot Springs of the Canadian Rockies for a few more ideas!