Who loves a hot spring? I do! There’s something incredibly relaxing about soaking in a hot spring after a hike or on a cold day, or just because. One of my favourite days on our USA road trip was when we stumbled across a tonne of hot springs near Mammoth in California. Luckily for me BC has some fantastic hot springs to explore too. If you enjoy a hot spring soak too then here are some of the best hot springs in BC!
Liard River Hot Springs
Liard River Hot Springs are Canada’s second largest hot spring. You’ll find them in the Northern Rockies in Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park. There are two hot springs here in amongst lush spruce forest. The springs have created a strange microclimate where tropical and exotic plants flourish! In the winter, you may even see the Northern Lights above you!
Hot Springs Cove
This is a popular day trip activity from Tofino and maybe one of the best well known hot springs in BC (at least on Vancouver Island!). Once in Tofino, you can take a boat or seaplane tour to these hot springs (the only ways to get to them). The hot springs overlook the Pacific Ocean and have a natural waterfall you can stand under for a hot shower.There is a succession of pools, which gradually cool down as you get closer to the ocean – starting around 109 degrees Celsius and getting down to about 50 degrees. These hot springs are popular so expect them to be busy.
Keyhole Hot Springs
Keyhole Springs are currently closed until further notice due to bears
About 3-4 hours from Vancouver by car is Keyhole Hot Springs near Pemberton. Whilst these springs can get quite busy at the weekends they’re still worth visiting. You’ll be able to sit back in a natural hot tub and cool off in the Lillooet River when you feel like it.
The road gets pretty snowy in winter but is usually well maintained (check Drive BC for more info before you go).
Skookumchuck Hot Springs
Also known as Tsek Hot Springs or St. Agnes Well Hot Springs, the Skookumchuk hot springs are some of the best hot springs in BC. The hot springs are managed by the St’át’imc Nation and are believed to heal and cleanse the body and spirit. There are 10 tubs open to the public and it’s currently $7.50 for a day in the springs, or $20 with camping (1 vehicle, $10 & 1 adult, $10).
Sloquet Hot Springs
The Sloquet hot springs are a bit harder (ie. lots of dirt road driving) to get to but that means they’re (usually) a bit quieter. Here you’ll be able to soak in a hot spring in the middle of the forest. Or, if you’re more adventurous enjoy a rope swing over the pool.
Sloquet hot springs cost $5 for day use or $15 for camping and hot springs for a group of up to 6 people.
Halfway River Hot Springs
Found halfway between Halcyon Hot Springs and Nakusp lies Halfway Hot Springs. The springs bubble out from the hills alongside a river and go into makeshift hot tubs. This isn’t just a summer hot spring escape either! In the winter you can park on the highway and take a 11km trek down the snow covered road to the hot springs at the end!
In 2016, Halfway Hot Springs was developed by BC Parks which means there is now a $12 fee per night for camping from May 1st – October 31st.
Lussier Hot Springs
Lussier Hot Springs aren’t the easiest to get to (but the best hot springs come after a difficult route!).These hot springs in BC are just inside Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park in the Kootenays and the backdrop while you soak here is well worth the drive! These turquoise pools are positioned down the hill from the logging road in amongst pine trees – it’s a magical spot!
Buhl Creek Hot Springs
Buhl Creek Hot Springs is best during late summer and early autumn; at other times the pool is likely to flood! This area is very undeveloped (especially when compared to other hot springs in BC) so you’ll probably get to enjoy it in peace.
Dewar Creek Hot Springs
If a great day out to you is a hike with a hot spring at the end then you’ll love Dewar Creek Hot Springs. While a trip to these springs will probably take all day because of the hike it’s a great weekend adventure. pack flood, water and a change of clothes (plus a tent if you want to camp!) and enjoy a soak in these springs.
Eucott Bay Hot Springs
These springs are some of the largest and best known on BC’s coast. You’d be best getting here by boat. You needn’t worry about anchoring as there’s a great bay for that that’s super popular with boaters.
These springs . are in then Great Bear Rainforest so the chances are there will be a few bears not too far away… Just try not to think too much about that and enjoy the scenery. You’ll be soaking whilst surrounded by glacier topped mountains, waterfalls and salt meadows and shouldered by giant moss-covered boulders fallen from the cliffs above. Another great thing about Eucott Bay Hot Springs is that they don’t have a sulphur smell!
