As a mountain girl, there’s nothing I love more than some good natural hot springs. What could compare to soaking away your aches and pains in the middle of nowhere, completely undisturbed by other people? This weekend was my definition of a dream getaway when we hit up not just one, but two, gorgeous and steaming hot pools in the East Kootenays of British Columbia. This area is a mecca for hot springs and brings a steady stream of tourists that come to bathe in the developed pool maintained by Parks Canada in the town of Radium and the privately-owned Fairmont Hot Springs just a bit further.
If you’re visiting the Mountain Parks (Banff, Jasper, Yoho and Kootenay) you’ll find these just south of Kootenay National Park.
- Lussier Hot Springs
Lussier is the most well-known and popular natural hot springs in this area and for good reason. A series of different hot pools line the side of the freezing cold river where you can cool off if the springs get to be a little TOO hot. A note about Lussier: It gets BUSY. To avoid the crowds, come early in the morning or just before sunset. You need to drive about 20km down a logging road to get here so make sure you have a vehicle that can handle bumpy, pothole-filled roads.
2. Ram Creek Hot Springs
Holy crap… this place is the definition of unreal. I’d come across Ram Creek several times on Google while searching for natural hot springs in the area but I was never that impressed by the photos that came up. I guess the people that know about this hidden gem would like to keep it off the radar, lest it become like the tourist trap that is Lussier. We spent the better part of a day here, lounging in these gorgeous pools set into the hillside, completely alone. It wasn’t until we were just about to leave that another group showed up. A note about Ram Creek: the area has been reclaimed, use of the hot pools is not recommended and the road in is closed so you’ll need to hike in if you want to go. All that being said, it’s definitely worth it. Please be mindful to leave the place exactly as you found it and pack out any trash you have with you. Let’s keep these places wild!
Our little rental car had no idea what it was in for this weekend in our search for hot springs. Thank god they don't check the underside of cars for dents because I dread to think what almost 200km of off-roading, and literally hundreds potholes, did to it….Sorry, not sorry…finding our own private paradise made it all worth it 🛀😱.
3. Fairmont Hot Springs
Just to be clear I’m not talking about the developed Fairmont Hot Springs Resort here, I’m referring to the natural springs that actually feed into the man-made pool located behind the resort. According to sources online, these pools are actually fed by a WARM WATERFALL. Yup, you read that correctly. Over time, it seems as though the natural hot pools that are located here have been taken apart but if you’re interested in seeing the waterfall, it’s definitely still trickling.
4. Radium Hot Springs
I know this is supposed to be a post about NATURAL hot springs but Radium is worth a mention because: 1) these developed pools are fed by a natural spring and 2) it’s still set in a pretty picturesque location. If you’ve spent a day driving around visiting all these natural wonders and are in need of a good shower, this is the place to come. Parks Canada runs these pools and at least you’ll be paying towards a good cause.
Finally, if you’re looking for something closer to Vancouver or on the west coast, why not check out our post on Hot tubs and Hot Springs near Whistler!