Obsessed with Hot Springs in Canada
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 (check here for rates and availability).
If you’re visiting the Mountain Parks (Banff, Jasper, Yoho and Kootenay) you’ll find these just south of Kootenay National Park.
1.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 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!
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!
Where to stay in the East Kootenays
Fortunately, all of these hot springs are actually in quite a small area, so you can base yourself in one spot and make short trips to each one.
In this case, the best places to stay are in Radium, Invermere or Fairmont. As these towns are all considered quite remote, they’re fairly limited in their offerings, especially when it comes to food.
Our personal preference is to either day trip from Banff, or to stay in Radium. Radium has a variety of decent hotels, and a strangely high concentration of Austrian/German restaurants (though, honestly there’s nothing better than a schnitzel and a German beer after a long day of soaking!).
You can read more about one of our earlier summer trips to Radium and the things we got up to here.
Check here for rates and availability in Radium