Radium Hot Springs
Radium Hot Springs are in the Kootenay National Park and are an odourless spring and Canada’s biggest thermal pool!
These springs are more of a resort. Expect it to be busier than some hot springs on this list but there are also more facilities. Here you’ll find a larger pool for swimming and a warmer, smaller pool for soaking.
Fairmont hot springs
The Fairmont Hot Springs Resort is in the small town of Fairmont Hot Springs. The waters here are crystal clear, natural and odourless: a pretty great spot to relax!
Halcycon Hot Springs
Another resort style hot spring is Halcycon Hot Springs. These springs are surrounded by alpine peaks, turquoise lakes and tonnes of wildlife. The pools are open all year round. The hotter pool is about 41c, there’s another one which is about 35c and the coolest is 29c. The waters here are even said to help provide relief from arthritis, osteoporosis, and gout!
Nakusp Hot Springs
At the bottom of the Kuskanax River canyon are Nakusp Hot Springs. Here, 200,000 litres of fresh water replenish the naturally heated pool each day. There are two large, semi-circular pools, at 37 and 41 degrees respectively and the source water (1.5 km away) is a scalding 54 degrees! Nakusp’s outdoor springs are fully developed, with a shop selling local handicrafts, soaps, mineral bath balls and souvenirs.
Hot springs at Kitimat
Kitimat, in northern B.C., has three natural hot springs within 100 kilometres of the city centre. However, they are not easy to get to. All of the hot springs are located on the shores of the ocean and are only accessible by boat or seaplane. But once you’re there, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful wilderness during your relaxing soak, and you might be able to spot whales and seals out in the ocean waters.
The springs here are Weewanie Hot springs, Bishop Bay and Shearwater hot springs. All three hot springs are located in Haisla First Nations territory, but are open for public use.
Prophet River hot springs
Prophet River Hotsprings Provincial Park is along the shores of Prophet River. It’s pure BC wilderness out here and whichever way you chose to travel to BC’s Prophet River Hot Springs you’ll get a great reward at the end. Easy to get to, no? Worth it? Definitely!
Harrison Hot Springs
One of BC’s most popular hot springs, the best pools at Harrison Hot Springs are reserved for guests of the Harrison Hot Springs Resort (either hotel or spa guests). There’s also a public pool just down the road but if it’s luxury you’re looking for then you’ll want to go to the pools at the resort.
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! Here you’ll find four 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.
Fording Mountains Sulphur Warm Springs
So these may not be the hottest hot springs in BC but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth a visit. There’s one spring which comes out into at least two pools at the bottom of a large pond. These springs are very high in sulphur so they do smell but you’ll get used to it after a while! Stay a few hours and you may even see some moose, deer and elk grazing nearby!
Hotspring Island (Gandll K’in Gwaayaay) is one of the more popular destinations in BC’s Queen Charlotte Islands. These springs are only accessible by kayak, boat or seaplane which sounds like a great adventure to me. How else to ease tired kayaking muscles by soaking in a hot spring? If you’re lucky you might be able to soak while watching a pod of orcas swim by!
Canyon Hot Springs
BC’s Canyon Hot Springs are in the Selkirk Mountains between Glacier and Mount Revelstoke National Parks. In the 200 acres you’ll find hot springs, log cabins and plenty of space for camping. Canyon Hot Springs are, again, more of a resort and there are two pools. A cooler one for swimming and then a warmer one for soaking.
Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort
Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort is more of a luxury offering. Situated on the western short of Kootenay Lake near Nelson you’ll be able to enjoy a 150ft horseshoe-shaped cave, main lounging pool and stream-fed cold plunge. From where the pools are you get a great view of Kootenay Lake and the Purcell Mountains while you bathe.
Crazy Creek Hot Pools
Wither 2,000 square foot of hot pools, the Crazy Creek resort in Revelstoke isn’t technically a hot spring (the water is heated with natural geothermal energy by the resort) but it’s still worth visiting. There’s no sulphur smell here and you’re bound to find space to chill out at Crazy Creek!
Which of these hot springs in BC have you visited? Which are you adding to your list?
Disclaimer: Always check route and road conditions before you go. Most of these hot springs are down logging roads which can be dangerous and are best for 4×4 rather than 2WD. Make sure you have a spare tire and don’t rely on phone signal. Always pack out everything you take with you.